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D.C. Collier: Is the Bible Divinely Inspired, Or Just the Work of Men?

[Noozhawk’s note: Fifth in a series. Click here for previous articles.]

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from Day One. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.1

Despite widespread reverence for the Bible by billions of believers over thousands of years, the world’s best-selling book continues to be relentlessly attacked, especially by so-called “enlightened” cultural elites.

The battle lines are often centered upon the reliability of scripture — Is the Bible divinely inspired, or just the work of men, assembled haphazardly over time, to advance its agenda of controlling people?

Is the Bible Reliable?

It is not uncommon to hear critics say something like, “I’m OK with Jesus Christ as a good teacher and moral model, but I’ve got grave doubts about the Bible.” Trouble is, this immediately puts them at odds with Jesus himself, who continually affirmed the scriptures throughout his three-year public ministry.

Patrick Zukeran, noted biblical authority, writes at Probe for Answers:

“Jesus directly affirmed the authority of the Old Testament and indirectly affirmed the New Testament. In Luke 11:51, Jesus identified the prophets and the canon of the Old Testament. He names Abel as the first prophet from Genesis, and Zechariah, the last prophet mentioned in 2 Chronicles, the last book in the Jewish Old Testament (which contains the same books we have today although placed in a different order).

“In Mark 7:8-9, Jesus refers to the Old Testament as the commands of God. In Matthew 5:17, He states that the Law and the Prophets referring to the Old Testament is authoritative and imperishable.

“Throughout His ministry, Jesus made clear His teachings, corrections and actions were consistent with the Old Testament. He also judged others’ teachings and traditions by the Old Testament. He thus demonstrated His affirmation of the Old Testament to be the Word of God.

“Jesus even specifically affirmed as historical several disputed stories of the Old Testament. He affirms as true the accounts of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-5), Noah and the flood (Matthew 24:39), Jonah and the whale (Matthew 12:40), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), and more.

“Jesus confirmed the Old Testament and promised that the Holy Spirit would inspire the apostles in the continuation of His teaching and in the writing of what would become the New Testament (John 14:25-26 and John 16:12-13). The apostles demonstrated that they came with the authority of God through the miracles they performed as Jesus and the Prophets did before them. The book of Acts, which records the miracles of the apostles, has also proven to be a historically accurate record written by a first century eyewitness.”

Further, Jesus insisted that the Bible was true and inviolable down to its tiniest punctuation marks. For example, a “jot,” which is the 10th letter in the Hebrew alphabet and the smallest; and a “tittle,” which is a letter extension, a pen stroke that can differentiate one Hebrew letter from another.

Jesus said:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets (another term for the Bible of his day); I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”​2

Were the Biblical Prophecies Literally Fulfilled?

Jesus also affirmed the many specific prophecies interspersed throughout the Bible regarding future events, even claiming that he would personally fulfill every one of the Messianic predictions.

Zukeran states:

“Many religious books claim to be divinely inspired, but only the Bible has evidence of supernatural confirmation,”​​ Zukeran states. “We have seen that Jesus, being God incarnate, affirms the inspiration of the Bible.

“Another evidence of supernatural confirmation is the testimony of prophecy. The biblical authors made hundreds of specific prophecies of future events that have come to pass in the manner they were predicted. No book in history can compare to the Bible when it comes to the fulfillment of prophecy.”​

The Jews had a foolproof way to weed out imposters. So-called prophets in ancient Israel’s day who “predicted” events that never came to pass were summarily executed.

Being a prophet was a high-risk occupation, and only the genuine articles survived. Try holding today’s Wall Street analysts, TV pundits or weather forecasters to that standard, and watch their ranks dwindle to nothing overnight.

Stay tuned for next week’s column when we talk about the Messianic prophecies in the Bible and the statistical near-impossibility of their being fulfilled in the life of any one man.

D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

1. John 1:1-2;14 The Message (MSG)

2. Matthew 5:17-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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