"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Psalms 68:11
Here is a good question: If God did write a book, which book is it? Is it the Bible we know? Or is that just a collection of legends, myths and fables? Could men have conspired to write a book that has deceived millions down through the ages? That would have to be the greatest conspiracy ever! What profit would these conspirators gain by such a project?
No, the Bible is not a plot of conspirators, as we will see. The fact is, the Bible was written by forty different writers over a period of fifteen hundred years, most of whom never met or talked to each other.
From cover to cover, these writers claimed that God gave them every word. Psalms 68:11 says, "God gave the word, great was the company of those who published it." The Apostle Paul said, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) ..." (II Timothy 3:16). Peter claimed, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables ... We have a more sure word of prophecy ... For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (II Peter 1:16-21).
However, skeptics deny and atheists defy this teaching. They can only suggest that well meaning or good men wrote the Bible. This cannot be! The words, "Thus saith the Lord" appear over three hundred times. What "good" man would lie three hundred times and then say lying is a sin? Others have suggested that evil and bad men wrote it to deceive and control people. This is not possible. What "bad" man would list every single sin that man is capable of committing as well as those in the heart where no one sees? This is not natural. What "bad" man would write the consequences of those sins to the unrepentant? What "bad" man would record the true stories of men and nations who did sin willingly against God and the horrible punishments which resulted? Who would stress morals, convictions and standards that are only righteous, if they were bad? No, bad men did not write the Bible.
If neither good nor bad men wrote the Bible, then who did? Some suggest intellectual people did it, but we will see that the most intellectual of men could not pull off the feats of knowledge contained in the Holy Writ! The authors of the books in the Bible came from nineteen different occupations which included a soldier, Egyptian prince, housewife, priest, king, queen, rich farmer, poor farmer, scribe, prophets, prime minister's cupbearer, tax collector, evangelist, physician, wealthy fisherman, poor fisherman, carpenters, and a tent maker. Obviously they were not all intellectual and many had no education at all! We will see that only an all-knowing God could have written the Bible.
What Great Personalities Have Said:
Today the Bible is scorned and ridiculed by educational facilities as preposterous tall tales. Usually these scorners have never read it through one time! Please consider what great men have said about God's Word, the Bible.
Here is a list from several walks of life:
From United States Presidents
. Benjamin Harrison, "It is out of the Word of God that a system has come to make life sweet."
. Abraham Lincoln, "I believe the Bible is the best gift God ever gave to man."
. Ronald Reagan said he based one of his defense budget proposals on Luke 14:31.
From World Leaders
. Winston Churchill, "We rest with assurance upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture."
. Chiang Kai-Shek, "The Bible is the voice of the Holy Spirit."
From Great Generals
. Douglas MacArthur, "Believe me, sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed."
. Stonewall Jackson, "God's promises change not ... let us endeavor to adorn the doctrine of Christ in all things."
. Sir Isaac Newton, "We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever."
. James Dwight Dana, "Young men, as you go forth, remember that I, an old man, who has known only science all his life, say unto you that there is no truer facts than the facts found within the Holy Scriptures."
. H. G. Wells, "The Bible has been the book that held together the fabric of Western civilization ... The civilization we possess could not come into existence and could not have been sustained without it."
. Mark Hopkins, "Thus we have every conceivable species of historical proof, both external and internal. Thus do the stones cry out."
. Daniel Webster, "I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the will and the word of God."
. William Lyon Phelps, "Everyone who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated ... I believe knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible."
From Philosophers And Writers
. Charles Dickens, "It is the best book that ever was, or ever will be written."
. Charles Dana, "Of all the books, the most indispensable and the most useful, the one whose knowledge is the most effective, is the Bible."
These lists could go on and on. You will notice that none of the above are clergy or religious educators. They are not ministers who are trying to build churches or perhaps use "religion" to make a living. They had nothing to gain by these statements, but were simply stating their convictions. No matter how much they had succeeded in their separate fields, they could not explain how the Bible can be other than the very Word of God.
