Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

The BIBLE: NO MAN COULD WRITE IT

The Bible claims to be God's message to man. This article shows that the Bible could not have been written by a man (or demi-god or angel) on his own. Therefore it must have come from God Himself. Thus the Bible is evidence for God, more specifically for Jehovah, the God of the Bible. The following features of the Bible point to it's divine origin.

Feature # 1: The Bible is universal in its scope

Have you ever wondered?

  1. How did this universe begin?
  2. Why is it that the world we live in is full of beauty and splendor on the one hand, but also has so much of pain, evil and suffering on the other?
  3. Why is it that people can be very good, but also very evil?
  4. Is there any way to make amends for the wrong that we do?
  5. How did the various ethnic groups of people come about?
  6. How did the various languages start?
  7. How is it that all of us have a sense of moral right and wrong?
  8. Why is that humans want to wear clothes, but animals don’t? When/how did people first feel the need to cover themselves?
  9. What is the purpose of, or the main thing in our life here on earth?
  10. What happens after death?
  11. How important are the problems of global warming, pollution, etc? Are we in danger of destroying ourselves because of industrial activity?
  12. Why is nearly the whole world against Israel? The Arabs have 99% of the land in the Arabian Peninsula. Why won’t they let Israel have even the remaining 1%?
  13. Of all the cities in the world, Jerusalem has been the one most fought over. Why?
  14. Today the UN and the major world powers are breaking their heads over Jerusalem/Israel. (Jerusalem is a dry patch of land – the city is built over the ruins of earlier settlements – there is nothing remarkable about the city per se) Is there anything special in this?
  15. How is it that the Jews have been the most harassed and persecuted people in all history, but also among the most advanced?
  16. How will the process of globalization culminate? Can we expect a one world government and a one world currency or identification system in the future?
  17. Will the world ever end?

The answers to all these questions and more are there in the Bible. This by itself shows that the Bible is special. In answering these questions, the Bible presents a comprehensive picture of our world like no other book:-

  1. God created the world around 4000 BC (Genesis 1)
  2. At that time, God began writing the Bible as a record of this universe (Genesis 2:4). The Bible includes the names of the first few human beings and their records.
  3. Evil entered the world in The Fall of Man (Genesis 3) shortly afterward
  4. God destroyed the world in Noah's Flood in about 2400 BC.
  5. When the descendants of Noah's three sons rebelled against Him at The Tower of Babel God confused their languages and thus forced them to disperse before 2200 BC (Genesis 11). This explains:-
    1. The earliest written records belong to the Sumerian civilization (located at Babel (modern Iraq))
    2. The sudden appearance of advanced civilizations such as the Mayans, the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Chinese, the Hindu Indians, etc around 2000 BC (the dispersing tribes already had the technology - they just needed to set it up wherever they settled)
    3. The Common Themes in Ancient Religions. (they all originated at Babel!)
    4. The similarity between ancient languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, Classical Greek, Hebrew, etc (the Bible says in Genesis 10 that the languages were split on family lines). It is a remarkable testimony to the accuracy of the Bible that the three main language families today (Indo-European, Semitic and Turanian) can be correlated with the three sons of Noah (Japheth, Shem and Ham respectively)
  6. The Bible gives the names of Noah's descendants (Genesis 10) who would become the founders of various nations. No such information in any other scripture exists that can be correlated with any external records.
  7. The Bible tells us what God has done in history, and what He expects from you - for His own and your own ultimate eternal happiness. See the details in The Main Message. Some of God's actions in history are linked with Israel
  8. The Bible tells us how the world will end
Thus, there is no book so universal in its scope as the Bible, and this strongly suggests that the Bible is God's word to man. Human compositions (especially in the ancient, non-globalized world) tend to be parochial.

Feature # 2: The Bible is the most loved and respected book in the world!

See the details here.

Feature # 3: The Bible is the most hated book in the world.

Here is a (very) partial list of intellectuals who have worked tirelessly to prove that the Bible is false:

Celsus, Porphyry, Lucien, Hume, Gibbon, Voltaire, Laplace, Frederich Engels, Arun Shourie, Richard Dawkins, Bolingbroke, Strauss, Renan, Eichhorn, Wellhausen, Kuenen, Carl Sagan. (The fact that the Bible continues to be the best selling book in the world today shows how miserably they have all failed).

Atheistic philosophers and historians have tried all the arguments they can muster, archaeologists have scanned the ruins of important sites in the Middle East, geologists have scanned the earth, biologists the biodiversity and astronomers the stars - all in an attempt to justify their theories that claim that the Bible is false.

