The Origin of the Bible
One of the best known laws of the universe is the law of cause and effect. Simply stated it is this: every effect must have an adequate cause.
Now let this law be applied to the Bible. The Bible is an effect. It was caused by some source. Really, there are but two possibilities:
- The Bible originated from a purely human source.
- Or the Bible, while employing human writers, is nevertheless ultimately of divine origin.
How can one determine which of these views is correct?
The only way is to examine the Bible itself and see whether or not it bears those marks of identification which would be expected of a book that originated with God. What would be expected of a divine volume?
If God gave the Bible, we would expect Him to tell us so. The fact is, the Bible claims to be the Word of God literally thousands of times (cf. Jeremiah 1:9; Acts 1:16), and Christ Himself endorsed this very view of Scripture (see Matthew 22:31).
If God is the source of the Bible, since He is perfect (Matthew 5:48), and not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), we would expect it to be perfectly harmonious. Though composed over sixteen centuries, the Scriptures are perfectly harmonious. While some have charged the Bible with contradictions, such an allegation will not stand.
Since God is holy (Isaiah 6:3), we would expect the Bible to have an exalted moral tone. That is exactly what one finds. Its precepts — “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (see Matthew 22:39; 7:12) — have amazed millions of people down through the ages. No philosophy can boast of such morals.
If the Bible is from God, we would not expect that any group of men, regardless of their genius, could produce a volume that would surpass that ancient document. Though the Scriptures have been completed more than nineteen centuries, no one has been able to author a book that would make the Bible obsolete. This is inexplicable!
If the Bible is from the timeless God, we would expect it to be perpetually relevant. This is the case. Other books are shortly out-dated, but the Bible is as fresh and up-to-date as when it came from the pens of the inspired writers.
If the Bible were of divine origin, we would expect it to accurately portray the character of man. This is exactly what it does do. Though man was created upright in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26), by sin he has progressively separated himself from his Maker (Isaiah 59:1,2). He has become exceedingly corrupt (Jeremiah 17:9), and hence stands in dire need of help. Man could not have authored the Bible if he would, and would not have penned it if he could!
Finally, if the Bible is of God, we would not expect it to be simply a vague philosophical and abstract treatise, but rather, to give specific information of what man’s purpose is and how he may achieve that purpose.
Thrillingly, the Bible reveals that man’s purpose on earth is to serve God (Isaiah 43:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13). It reveals the mission of Christ to save man from his wickedness (Luke 19:10), and urges us to be responsive to His redeeming message of grace (Hebrews 5:8,9; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Let us hear its message.