Frankly, it really does not matter what any of these men have said nor what you or I think to be true, for the Bible speaks for and defends itself. Here are ten proofs that the Bible was in fact written by God. We will let Him speak for Himself.
I. Its Amazing Unity
Covered already, written by forty different writers from nineteen different occupations, who lived over a period of fifteen hundred years. Most of them never saw each other, yet their message blends to together in perfect unity as though they sat down together and discussed it. In reality, most of the writers never talked to nor saw each other or had seen what the other had written. How did this unity come about then? God wrote it through them.
II. Its Indestructibility
IN SPITE OF POLITICAL PERSECUTIONS
In A.D. 303, Emperor Diocletion thought he had destroyed every hated Bible. He erected a column of victory over the ashes of a burned Bible which read, "Extinct is the name of Christianity." Twenty years later the Emperor Constantine offered a reward for any remaining Bibles. In twenty four short hours, over fifty showed up.
IN SPITE OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTIONS
History tells us that almost without exception, the early popes opposed the reading and translating of Bibles. In 1199 Pope Innocent III ordered the burning of all Bibles.
John Wycliffe dedicated his life in the 1300s translating the Bible into the language of common folk. He was the first to translate it into English. He then sent preachers throughout England to preach it. He was hated by organized religion for this. Being a threat to their soul-slavery machine which kept the people from the truth, they levied threats and accusations against him. When Wycliffe died, the "Church" said of him, "That pestilent wretch, John Wycliffe, the son of the old serpent the forerunner of Antichrist, who had completed his iniquity by inventing a new translation of the Scriptures." Forty four years after his death, Pope Clement VIII ordered his grave torn up, the coffin and skeleton taken to the River Swift, where a fire was kindled and his bones were burned, the ashes were then thrown into the river.
William Tyndale of the 1600s was probably the greatest of all Bible translators. He said, "If God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plough to know the Scriptures." The political and religious leaders of his day had him strangled and then burnt at the stake.
Though both he and Wycliffe suffered martyrdom for the faith, their names live on today. Wycliffe Translators and Tyndale Publishers still thrive today publishing the Word Of God!
IN SPITE OF PHILOSOPHICAL PERSECUTIONS
Voltaire said, "Another century and there will not be a Bible on earth." He has been dead for over two hundred years! The Bible lives. Shortly after his death, Voltaire's house and printing press were sold to the Geneva Bible Society and made a depot for Bibles.
Thomas Paine said, "I have gone through the Bible as a man would go through a forest with an axe to fell trees. I have cut down tree after tree: here they lie. They will never grow again." Paine thought he demolished the Bible. But since he crawled into a drunkard's grave, the Bible has been the best seller in this country and remains so today.
The hammers of political, religious, and philosophical persecution still beat against the anvil of God's Word, but it is the anvil that wears out the hammers!
III. Its Scientific Accuracy
The Bible's scientific statements are true. The Bible says the earth is round! Isaiah 40:22 says, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth ..." How did Isaiah know this seven hundred years BEFORE Christ? Man did not discover this till 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Columbus gave credit to the Word of God for leading him to sail. The Bible was two thousand years ahead of science!
Once the scientists were convinced that the earth rested upon something. They suggested the back of a turtle that was slowly plodding through space! Mythology thought that maybe Atlas held the earth on his shoulders. But in Job 26:7 it is written, "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing ... ." This was not accepted as a scientific fact until Sir Isaac Newton in 1687, three thousand years after Job stated it!
By the time of Christ, scientists believed that there were one thousand twenty eight stars in the heavens. Then came Ptolemy in A.D. 150 and he said there were one thousand fifty six. It was not until Galileo, in the 1600s, used a telescope to show that they are in fact innumerable. Yet in Genesis 15:5, God said to Abraham, "Look now toward heaven; tell the stars if thou be able to number them: so shall thy seed be." This statement was made two thousand five hundred years before Galileo.
How? Because God, the Creator, wrote the Bible! Many other scientific facts could be brought out here, but space does not permit.