No other book in the world has faced opposition like this. How many books have been written to prove that the Koran, Bhagvad Gita, etc. are false?

Others have tried less civilized methods to wipe out the Bible. The Roman Emperor Diocletan (and the others that preceded him) brought to bear against the Bible all the military and political power of the strongest empire the world ever knew, at the height of its glory. This included burning not just Bibles, but also Bible readers. After the Roman Empire fell, the Papacy forbade the common people from reading the Bible. The communist government in the former USSR banned the Bible and wrote a book titled "The Atheist's Handbook", an attempt to refute the Bible. The communists have been followed by Islamic rulers in their hatred for the Bible. Today, the Bible is illegal in 52 countries! More copies of the Bible have been burnt or destroyed than any other book!

Who or what are people fighting against? Richard Wurmbrand was a Christian imprisoned for his faith in communist Romania. Commenting on Soviet policy in his book, Answer to the Atheists’ Handbook, he says, “Many bad books are published in the USSR, but they don’t have to be banned. People simply stop reading them. Why does the Proletariat have to ban the Bible and even write a book trying to refute it?” Good question! Why should atheists like Richard Dawkins be concerned about "The God Delusion"?! If we're all just lumps of matter, how does what we believe matter? Why so much opposition to the Bible?
"The reason you don't like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you." – Billy Sunday
And this is because the Bible comes from God. If the Bible was not inspired by God, there would be no need to fight against it – it would die out on its own.

Feature # 4: The Bible cannot be improved

For most books, subsequent editions improve on previous ones. Then the author dies, and no one bothers to improve the book further. The Koran can be improved but anyone who publishes a modified Koran will pay with his life. Liberal Christians have criticized sections of the Bible - they are free to modify it but they don't (some groups such as the Jesus Seminar have already attempted this and failed - their modified Bible had no takers). This failure to "improve" the Bible - by people who claim that the Bible is good but imperfect, and have the freedom and capacity to do it - is proof that the Bible cannot be improved. This in turn constitutes evidence that the Bible is of divine origin.

Feature # 5: Scientific Accuracy

The Bible mentions scientific facts that were otherwise unknown when it was written. This constitutes evidence that the Bible comes from God. Details

Feature # 6: Fulfilled Prophecy

Prophecy is the prediction of future events. The Bible is replete with prophecy. Biblical prophecies can be classified as follows:

Discussion of issues pertaining to Biblical prophecy

Events predicted thousands of years in advance were fulfilled precisely. Even if there were no other evidence, fulfilled prophecy by itself establishes the Bible as having a divine origin.

Feature # 7: Tremendous Influence

The New Encyclopedia Britannica calls the Bible "the most influential collection of books in human history". You may not have realized it, but virtually all the good things that you associate with civilization are due to Biblical influence. Learn the details

Feature # 8: The Bible has types and anti-types

Various places, people, things and rituals in the Old Testament of the Bible are symbols (types) of various spiritual or other realities (anti-types) in the New Testament of the Bible. The types portray or illustrate the anti-types with great detail and accuracy, although most types and their corresponding anti-types are separated by hundreds, or even thousands of years. The identification of types and anti-type pairs and their corresponding features is suggested in the Bible itself by authors who could not have collaborated (since their lifetimes did not overlap). No other book in the world has this feature. Details

Feature # 9: Parallel Patterns in the Bible

Different portions of the Bible, written by different people separated by centuries have parallel patterns in their thematic elements. See the details here

Feature # 10: Widespread use of nature as an object lesson

The Bible uses practically every class of entities in the physical world to drive home its messages:-
 
Plants/Trees: The cedar is used as a symbol of loftiness; the hyssop for lowliness (Ezekiel 31:3, 1 Kings 4:33) . The fig tree (Matthew 21:19, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 24:32), olive tree (Zechariah 4:11) and vine (Ezekiel 15:6) are used to illustrate three aspects of the relationship between God and His earthly people, Israel. The almond tree is used as a symbol for old age (Ecclesiastes 12:5). You will totally misunderstand Jesus' parable of the mustard tree in Matthew 13 unless you look up how big mustard trees are.
 
