|Below is a list of stated facts that give to us confirmation that what we have in the Bible is indeed the inspired Word of God. The list could be expanded but these are just some preliminary points to consider.|
1. The internal evidence. So many of the books of the Bible say something like "the Lord has spoken," or "the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel ..." (Ezek. 1:3).
2. The fulfillment of prophecy. Hundreds, if not thousands of prophecies are given to us in both the OT and the NT. They can be verified and confirmed in secular history. In fact, fulfillment of prophecy is a key factor in telling us that the Bible is the Word of God.
3. The authors claimed inspiration by the Lord through His Holy Spirit. The authors then were liars or they were telling us the truth. And, we can verify what they were saying by objective analysis.
4. Most who were living when the prophets or the apostles wrote, who read what they penned, confirmed the authority of the authors and their statements. I know of no occasions when they said with meaningful evidence, "These men are liars and are not telling the truth!"
5. The Lord over and over said that He was speaking through the authors, and dictating to them His message that He wanted us to receive. This is either true or false.
6. Even the statements of nonbelievers often tell us what was being written was indeed true and could be relied upon. For example, the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar: "I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, ..." (Dan. 4:37).
7. The confirmation of individuals, or of kings and priests, following several decades or more after a certain book had been written (such as Daniel). No one was recorded saying: "What was written X number of years ago is all a lie!"
8. The preservation and the handling of the biblical texts. They were kept with care (for the most part) and were meticulously copied and preserved.
9. Few, if any, claimed that what had been written some years earlier, had contradictions and mistakes. Instead, the manuscripts were held in high esteem, because of their accuracy and fidelity to truth.
10. The high views expressed in the Bible books in regard to the standards of morality, truthfulness, spirituality, and revelation of the nature and the works of God.
11. The consistency of doctrine in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. There are no contradictions that can stand up under honest scrutiny. The writings of the Bible hold up as to the nature of man, the nature of God, His character and all other doctrines that were given forth in the scriptural writings.
12. The contrast of what the Bible teaches in comparison with other religious writings. Other religions cannot come close to the fidelity and spiritual nature of the Bible—for example, in comparing the writings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. In other religious writings, God, or the gods, is degraded, fictionalized, presented as immoral in character, and not worthy of study!
13. Preservation of the biblical texts. No other ancient manuscripts have been preserved in such detail as the Word of God. While there are transmission issues to be studied, still what we have in the manuscripts cannot be matched by the writings of other religions. Secular or historical manuscripts are but patchwork in comparison to the Bible.
Preservation of the biblical manuscripts must be considered. There is a reason that the texts were kept with such care over the centuries, and that would be the fact that so many people realized that the Bible was not simply an ordinary collection of religious works. They stand out far beyond all other manuscripts of antiquity.
14. The attitude of Christ toward the Bible—it was given by inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it was to be accepted as His divine authority for truth.
15. The authors of the Bible were said to be the holy prophets and holy apostles who set forth the inspired Word.
16. While there were a few throughout history who denied the inspiration of the Bible, most of the criticism came late—mainly during the last three hundred years. During the age of skepticism, critics denied the work of God in history. God has not revealed Himself in written revelation, they argue. The Bible is only a naturalistic book, full of errors and mistakes, they claim, though without provable, objective factual evidence.
Critics must objectively and convincingly refute these points in order to debunk the Bible and substantiate their claim that it is not the Word of God. Skepticism cares not for truth, its presuppositions found in its own reasoning is sufficient to make its claim.
A complete study of history, and a thorough examination of the internal claims and evidence within Scripture, flies in the face of critical objections!
-- Dr. Mal Couch (Feb., 10)
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
THE CRITERIA FOR CANONICITY OF SCRIPTURE
Posted by Scofield Prophecy Studies at 8:00 AM