IV. Its Historical Accuracy
Agnostics took glee in referring to "hundreds of historical mistakes" in the Bible a century ago. Then came the science of archeology and now the sneers can scarcely be seen. Only a bigot or an ignoramus would now deny the historical merits of God's Word. For instance, archeology has long established that the lower Tigris Euphrates Valley in Mesopotamia was the birthplace of civilization. The Bible says this is the location of the Garden of Eden.
Ur of the Chaldees was once scoffed at as being a fictitious place. C. L. Wooley's excavations in 1922 have nor made Ur one of the most known ancient sites of our time. Genesis 11 says this was the birthplace of Abraham!
Sodom and Gommorah (Genesis 18-19) is the leading center for the mining of potash today in Israel. William Albright found in his work that a dense population of people in these towns perished abruptly around 2000 B.C. in an earthquake and an explosion.
Halley's Bible Commentary lists almost one hundred other archaeological findings that verify the historical accuracy of the Bible, GOD'S WORD!
One of special interest is the repentance of a large city named Ninevah in the days of Jonah, the prophet. Many scoff at the idea of a man being swallowed by a big fish (though it has happened more than once). However, history has proven that during his days, Shalmaneser II, the king of Ninevah, and that whole city (twice the size of Buffalo) had a religious awakening and turned to the God Nebo, which was the Assyrian name for the Hebrew Elohim found in Genesis 1:1.
V. Its Prophetic Accuracy
One of the acid tests of any religion is its ability to predict the future. In this area the Bible reigns supreme. One searches in vain through pages of other "sacred writings" to find even one single line of accurate prophecy. However, one-third of the entire Bible deals with prophecy.
Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Old Testament writers predicted the time of His birth, and that He would be born of a virgin, in Bethlehem. There were predictions about His flight into Egypt, rejection by the Jews, betrayal by a friend, triumphal entry, being sold for thirty pieces of silver, being beaten and spit upon, crucified with sinners, having His hands and feet pierced, given gall and vinegar to drink, that His side would be pierced, soldiers would cast lots for His garmets, His resurrection, His ascension, etc. That is quite specific! Can you predict things that will happen to someone five hundred years from now? Of course not! God gave the Word! Future events are dealt with thoroughly in the Bible.
VI. Its Amazing Circulation
When David Hume said, "I see the twilight of Christianity and the Bible," he was much confused, for he could not tell the sunset from the sunrise.
Consider these facts:
1. The American Bible Society has distributed eight hundred sixty MILLION Bibles since 1816.
2. At least one book of the Bible is now in one thousand two hundred fifty languages, like no other book.
3. The Bible in its completeness is now in two hundred thirty seven languages, more than there are nations on earth.
4. There are over three thousand translators currently working in one hundred fifty countries.
5. Only half of one percent of ALL BOOKS published survive seven years. Eighty percent of ALL BOOKS published are forgotten in one year! Only one out of two hundred survive seven years. Solomon said, "Of making of books there is no end." Au contraire, the Bible is two thousand years old and is today's best seller in America.
Where would you go to find a copy of the Zen Vedas or the Egyptian Book of the Dead? Dozens of religions have flourished and disappeared off the face of the earth without even leaving a trace. Other religious writings may be viewed behind glass cases in the rare book section of dusty museums. But the smallest child can walk into almost any store in America and pick up a copy of the Word of God. Bible circulation has increased two hundred percent since 1960 according to the ABS.
VII. Its Care In Copy
Some skeptics say, "How can you trust the Bible? That book has been around for two thousand years and has been rewritten so many times you don't know if you're reading the same thing today." THAT STATEMENT SIMPLY IS NOT TRUE!!!
Today there are almost five thousand ANCIENT GREEK manuscripts of the New Testament! Consider this, Fifteen hundred years after Herodotus wrote his history there was only one copy in the entire world. Twelve hundred years after Plato wrote his classic, there was only one manuscript of it left. Today there exists but a few manuscripts of Sophocles, Euripedes, Virgil, and Cicero.
We have not one but five thousand ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. How much safer can you get?
"What about the Old Testament?" someone asks. The following rules for scribes are written in the Talmud for copying the Hebrew text:
1. The parchment must be made of the skin of a clean animal, by a Jew only.
2. Each column must have no less than forty eight nor more than sixty lines.
3. The ink must be black, made by a special recipe.
4. No word nor letter could be written from memory, the scribe must have an authentic copy before him. He had to read and pronounce aloud each word before writing it.
