A. The Bible claims that it is uniquely inspired
B. The writers claimed to be inspired
C. Jesus claimed that the scriptures were inspired (Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:44 – “all fulfilled”).
Note: The Forms of Inspiration
God directly revealed parts of scripture to some writers (prophets in particular) who spoke exactly the words God gave them (Moses – Deuteronomy 4:2; Isaiah – Isaiah 59:21; Paul—Galatians 1:12, etc.).
God otherwise superintended the writing of men who wrote exactly what God intended. They used their own styles and expressed their thoughts freely knowing what they meant. Yet, through the Holy Spirit, God at the same time determined the content and controlled the accuracy of all they wrote. This is the miraculous aspect of inspiration.
A. Supernatural Change
B. Fulfilled Prophecy
C. The Distribution and Indestructibility of the Bible
D. Archeology supports the Bible
E. A Logical Argument for Inspiration
Charles Wesley proposed the following logical argument:
“The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God."
No. The English translations we have are not the end of a long chain of translations; they are translated directly from Hebrew (O.T.) and Greek (N.T.) originals.
The reason we have many different English translations is that scholars have continually updated them to incorporate new linguistic research and to keep up with changes in modern English.
Since there were no copy machines, the texts that the human authors wrote had to be recopied by hand as they wore out or as more copies were needed. Here’s how the text was preserved so accurately.
Old Testament – The Jewish people had scribes who were in charge of the manuscripts. They were so meticulous about doing it perfectly that they counted all the paragraphs, words, and even letters so they would know if they had copied correctly. They even knew the middle letter of each book so they could count back and see if they had missed anything.
The oldest complete copy of a Hebrew Old Testament in museums today is dated about A.D. 1000. That’s a long time after the originals were written (1450-400 B.C.), so one could question if after many centuries of copying we really have the original words. That’s where the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 is so helpful. These well-preserved texts date back to 100 B.C. Amazingly, there is virtual agreement between the Dead Sea Scrolls and those dated 1,100 years later! This proves we can trust the Hebrew copies of the Old Testament that are existing today.
Example of Isaiah: Virtually identical through all the years of copying.
Written 700 B.C. by Isaiah
Copies found among Dead Sea Scrolls 100 B.C.
Complete Hebrew Manuscripts A.D. 1000
New Testament – The reliability of the New Testament Greek texts is even more certain than the Old Testament texts. The New Testament was written A.D.45 – A.D.90. Some fragments of Greek texts exist that date back to A.D.120 and A.D.150. That’s only 35-100 years after the originals that Paul, John, Luke and others wrote! Another big help is that there are 4000-5000 New Testament Greek manuscripts existing today. By comparing these many copies, scholars can weed out possible copying mistakes. Compare these two factors of Date and Number of existing manuscripts and copies with other literature that historians consider accurate:
Manuscript Date of Oldest Manuscript Existing CopiesPlato 1,200 years later 7Ceasar 900 years later 10Herodotus 1,300 years later 8Aristotle 1,400 years later 5New Testament Only 35-100 years later 4,000-5,000
No. The Bible was written over a period of 1,600 years by about 40 authors on three continents in two major languages. The writers included an Egyptian-trained scholar (Moses), a general (Joshua), Kings (David, Solomon), a farmer (Amos), a fisherman (Peter), a tax-collector (Matthew), and a rabbi (Paul). Yet, amazingly, they present a consistent viewpoint of life and set of facts.
Can you imagine 40 different writers today from such different backgrounds agreeing on any subject? But in all its 66 books, the Bible is self-consistent on significant issues such as where we come from (special creation by God), why we’re here (to serve and glorify God), and where we’re going (eternal life or eternal judgment).
Critics allege that there are many discrepancies in the Bible. But the seeming discrepancies in particular details can generally be explained in one of the following ways:
Yes and No. It was human councils such as the one led by Athanasius in A.D. 367 that listed the 27 books in our New Testament today. However, they didn’t determine which books were inspired; they merely recognized the supernatural character those books already had. The following tests were used to conclude that a book or letter was indeed scripture (tests of “canonicity”):
(Resource by Sid Litke)