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Is the Bible Inspired?
By Brian Pepper
After a church service in Gawler my wife and I came home to Elizabeth. As we walked in the door we were greeted by "Did you know what our sermon was about today. Of course we did not know, so naturally we had to ask "And what was it about?” The answer came 'The Errors of the Bible' and there are scores and scores of them." My wife said, "But surely there must have been some positive suggestions. 'No! It was all the errors of the Bible and there are lots of them."
The attitude was, there you are, the whole thing has been exposed as a fraud. We were shown some of the errors, one Bible Writer mentions that there was only one madman. Another Gospel writer says there were two. Another error was the age of one of the kings of Israel. There are some minor errors obviously in reporting.
So what do you do about it? Quit reading the Bible, stop going to church, forget it all, for the Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God.
I would like you to notice John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth."
I had the opportunity of speaking with Brother
Ian L. and he said that either the young folk must have dozed off or
not taken much notice of what the service was all about. The message
the speaker wished to convey to the congregation was, 'how many
folk misunderstand inspiration' and it is easy to do this, for
varying views are held regarding this subject.
A Belief that every Word is Inspired
There are those who are known as 'Evangelicals' in the main, they believe that every word is inspired. And when you are dealing with the great prophecies of the Bible it certainly looks that way.
Just to demonstrate what I mean let us look At Daniel chapter 2 starting with verse 38, “Thou art the head of gold. 39. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron ..... 41. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes part of potters clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 43. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
You will notice how important every word is in describing the prophecy and in explaining it. You see, prophecy is a message from GOD. The power of prophecy is, God is behind the words.
To illustrate this I would invite you to turn to Isaiah 44:28. "That saith of Cyrus. He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."
The remarkable thing about this prophecy is the fact that it was made more than 100 years before Cyrus came on the scene of human history.
The errors that you will find are not in
prophecy but in human reporting.
Quite a number of Bible students are
stressing that it is thought inspiration rather than word
inspiration. We are told in
2 Peter 1:21 (latter half),
“... but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the
Bible safe from Attack
Today I thought it would be well worthwhile to take a closer look at the Bible. I doubt that any other book has been attacked, derided, and exploded more times than the Bible.
Every little while somebody blows up the Bible. But when it comes down it always lands on its feet. For a book that has been exploded so many times it is remarkable how it always makes a comeback. If it were possible to gather all the books written against it; it has been said you could build a pyramid as high as a modern skyscraper. However the fact is that this Book has come into the world to stay.
One hundred years ago you might have found it in 20 to 30
translations but today well over 1,000 different
translations can be found in most places of this globe.
Bible has Influence
Everyone knows that wherever this Book has influence, it makes things safe. In the Pacific, head hunters and cannibals have been changed into respected members of society. Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels is an illustration of this.
I assure you that countries where the Bible is read and honoured,
they are good countries to live in. And countries where it is not
read and obeyed are good countries to stay away from.
The Bible tells it as it Happened
From time to time there are folk who say that there are things in the Bible that are not very pleasant such as Noah's drunkenness, or Abraham's deceptions or Lot's disgrace, Jacob’s cheating or Peter’s lying and cursing.
Now just say for instance that the Bible had been written by some learned doctor and then revised by a committee of leading theologians, we would never have heard about all these things. What you would have had would be a biography of men whose characters were patterns of piety and propriety instead of poor sinners as they really were.
Sometimes a man writes his own diary and he leaves out all the mean
tricks he ever did, and puts in all the good acts he can think of.
But when the Almighty writes a man's life He tells the Truth about
The Bible does what it Claims
Despite these so called inaccuracies that are made so much of, without question God’s Word is able to do exactly what it claims.
Notice what it says in Isaiah 46:9,10, ”Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
With uncanny accuracy JESUS pictures the events that would transpire from His day to His coming in Glory.
Now I realize that in the limited time available to me today I cannot do any more than just touch on this subject of Inspiration. It is a subject that would take a long time to exhaust. Of course I am well aware of the claims of other books to inspiration such as the book of MORMON or the KORAN, the sacred books of the HINDU'S the CHINESE.In order to analyze a book you need to look at the author and there is a vast difference between the authors of these other books and the One who is the real author of the Bible.
I have never heard or read of any of these other men providing a feast or 5,000 hungry people with only five loaves of bread and two fishes. Neither have I heard of any of these other men who was able to walk upon the water or to calm a raging sea in a matter of moments, to cure blind people, to heal leprosy or to raise the dead from the grave. Jesus time after time made the claim that He was no ordinary person.
Notice John 16:28, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."
Over the centuries, many, many times He has been attacked as a person, as a historical character, and yet all the challenges have melted away.
If you take a close look at the Bible there is something that really
stands out, and that is quality of the men who have contributed to
our understanding of GOD and His plan of salvation.