5. Each time he reverently wiped his pen (before writing) and washed his whole body EVERY TIME he wrote the sacred name Jehovah.
6. One mistake on a sheet condemned it. If three mistakes were found, the whole manuscript was condemned.
7. Every word and letter was counted. If a letter was omitted or added or if two letters touched each other, the whole manuscript was condemned.
The scribe was told that even if a king walked in, he was to ignore him till he finished the page, lest he make a mistake. That is a pretty fool proof plan.
That is how we got the Bible today.
VIII. Its Universal Influence
The western world owes its Christian influence to the Bible. Paul's obedience in Acts 16:9 to God sent him to Europe rather than Asia or the East.
The world's calendar and most of its holidays stem from the Bible. The Bible has inspired the advancement of the arts. Ruskin quotes five thousand scriptural references in his writings. Milton, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Scott, Bryant, Longfellow, Kipling, Carlyle, Macaulay, Hawthorne, Irving, Thoreau, and other's greatest works have roots in the Bible.
Fifty two Old Testament and sixty five New Testament world famous paintings are preserved today. These are found in every single important museum in the world. They include Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Raphael, Michelangelo, and others.
The Bible has inspired more inspiring music than all other books combined. Bach was a zealous Lutheran who devoted most of his genius to Bible and church-centered music. Mendelssohn authored "St. Paul, Elijah." Beethoven wrote "Mount of Olives," Haydn wrote "The Creator," and who has not heard Handel's "Messiah"?
Space does not permit to write concerning the Ten Commandments and their effect on western law. A copy of our message, "America's Heritage You've Never Heard It This Way Before" can be sent to you free upon written request.
IX. Its Absolute Honesty
Who writes bad things about friends? God does! His absolute honesty led Him to do this. Noah's Ark rests on Mt. Ararat in Turkey today. Noah is considered as a great Bible hero, yet in Genesis 9:20-24, after the flood, he is seen drunk and naked.
God would testify that David, perhaps the grandest human king to sit on a throne, was a man after God's own heart. He was fearless, kind and loving. But in II Samuel 11, this same king is accurately accused of lust, adultery, and murder. Elijah is pictured as a colorful and exciting prophet. In I Kings 18, he takes on four hundred and fifty priests of Satan single-handed and defeats them. In the next chapter he is pictured fleeing for his life from one woman. Examples of Moses, Peter and others could be given. Who writes bad things about their friends? That is not natural. We always cover up or water down our sins, however, the Bible is not natural, it is supernatural! It exposes us the way we really are.
Who writes good things about their enemies? God does. Study what He writes about Esau in Genesis 33, Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2, Darius in Daniel 6, Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-39, etc. That is not natural. No, but it is as honest as God!
Who writes doctrines that are repugnant to the human mind such as hell, man's total helplessness and the judgement? Not man, but God.
X. Its Ability To Change Corrupt Humanity
1. The Chief of Sinners, Changed
By his own testimony, the Apostle Paul called himself the chief-of-sinners before his conversion to Christ (I Timothy 1:13). The book of Acts tells of this man's life. He took care of the coats of Stephen's murderers as they stoned him. He arrested Christians and threw them into prison. He beat Christians. He compelled them to use abusive language. He made havoc of the church, persecuted them to death and attempted to destroy their faith. Not much hope for this guy, right? Wrong, this ravaging wolf heard the voice of the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, and became one of God's best sheepdogs!
2. A Modern Day Paul
The well-known atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son, William, was a tool in the hand of this atheist and the courts to get Bible reading out of the public schools. These two atheists sought for decades to destroy the Bible and the Christian faith in this country. However, something amazing happened. William Murray got saved. His life has been changed by the power of God's Word. This very day he goes up and down this country as a born-again, Bible believing, preaching, and practicing evangelist preaching the word of God! Amazing! It was said of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:23, "... He which persecuted us in the times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed." The same could be said of William Murray. God's Word can change lives today.
