The Bible claims to be inspired of God. Over 2700 times the Bible says, “Thus says the Lord” or “The Lord said” or “The word of the Lord” or the same similar claim to the message being from God.
God Says Scripture Says
Genesis 12:3 Galatians 3:8
Exodus 9:16 Romans 9:17
Scripture Says God Says
Genesis 2:24 Matthew 19:4-5
Psalm 2:1 Acts 4:24-25
Psalm 95:7-8 Hebrews 3:7-8
God Spoke Moses Said
Exodus 20:1, 12 Mark 7:10
Leviticus 20:8-9 Mark 7:10
Deuteronomy 17:2, 3, 6 Hebrews 10:28
However, not all claims are true. So why should I believe that the Bible is from God?
A study of Biblical prophecies can be a faith building exercise. There are numerous prophecies, for instance, about the Christ.
1. In his death, “he was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Jesus was crucified with two robbers (Matthew 27:38).
2. His hands and his feet were to be pierced (Psalm 22:16). Such in context occurs before death. The Jews executed by (a) stoning (Exodus 17:4; Deuteronomy 13:10; (b) burning (Leviticus 20:14; 21:9); and (c) sword (Exodus 32:27). They did not crucify. The Encyclopedia Americana records “The history of crucifixion as a mode of punishment for crime must be studied as a part of the Roman system of jurisprudence… The Hebrews, for example, adopted or accepted it only under Roman compulsion; under their own system, before Palestine became Roman territory, they inflicted the death penalty by stoning” (8/253 quoted by Josh McDowell, Evident That Demands A Verdict, vol. 1, pp. 161-162). Josh McDowell writes, “Thus, the type of death pictured in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 did not come into practice under the Jewish system until hundreds of years after the account was written” (ibid).
Note: It is true that the Jews hanged criminals on trees. However, such was not done to execute. This was done following death to warn others (Deuteronomy 21:22-26 cf. Genesis 40:19; Joshua 10:26).
3. He was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:8). Jesus was (Matthew 27:57-60). This is remarkable. A condemned man allowed an honorable burial. Michael Wilkins and J. P. Moreland write, “If the burial of Jesus in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea is legendary, then it is strange that conflicting traditions nowhere appear, even in Jewish Polemic” (Jesus Under Fire, p. 149).
4. There was to be a missing body (Psalm 16:10 cf. Acts 2:25-34; 13:33-37). Even hostile sources admit that the body was missing. A Jewish source—Toledoth Yeshu says, “A diligent search was made and he was not found in the grave where he had been buried” (recorded by Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons in Behold! The Lamb of God, p. 140).
Many, many prophecies such as these exist in the Bible. Try to find anyone who fulfills each of the prophecies about the Christ. You’ll only find one. Only Jesus fulfills all of the prophecies.
Objection—Maybe these “prophecies” were written after the time of Jesus. Such will not work. Josh McDowell has answered, “If you are not satisfied with 450 B.C., as the historical date for the completion of the Old Testament, then take into consideration the following: The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, were initiated in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.). It is rather obvious that if you have a Greek translation in 250 B.C., then you had to have a Hebrew text from which it was written. This will suffice to indicate that there was at least a 250 year gap between the prophecies being written down and their fulfillment in the person of Christ” (ibid., p. 144).
Objection—Maybe Jesus deliberately tried to fulfill these prophecies. Josh McDowell answered, “The above objection might seem plausible until we realize that many of the prophecies concerning the messiah were totally beyond the human control of Jesus, such as—place of birth (Micah 5:2); time of birth (Daniel 9:25; Genesis 49:10);betrayal; manner of death (Psalm 22:16); people’s reaction (mocking, spitting, etc.); burial” (ibid., p. 166).
Scientific Accuracy and Foreknowledge
When one reads from the ancient world, one finds that superstitions and scientific inaccuracies abounded. The Papyrus Ebers, an Egyptian medical book from 1552 B.C., advises that “to prevent the hair from turning gray, anoint it with the blood of a black calf which has been boiled in oil, or with the fat of a rattlesnake” (S. L. McMillen, None of These Diseases, p. 9). The Bible does not contain such nonsense.
1. Genesis 1:9—“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place, and let dry land appear.”
Today, we know that the oceans are not really separate bodies of water, but join together. How did Moses know this without advanced cartography or satellite technology?
2. Isaiah 40:22—“It is He (God) who sits above the circle of the earth.”
The word “circle” could be rendered “sphere”. How did Isaiah know the earth was a sphere? Some of the ancient world believed the earth to be flat.
3. Psalm 8:8—“… paths of the sea.”
Matthew Fontain Maury (1806-1873) was motivated by this verse to search for and find the Gulf Stream flow. There is a monument in Richmond, erected by the state of Virginia, to this man. The base of the monument is inscribed with Psalms 8:8.
4. Leviticus 12:3 (cf. Genesis 17:12; 21:4)—Israelite parents were to circumcise their male children on the eighth day of life.
Why not the sixth or the tenth? Was this day arbitrarily picked?
Today, we know that vitamin K and prothrombin are essential to efficient blood clotting. It is on the fifth through the seventh day of a male-child’s life that vitamin K begins to be produced at normal levels. It is only on the eighth day that prothrombin climbs above normal levels. In times before modern medicine, this would be the optimal time for surgery.
5. Genesis 3:15; 38:8-9—Both male and female are said to have “seed”.
Today, we know that in ordinary reproduction a child inherits chromosomes from both genders.
However, this was not always known. In ancient Greece, Democritus and others believed women to be mere incubators, and that only men possessed the seed of life.
Examples like these could be multiplied many times over.