The Bible asserts and claims to be the very word of God. In 2Tim. 3:16 the Bible testifies of itself to be inspired by God. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” In other words, every word of what we call Scripture is a word from God Himself. The phrase “breathed out by God” is translated from the root word, “theopneustos”. Its use in the above text is the first in Greek literature. Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul aptly chose a word that describes the real source of Scripture: God Himself.
“But”, you may be asking, “how can we know that the Bible is indeed the Word of God?” This article discusses four reasons why you can trust the Bible.
I believe the Bible is what it claims to be because when it predicts something, it happens. For example, Joshua, after the battle of Jericho, made these pronouncements regarding the city walls and its gates: Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. “At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.”
This curse was fulfilled verbatim during the days of King Ahab, in Hiel the Bethelite some five or six hundred years later: In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
(1Kings 16:34). In 1Sam. 8 the people of Israel requested Samuel to appoint a king to rule over them, as Samuel’s days as a prophet and judge were coming to an end (v4-5). In response, the LORD told Samuel to warn them of the implication of their request (vv. 10-18). Samuel’s words of prophecy of what their kings will exact of them and the kind of lifestyles they would lead read like a script of a play that each of the kings of Isreal would later act out, as clearly and precisely as was prophesied by Samuel.
The rest of the Old Testament is dotted with several of such fulfilled prophecies, few of which are presented below.
Concerning Jeroboam’s idolatrous dynasty
And as soon as he was king, he killed all the house of Jeroboam. He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 15:29).
He even pulled down the altar at Bethel, the high place set up by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin. Then he burned the high place, ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole. And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the hillside, and he sent someone to take the bones out of the tombs, and he burned them on the altar to defile it, according to the word the LORD proclaimed by the man of God who had foretold these things (2 Kings 23:15-16; cf 2Chron. 34:3, 5).
Concerning King Basha of Israel
When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he struck down all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet (1 Kings 16:11-12).
Concerning Jezebel, the wife of Ahab
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” And he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her. Then he went in and ate and drank. And he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’” (2 Kings 9:30-37).
Concerning Jesus and New Testament prophecies
The grand statement to the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies is manifested in the life of Jesus. In the Old Testament, there are altogether more than 300 prophecies written about Him, of which He fulfilled all. Mathematicians have worked out the chance that just eight of those prophecies will be fulfilled in any one individual; a probability of 10 to the power 17—quite plainly, a humanly impossible feat. However, Jesus did accomplish all that was prophesied about Him.
The words and works of Jesus
The New Testament records some predictions of Jesus Himself, notable among them the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-2) and Jerusalem itself (Luke 19:40-44). This specific prophecy was precisely fulfilled in AD70 when emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Caeser Augustus) besieged Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. By AD135, every stone of the Temple Mount had been thrown down—precisely as Jesus said it would. There are many other recorded prophecies of Jesus, and of His apostles who through the Holy Spirit foretold of events to come, which have happened just as predicted. These lend proof to the fact that everything else the Bible predicts to happen in the future to come will likewise come to pass.
Jesus’ life is in and of itself is the most compelling evidence to the supernaturality of the Bible. He believed the Old Testament writings were true, as can we. His birth, life, death and resurrection stand as the ultimate testament to the veracity of the Bible.
The Bible also attests to its supernaturality with the recording of several miracles—which can only be as a result of the involvement of a supernatural being—God! And we know that the Bible is true because the miracles it records were witnessed by real people—they did not happen in a closet. For example, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we are told that more than 500 people saw him (1Cor. 15:6). When He ascended to heaven, His disciples saw him. People living at the time saw him die and rise again—as some historians have in their writings corroborated the Biblical records of these events.
The frankness with which the details of miraculous events are recorded in the Bible is further proof to its authenticity. For example, the gospels record that Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus after His resurrection. If the reports of His resurrection were made up, we have reason to believe the disciples would have hidden the fact that it was Mary who first saw the resurrected Christ; because the testimony of women was not highly regarded in the cultural setting at the time.
The experience of a changed life
The Bible promises a transformed life to those who believe in the Gospel—its central message. It promises forgiveness of sins and freedom from the power of sin, and peace through the grace of Jesus Christ. This is something I have personally experienced in my life.
I have a hope and firm security in God’s promises in the Bible concerning the future. Meditating on God’s promises fills me with a joy that only God can provide. Thinking of the truths taught in the Bible keeps my thoughts pure. The Bible keeps me at peace because in it I encounter the Prince of peace. David attests to this in Psalms 119:165 when he wrote, “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”
The word of God is my anchor in whatever situation I find myself in: in trouble and in joy; through trials and temptations; in times of sickness or sorrow. The Bible claims to be alive and active. It produces life in those who read and believe it. Jesus said it is in them that we find eternal life (John 5:39-40). In Psalm 19:7-9 the Bible testifies of itself as making simple people wise, of being pure, of being perfect, of enduring forever—all of which claims it produces in those who submit themselves to its truth.
I accept that personal experiences are subjective. Nonetheless, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Would you like to verify the claims of the Bible for yourself? If you give it a chance, it can transform you completely. It can give you the confidence to face life here and in the afterlife, give you hope for now and the afterlife.