3. Mutiny on the Bounty
Probably there is no more sensational example of the life-transforming power of the Bible than the unbelievable story of Mutiny on the Bounty. In 1887, the Bounty, under Captain Bligh, set sail for Tahiti. After ten months the ship arrived, and a further six months were spent collecting palm saplings. In the meantime, the sailors became attached to the native girls. Upon receiving the order to embark, they mutinied, set the Captain and a few men adrift in a boat, and returned to the island.
Captain Bligh survived and returned to England. A punitive expedition was sent out and captured fourteen mutineers. Nine transferred to another island and started a colony. Here they degenerated so fast and became so fierce the colony became a hell on earth. The chief reason was the distillation of whiskey. Quarrels, orgies, and murders were common. Finally all but one were killed or died off. Alexander Smith was left alone with a crowd of native women and half-breed children.
Then a strange thing happened. He found a Bible in a battered chest. He read it, believed it, and began to live it and teach it. Time rolled on. The children grew up as Christians. Twenty years later, an American ship visited the island. There was no disease, no insanity, no crime, no illiteracy, and no strong drink. Word got back to England of its peaceful state and the British government took no further action because it was a Christian community. It was a veritable Utopia on a small scale. What had brought about this amazing transformation? One book, THE BIBLE!
4. Two Enemy Pilots, Now Friends
When Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese squadron commander who led the raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and Jacob DeShazer, one of the famed Doolittle flyers who participated in the bombing of Tokyo in 1942, sat on the platform together in Christian Evangelistic meetings in Japan, they created quite a sensation. And so they should. Bitter national enemies who had delighted in sending fiery death and destruction to each other, were united in a tremendous cooperative effort for Christian Evangelism. Their textbook: The Bible.
5. Gypsy Smith
When famous evangelist Gypsy Smith was holding meetings in Chicago in 1923, a young man who had been reared in the most profane and evil kind of environment carried a brick to the service intending to throw it at the Evangelist, start a riot, and break up the meeting. When Gypsy Smith walked on the platform, his attention immediately focused on the depraved young man. Looking him straight in the face, he said, "Young man, Jesus loves your soul," and began to preach the Word of God. The brick was never thrown. The next morning the ruffian visited the evangelist's hotel room, still carrying the brick. With great emotion he told of his purpose the night before. The Word of God, like a knife, had gone straight to his wicked heart and left him shaken, miserable, and helpless. He dropped to his knees and asked God to save him.
Three years later, in his home in England, Gypsy Smith received a Christmas card greeting signed by sixteen students who had just graduated from Moody Bible Institute. The first name on the list was that of the young man who had carried the brick.
6. St. Augustine
Shortly after receiving Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, Augustine met a prostitute on the street. Pretending not to see her, he attempted to pass without recognition, but she called, "Augustine, it is I." He turned to her then and answered, "Yes, but it is not I."
The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." (II Corinthians 5:17).
7. The Doctor and The Pickpocket
Among the thousands of conversions in the London Crusade were those of a medical doctor and the man who sat next to him in the arena. Before the service began, the two strangers engaged in a brief conversation, criticizing the campaign and expressing the utmost skepticism. As the evangelist preached, the doctor came under conviction. When the invitation was given, the doctor said to the man next to him, "I don't know about you, but I'm going forward to receive Christ." The other hesitated for a minute, then reached into his pocket and replied, "I'm going too, and here's your wallet. I'm a pickpocket."
It Can Change You
I am so glad that God has changed my life. I was a most unworthy sinner and heading for an eternity separated from God forever because of my sin, though I was religious. But religious people are lost and need to be saved, and I was. How? Through the gospel!
Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the POWER OF GOD unto SALVATION."
Have you let God change your life? Have you accepted the Gospel? Jesus Christ died for you according to the Scriptures, was buried, rose again and is alive forevermore; ready, willing and able to save you. He can change your life today, regardless of what you have ever done or what sin you have ever committed. The fact that you are alive is proof that God still loves you.
The names and publishers mentioned in this booklet is meant in no way to be an endorsement of them. They are just simply illustrations to help understand the point.