Animals: The lion, bear and leopard are used in Daniel 7 to bring out the features of three empires in the Middle East. The sheep is used elaborately to illustrate how people should depend on God. I wonder how many evolutionists have noticed that the sheep has virtually no means to compete with other animals in the struggle for survival. The man, lion, ox and eagle are used in Ezekiel 1 to bring out four aspects of Jesus Christ. Chewing the cud is used to symbolize man chewing on his spiritual food (Leviticus 11:3): God's word. Birds (Ezekiel 39:4), dogs (Revelation 22:15), and pigs (Isaiah 66:3) are used as symbols for negative things.
 
Colors: Blue, white, scarlet and purple are used to bring out aspects of the Lord Jesus (Exodus 25:4; the same as mentioned in the previous item).
 
Inorganic materials: Silver, iron, gold, frankincense, etc. appear in the tabernacle (Exodus 25). Each symbolizes something.
 
Organic materials: Goats' hair, badger's skin, myrrh, calamus, cinnamon, gum, onycha, and resin also appear in connection with the tabernacle, shown in the image (Exodus 35).
 
Human relationships: Marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-33). Relationships between parents and small children are used to illustrate the relationship between God and His people. Relationships between parents and grown up children are used to illustrate the relationship between God the Father and God the Son
 
Body parts: The chest, inner organs, shoulder, toe, finger, ears, eyes, etc are all used to teach spiritual object lessons (see Exodus 29 for example).
 
Food substances: Olive oil (Exodus 27:20), honey (Leviticus 2:11), leaven (Exodus 12:19, 1 Corinthians 5:8), fat (Leviticus 4:8), and salt (Leviticus 2:13) are mentioned, symbolizing spiritual things.
 
Stars and the universe out there are used to communicate various lessons:-
  1. The large number of stars (Genesis 15:5) and the vastness of the universe is used to illustrate the large number of Abraham's descendants as well as God's knowledge (for He calls all of them by name, Isaiah 40:26) and His power (He enforces the laws governing them), and the entire cosmos is described as "the work of his fingers" (Psalm 8:3) that He condescends to even look at (Psalm 113:6).
  2. The regularity of astronomical phenomena is used to illustrate God's faithfulness (Jeremiah 31:35-36)
  3. The difference in various kinds of stars is used to illustrate the difference between are present bodies and the bodies that God's people will have after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:41).
Numbers symbolize different things. An old preacher put it this way: "Try it gentlemen! Learn how God has mocked all your philosophy with the mere enumeration of one, two, three!". Details
 
All these symbols occur in the Bible in patterns which make it possible to assign a different significance to each of them. With forty different authors spread out over several centuries, continents and cultures, this is a sheer impossibility if the Bible is assumed to be merely a human product. Moreover, the use of all these objects of nature as symbols assures us that the One who made the physical universe is the same as the One who inspired the Bible!

Feature # 11: Internal consistency among many authors

Josh McDowell tells the following true story:-

"A representative of the Great Books of the Western World came to my house recruiting salesmen for their series...I challenged him to take just 10 of the authors, all from one walk of life, one generation, one place, one time, one mood, one continent, one language, and just one controversial subject...Then I asked him: 'Would the authors agree?' He paused and replied, 'No'" - Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972), p.19.

In contrast, the Bible was written by about 40 different authors who represented a great variety:

  • More than 1600 years of writing
  • Three continents – Asia, Europe and Africa, from Egypt to Iraq to Rome.
  • Various occupations: kings, generals, shepherds, farmers, a doctor, a tax official, priests, fishermen, administrators and scholars.
  • Economic backgrounds: Solomon was an emperor rolling in wealth; Peter was penniless
  • Levels of education: Paul had studied under Gamaliel, the greatest Jewish scholar of his time; Peter, James, John and Jude were barely literate.
  • Social backgrounds: Isaiah was from an aristocratic background; Amos was a fruit gatherer.
  • Three languages: Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek.
  • Different audiences: The Old Testament was originally addressed almost exclusively to Israel, while the New to citizens spread across the Roman Empire.
  • Cultural backgrounds: Amos was rustic Jewish, Isaiah was urban Jewish; Paul and Luke were from urban, cosmopolitan Greek-Roman backgrounds. Moses was from an Egyptian background.

And yet, we find these authors agreeing remarkably on hundreds of controversial subjects. The following are some examples of internal consistency in the Bible:-

The New Testament writer Paul refers extensively to the parts of the Bible written 1500 years before he lived, in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians.

Samuel and Moses were two prophets in Israel separated by nearly five centuries. Yet the advice that Samuel gives to Israel in 1 Samuel 12:14-25 is strikingly similar to that given by Moses to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:1 onwards.

Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the dozens of messianic prophecies written by various Old Testament authors at various times and places. The New Testament writers understood how the man Jesus was indeed the Coming One promised in the Old Testament, and they explained it in their writings. Such a consistency over thousands of years is unparalleled in any other book.

After Jesus' death, his disciples who spent three years with him were at the forefront in preaching Jesus but they were all soon overshadowed by another character. This character was not one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. In fact, when Peter and the other disciples were busy preaching the good news about Jesus Christ, this person was not even a Christian! Who is this? Paul!

We first meet Paul (also called Saul) in Acts 8:1. He was then a devout Pharisee – hating Jesus and his followers, and trying his best to arrest any Christian. Paul, without any interaction with the apostles (the leaders of the church, who were at Jerusalem), had a remarkable transformation near Damascus, and himself became a Christian – without any human intervention (read the details in Acts 9:1-30 and Galatians 1:10 to 2:21). Paul then started preaching that Jesus Christ is the risen savior and Lord – to the disbelief of his former companions as well as his former victims. It became evident that Paul would be a greater leader than any of the original disciples of Jesus. He was personally responsible for much of the early spread of true Christianity and has written more of the New Testament in the Bible than any original disciple of Jesus Christ, delivering key teachings about the church, access to God, the role of women and the rapture. Paul reprimanded Peter (Galatians 2:11-14), claimed to get exclusive revelation from God (Ephesians 3:1-3) and said that he was working harder than the others (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Normally, such a late "gatecrasher" would be summarily rejected and opposed. However, the readiness with which the original disciples of Christ accepted Paul and his revelations (Galatians 2:9, 2 Peter 3:15-16) shows that Paul's revelations were coming from God – the disciples were forced to admit that the same God who had appeared to them had also appeared to Paul.

Because of this internal consistency, it is logically wrong to accept some parts of the Bible and reject others.

To summarize: the Bible has remarkable internal consistency among a wide variety of authors, and this proves its divine origin.

Feature # 12: Cults

A cult is a group that deviates fundamentally from the teachings of a particular belief system while still claiming to be followers of the belief system. Compared to any other teaching or book, Biblical Christianity has the largest number of cults. Here is a small list of "Christian" cults - that is, groups who claim or claimed to be Christian but deviate from the basic teachings of the Bible (the fundamental aspects of God's nature and the way to Him):-

Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Christian Science, Seventh Day Adventism, Latter Rain Movement, Jesus Only, Children of God, The International Churches of Christ, The Moonies, Branch Davidians, Hebrew Roots, British-Israelism, Worldwide Church of God, Baptist Briderism, Church of Christ, Christian Association, Unity School of Christianity, Unitarianism, Oneness Pentecostalism, the People's Temple (of Jim Jones), Black Hebrew Israelism, Hypercalvinism, Christadelphianism, Christian Reconstructionism, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Shepherd's Chapel, Swedenborgianism (the Church of New Jerusalem), Third Day church, Unity school of Christianity, The Way International, Christian Universalism,  International Youth Fellowship, Urantia, The Farm, Armstongism, Perfect Faith, The Farm, The Way International, Unification Church, etc.

Some relevant facts:-
  1. This is only a partial list. In the USA alone, there are thousands of cults claiming allegiance to the Bible.
  2. I have not included cults like Raelism, Aum Shinrikyo, etc, that draw from multiple religions.
  3. Roman Catholicism, Liberal Christianity, and Eastern Orthodoxy are not usually listed as "cults" due to their large size and/or antiquity, but nevertheless deviate in the same way from the Bible.
  4. As far as I know, there are no movements claiming to be Muslim and yet deviating from the Koran and Hadith in their policy.
  5. Cults cannot be defined for Hinduism because Hinduism is a mix of various beliefs and practices. There is no such thing as "mainstream Hinduism".
It should be clear that the number of "Christian" cults far exceeds the number of cults based on other religious books.

Some of these cults are characterized by false teachings: Amillenialism, postmillenialism, preterism, baptismal regeneration, adoptionism, appolinarianism, Arianism, docetism, Gnosticism, modalism, mocarchianism, monophysitism, Nestorianism, Patripassionism, pelagianism, antinomianism, socinianism, subordinationism, tritheism, transubstantiation, etc.

