The Bible is unique. There is no book in the world like it. It cov- ers a period of 1,600 years (1500 B.C. to A.D. 100) and was written by 40 different men from all walks of life. Some were kings, priests, and proph- ets; others were simple fishermen and farmers. Some were highly educated, like Moses and the apostle Paul; others had no formal education. More than 3,000 times, these men claimed what they wrote came direct- ly from God (Moses: Ex. 17: 14; 24: 4; 34: 27. Paul: 1 Cor. 14: 37. Peter: 2 Pet. 1: 16–21. John: 1 Jn. 4: 6.) As utterly impossible as these facts seem, the record speaks for itself. Jesus stated that the Old Testament is God’s Word (Mt. 5: 17–18; 24: 15; Lk. 24: 44; Jn. 10: 35). He confirmed the authorships of Moses, King David, and the prophets Isaiah and Daniel. He validated the truth of such historical events as God’s creation of Adam and Eve, Noah and the univer- sal flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. When tempted by the Devil, He did not answer with His own words of wisdom but countered each temp- tation with “It is written,” followed by quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures (Mt. 4: 4, 7, 10). In Luke 4: 25–27 Jesus confirmed the divine miracles recorded in the Hebrew Bible and, concerning Old Testament revelation, stated, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Mt. 5: 18). In other words, Jesus affirmed the inspiration, inerrancy, and accuracy of the Hebrew Scriptures. The books in the Old Testament were canonized throughout Israel’s history and divided into three sec- tions: the Pentateuch (Five Books of Moses), Prophets, and Writings. Jesus accepted these three divisions and the books contained therein as God’s Word (Lk. 24: 44); and He taught the authority, reliability, unity, clarity, suf- ficiency, historicity, inspiration, reve- lation, inerrancy, infallibility, and indestructibility of the Old Testament.
ISRAEL MY GLORY
One sure way to prove the Bible’s
accuracy and veracity is to analyze the
Hebrew Scriptures’ prophecies. The
number of events foretold by the prophets is enormous, and the events themselves are so specific they could only
have been known and revealed by God.
Pastor and theologian Mark Hitchcock
Unlike the self-proclaimed prophets of
yesterday and today, such as
Nostradamus, Edward Cayce, or
Jeanne Dixon, Jesus and the biblical
prophets did not peddle predictions
that were so vague and general they
could be adjusted to any situation. The
prophecies recorded in the Bible are
very precise and so specific that when
they are fulfilled, it’s very clear there’s
something unique and special about
them. . . . More than one-fourth of the
Bible was prophetic at the time it was
written. The Bible is a book of prophecy. It contains about 1000 prophecies,
about 500 of which have already been
fulfilled down to the minutest detail.
With this kind of proven track
record—500 prophecies fulfilled with
100 percent accuracy—we can believe
with confidence that the remaining
500 yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies will
also come to pass at their appointed
times. . . . Prophecy is the most credible proof of the uniqueness and divine
inspiration of the Bible. . . . Fulfilled
prophecy also demonstrates that the
Bible’s content is not man-made, but
rather has its origins outside our own
For example, 25 Jewish writers provided prophecies in the Hebrew
Scriptures detailing the life and ministry
of the Messiah. The Messiah is the only
Person in history to have had His ancestry, birth, character, teaching, career,
reception, rejection, death, burial, and
resurrection prewritten at least 500 years
before His birth. Jesus Christ clearly fit all
the descriptions and fulfilled all the
prophecies, including those that foretold
of the Messiah’s birthplace (Mic. 5: 2; Mt.
2:1), manner of death (Isa. 53: 8; Lk. 23:46),
and resurrection (Ps. 16: 10; Acts 2: 29–32).
There are also numerous prophecies
concerning Israel’s ruin (Dt. 28:15–68)
and restoration (Ezek. 36:25—37: 28).
Some have been fulfilled, and others
will be fulfilled.
How do we know the Bible we
possess today is God’s Word? First,
Jewish scribes were meticulous in
copying the Hebrew text and counted
every letter they wrote. If a mistake
was made, the text was not corrected
but, rather, immediately discarded.
The nation of Israel collected and
accurately preserved manuscripts of
the Law of Moses and the Prophets
through the centuries (Dt. 31: 26;
1 Sam. 10: 25; 2 Ki. 23: 24; Neh. 9: 14,
26–30; Dan. 9: 2, 6, 13).
Second, the Dead Sea Scrolls provide evidence of this extraordinary
preservation. For example, the book of
Isaiah—discovered in its entirety within the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that
date from 125 B.C. to 100 B.C.—contains
the same Isaiah text we possess in our
The same can be said about the
inspiration and inerrancy of the New
Testament, which was written after
Jesus ascended to heaven. Jesus said
the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles in writing the content of the New
Testament (Jn. 14: 25–26). The Holy
Spirit superintended the revelation the
apostles wrote, providing the New
Testament’s content and accuracy.
How was each book selected to be
in the New Testament canon? There
were at least four basic questions that
had to be answered with a yes:
(1) Was it written by an apostle, or was
the writer in close relationship with an
apostle, as were Mark and Luke?
( 2) Was the content of high spiritual
character that merited it being included
with the other books written by apostles?
( 3) Did the church universally
accept the book?
( 4) Did the book provide internal
evidence of being inspired?
What about variant readings in the
New Testament? Wrote Bible scholar
Norman L. Geisler:
When a comparison of the variant
readings of the New Testament is
made with those of other books which
have survived from antiquity, the