Moses a Bible Author
Seeing that Moses was responsible for the first five Books of the Bible we ought to spend a little time to notice what kind of contribution he gives us in the way of inspiration.
It has been claimed that MOSES made many mistakes and of course that is understandable for he was just a mortal man such as you and I. And yet MOSES goes down in history as one of the greatest characters of all time.
Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander and Napoleon were great military leaders but they were not in the class of Moses; for he liberated a whole nation of slaves without an army, or navy or financial backing of the great banking firms. Wars have been won and lost because of the money that has either been advanced or withheld by the financiers.
Not only did Moses liberate a whole nation of slaves but he organized this horde of slaves into the world's first republic, the United States of Israel with local self government, compulsory education and courts of appeal.
Did you know that Moses made every Israelite a landowner; debts were
cancelled after six years, protection provided for the poor and so
on. You could go on and on.
What was the Source of Moses' Greatness?
I ask you where did Moses gain all this knowledge? Where did the source of his greatness come from.
The answer is found in Exodus 33:11, ''The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."
It was through the close contact he had with GOD.
As I have already mentioned the first five Books of the Bible are the Books of Moses. You take those five Books away from the Bible and there would be a great deal we would not understand about GOD and the history of this world.
Genesis 1:1 says, "ln the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
As far as I know this is the only declaration of how this World came
into existence. Of course there are many who are ready to dispute
this statement. They say that there is no GOD, that the world made
itself and was never created.
Who Made the Earth?
In that case how did the world come into being? Obviously not by chance for it bears the mark of creative power. Man did not just happen, he is far too complex a creature to just be an accident. This is obvious when you notice the intellectual attainments of man. In many and varied fields of endeavour such as engineering draughtsmanship, space technology and so on.
But what about this world of ours? Who did make this world?
Some years ago I stood at the top of the Empire State building in New York. If I remember correctly it has one hundred and ten stories. Most folk do not realize that this building says like a tree in the wind and yet it is made of concrete and steel. I am not sure when it was first made but it could be at least 50 years old and more.
There were folk who said that if something hit it, it would fall down. Well during the last war an aeroplane ran into it about two thirds up. It was a big plane and it made a hole alright but the building did not fall and was repaired.
Somebody designed that building and they did it so well that after
50 years of swaying at the top it is still there without cracking or
snapping off. The designer knew just how much stress and strain it
would be able to stand and possibly how long it would last.
Somebody Designed Earth
Somebody designed this earth of ours and knew exactly how much strain and stress it could take. Unlike the Empire State Building which will not last for ever, this earth will continue for eternity
Revelation 21:1 says, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
It is only because the Bible tells us these things that we can know what lies in store for man.
I noticed something in our garden that made me wonder. Through those long winter months the trees were bare and leafless. Suddenly they began to put forth leaves then the fruit began to form. Soon we were able to eat those luscious million dollar peaches. Did that happen by chance? This has been going on for centuries as long as time can be traced.
Talking about time, if you were to go out on a clear starry night and stand under the open sky and fix your gaze upon a certain star, directly above you, then in a years time go to the same spot, you will find the star in the same place. How did that come about? How is it that the movement of the stars is so accurate? It is because GOD has them under His control.
Listen to this, Genesis 1:14 says, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years."
This makes it quite clear that the heavenly bodies are time setters.
While we are on the subject of heavenly bodies it is worth noting
that our SUN travels at 12.5 miles a second. But a giant STAR called
Arcturus travels at 257 miles per second or almost 1,000,000 miles
per hour. That is something that really staggers the imagination.
Bible must be accepted by Faith
The Bible must be accepted by faith. There is no question that the Bible presents many convincing proofs that it is an inspired Book. But in God’s wisdom He has not made it a clear cut case. He has left a loophole here and a loophole there. Just something to stumble over to test our faith.
Yes it is through faith that we believe that GOD made the worlds. It
is through faith that we believe that the BIBLE is God’s inspired
Book. And GOD has given us a lot to back up that faith.
Bible gives Consolation
However there is another very important aspect we have not touched on and that is the comfort and consolation it brings at a time of tragedy. There isn’t any other book that can do that.
The other day I received a letter from a lady who had her 15 year old son killed in a dreadful motor accident. I would like to share with you just a few lines of what she has written.
"We miss him terribly but I know that I will hold my boy in my arms again and even though the hurt is almost too much at times, that knowledge makes it bearable. I have a peace with God that I have never had before and that does wonders. Jesus really is the friend and comfort He says He will be."
The Bible has taken on a new meaning as I read the promises there
and realize they are for me. I ask you, where would you find such
comfort in times of personal distress. Where would you find
direction as to which way this world of ours is heading. But more
important to each individual, where are we heading. Only the Bible
can give us the right direction, for it tells us that GOD has a
special place prepared for us, that we have an eternity to enjoy it.
Thank God for the Bible. This world would be a dark place without