2. Claims of Divine Authorship

Seven Compelling Evidences

Not just the Bible’s authors but Jesus Christ Himself claimed that the Bible was God’s Word. Jesus tied His own life and reputation to that claim. So either He is God and His Word is flawless or both Christ and His Word are false.

Over 3,000 times, in some form or another, the Bible’s authors claimed to be speaking for God. With phrases like “the word of God” and the “word of the Lord” they indicated that they believed their words were of divine origin.

The Bible claims to be God’s Word and absolutely true, like its divine author. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19).

This claim forces every human on the planet to make a choice. There is no neutral ground. Will people believe God’s words or reject them? If we faithfully share the claims of His Word, the Holy Spirit will use His Word to convict the world of sin and rebellion against God (John 16:8).

God knew that false prophets would also claim to speak for Him, so He placed a death penalty if their words did not come true (Deuteronomy 13:5)! For a prophet to stand up and claim that he was delivering a message from the Lord was foolish unless he was convinced that what he spoke was truly from God.

Yet we find over and over the authors of Scripture claiming that their words were of divine origin. David, for example, said, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word was on my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2).

The Bible’s forty authors were of proven sincerity and sanity. And they were willing to go to their deaths if their words proved to be false.

We also find many authors of Scripture verifying each other’s writings as God’s Word. Shortly after Jeremiah wrote his book, for example, Daniel recognized what Jeremiah wrote was the “word of the Lord” (Daniel 9:2). Later in the New Testament, the apostle Paul quoted the Gospel of Luke as “Scripture,” on par with the inspired writings of Moses (1 Timothy 5:18, citing both Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7).

The apostle Peter claimed inspiration for the entire Old Testament (“Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” 2 Peter 1:21). He also equated Paul’s epistles with “the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16–17).

The most powerful evidence of the Bible being divinely given comes from Jesus Christ’s own life and statements about the Bible. Referring to King David in Mark 12:36, for example, Jesus said, “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit,” and then Jesus cited Psalm 110:1.

Christ quoted the Old Testament repeatedly, including its accounts of dozens of miracles and historical events. He considered all its history to be true, including Noah (Luke 17:27), Moses (John 5:46), Jonah (Matthew 12:40), and all the other prophets from Abel to Zechariah (Luke 11:49–51).

When He spoke of the Scriptures being true “to the smallest letter” (Matthew 5:18, NIV), Jesus put His person and character on the line. In fact, Jesus said that all He did was done to fulfill the Scriptures. He lived and died by them, as the perfect expression of His Father’s will. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, emphasis added).

We think of the Gospels as a record of what Jesus did and said, but from Jesus’s view His life and ministry fulfilled what the Scriptures said! There can be no stronger statement than for Jesus to claim that the Bible was God-inspired. Claiming to be God Himself, He said the Scriptures were given to show and verify who He is. The Bible thus confirms Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ confirms the Bible. You can appeal to no higher authority than Him.

The authors of the Holy Bible claim it is from a holy God; so we can—we must—trust that it is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true (Psalm 19).

Its origin is divine.

Jesus Submitted to the Bible’s Authority

Jesus Christ not only believed the Bible, He lived His entire life— and went to the Cross—in obedience to it. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

Jesus obeyed the Bible, not as the fallible word and will of man but as the word—and express will—of God His Father (see John 5:30). He relied on the Bible (and no other book) as His authority for life.

When Satan tempted Christ to act contrary to God’s Word, He rebuked Satan and exalted the Scriptures as God’s words: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). This response to Satan was, in fact, a direct quote from the Law (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Here are four other key statements that Christ made about the Scriptures and the folly of not believing all it says:

  • “God’s word is truth” (John 17:17).
  • “The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
  • “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17).
  • “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25).

If Christ submitted to Scripture and lived His life under its authority, then we are faced with a stark choice. Either we believe Christ and embrace the entire Bible as our own absolute authority, or we reject both Christ and the Bible as imposters. The authority of one is inextricably bound up with the other.

So Christ’s claims about the Scripture are the most potent evidence of its truth. A denial of the Bible is a direct challenge to His integrity and truthfulness.

Find more resources at Answers magazine’s new online apologetics toolkit for defending the Bible, including the articles “The Preservation of the Bible” and “Jesus Believed Every Event of the Old Testament.”

Don Landis is pastor of Community Bible Church in Jackson, Wyoming. He is founder and president of Jackson Hole Bible College (www.jhbc.edu), a one-year intensive study course with a special emphasis on creation for young adults. Don is also the founding chairman of the board for Answers in Genesis–USA.

Answers Magazine

April – June 2011

Continual attacks on God’s Word can cause even Christians to question the Bible. Are you prepared to answer the attacks, or more important, questions from those who honestly want to learn how we know God’s Word is true? This issue of Answers will burrow down to the heart of the matter, highlighting seven reasons we know the Bible is true!

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