The abundance of false teachings and cults centered around the Bible is one feature of the Bible that makes it unique. Why is it that this one book has far more groups claiming allegiance to it and yet deviating from it than any other book? This phenomenon cannot be explained by atheism or any other belief system. But it makes perfect sense in the light of the Bible. If (as the Bible claims), the Bible is God's message to man, and there are powerful, deceptive angels who do NOT want man to turn to God, it is only to be expected that they would entice humans to invent many false teachings that pass off as being Biblical. It is only to be expected that they will endow false leaders with charisma to sway others.

Thus, the abundance of "Christian cults" constitutes evidence that the Bible is the ultimate – God's message to man.

Feature # 13: Unmatched Literary Quality

I'm not a literature major or writer, so I'm not qualified to make such an assessment, but others are:-

"In the whole world it is THE BOOK; All other books are mere leaves, fragments" – Sir Walter Scott

"All the wonders of Greek civilization were not as wonderful as this single book of Psalms" – William Gladstone, (1809-1898), the leading British statesman and four time Prime Minister in the 19th century

"It is the finest bit of literature ever written by the pen of man" – Thomas Carlyle, 19th century Scottish writer, philosopher, and historian.

"I have regularly and attentively read these Holy Scriptures, and am of the opinion that this volume…contains more sublimity and beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence than can be found in all other books, in whatever age or language they may have been written" – Sir William Jones, one of the most accomplished linguists and Oriental scholars that England has ever produced

"Job and Isaiah could do more to correct the deplorable weakness and carelessness of newspaper English than all other teachers combined" – Arthur Brisbane (a skeptic), one of the best known American newspaper editors of the 20th century.

"As a mere literary monument, the English Version of the Bible remains the noblest example of the English tongue, while its perpetual use made it, from the instant of its appearance, the standard of our language" – J. R. Green, The History of the English People.

"The Bible thoroughly known is a literature of itself - the rarest and the richest in all departments of thought" – James Anthony Froude, English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor, and non-believer in Biblical Christianity. 

"The scriptures in our Authorized Version are art and parcel of English literature...the most majestic thing in our literature...a well of English undefiled" – Professor Quiller Couch, in a lecture at Cambridge University

"If everything else in our language should perish, it would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power" – Macaulay

Feature # 14: Universality and National character

Apart from a few epistles in the New Testament, the bulk of the Bible was written by parochial Jews who had little to do with the outside world. Therefore it is a miracle that  the Bible has spread to all nations - not just that there are sales offices or apologists in every nation, but that it is cherished in every nation.

The Bible not just penetrates every nation, but, when it is accepted by the people as a whole, it becomes a national treasure. The King James Bible is a British treasure (even anti-Bible atheists like Richard Dawkins acknowledge this). Frederick Harrison, once in a lecture delivered at Oxford, called it, "the best that our literature can give in simple, noble, prose". Luther's German translation of the Bible became a German treasure. In India, when the Bible was instrumental in civilizing the Hmar tribe, it became their cherished possession. They didn't think of it as some Israeli product.

This unique phenomenon - of parochial, ancient authors producing a book that becomes the cherished possession of nations all over the world - points to the divine origin of the Bible.

Conclusion

Here are some Bible trivia:-

  • The Bible was the first book to be printed.
  • The Bible is the book over which the Presidents of the United States take their oaths.
  • The first (and perhaps only) book of its kind to be recited from space.
  • During World War I, the British government allowed the British and Foreign Bible society to send money to Berlin to maintain the supplies of German scriptures.
  • Psalm 24:1 is inscribed over the front portico of the Royal Exchange, UK.
  • The University of Oxford has for its motto Dominus illuminatio mea, which is taken from Psalm 27.
  • The Biblical menorah (Exodus 25:31) is the logo of the Israeli parliament.
  • The Bible was among the first documents to be encoded in the 5D glass disc (next generation hard disc) developed in February 2016.
  • The first radio program broadcast was on 24th Dec 1906 from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible
  • Samuel Morse invented the Morse code and sent the first telegraph message taken from the Bible: "What hath God wrought!". The final commercial U.S. ship-to-shore telegraph message transmitted from North America by Globe Wireless, a company founded in 1911. Sent from its wireless station at Half Moon Bay, California, the sign-off message was a repeat of Samuel F. B. Morse's message 155 years earlier, "What hath God wrought!"
  • The Bible contains the proper names of more individuals than can be found in all the other books of antiquity put together.
  • The Bible was the first book read and seen in the illumination of an electric bulb. The inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, said, "The Bible lit me and I lit the world."

Truly, the Bible is the Book of books. Its unique features, in particular, its ability to transform people, show that it is indeed God's Word. Also see:-