How do we know the Bible is God’s word, and what do we base our assumption on that the Bible is God’s only message to man. Numerous other religions have existed throughout history from various cultures, and many persist today. What gives us faith in the authenticity of the Bible as God’s true message to mankind?
A Reflection of Whom?
In many other religions, the gods of those faiths are reflections of man. Whether Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, or others, these gods contain human flaws. They engage in immoral behavior, in unsavory attitudes, in conspiracies, in murders, and in lying. You see in these a reflection of mankind in the gods as opposed to a God who wants man to reflect Him.
In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus states that we should love our enemies so we might be more like our God. He states that there is nothing special about returning love for love, but unconditional love is divine. Colossians 3:12-13 seeks us to put on godly qualities, and he cites forgiveness as a way we should emulate god. Also, I Peter 1:13-15 calls on us to be holy as our God is holy. God is unique in that He calls upon us to reflect Him.
As the ancient theologies would spread to further lands, they would absorb those other gods, and their mythology would adapt to new cultures. This is never the case with God. Deuteronomy 4:39 records Moses reminding the people of Israel that there is no God but Jehovah. In Jonah 1:9, Jonah acknowledges his identity as a servant of the one true God, and Nehemiah 9:6 records praise to God as the only God who has created all and is over all. Finally, Acts 14:14-15 has Paul and Barnabas being praised as gods, but these two tell the people to turn from this and worship the living God.
At no point do we see God changing His laws to suit modern sensibilities. He does not absorb the gods of other religions. His faith remains pure and unchanging.
The Challenge of Prophecy
Several times in his book, Isaiah discusses the uselessness of false gods and idols. He describes the labor involved in taking care of such an object. In Isaiah 41:21-23, God rhetorically requests the other gods to make prophecies of what is to come, to demonstrate their power in some observable way. Chapter 44:6-7 of the same book challenges anyone else to create and fulfill prophecy, and chapter 46:9-10 reinforces this theme that God is the only one with complete knowledge of His world.
Unity in Diversity
The Bible was authored by forty different writers over a period spanning at least fifteen hundred years. The message remains the same. They do not reflect the morals and philosophies of their contemporaries. The Bible writers were not interested in seeing which way the wind was blowing. II Samuel 23:1-2 record the last words of king David claiming God’s words filled him and came from his mouth. Jeremiah 1:9 paints a picture of God putting His words into Jeremiah’s mouth, and I Thessalonians 2:13 records Paul saying he wrote as the word of God. New Testament and Old, God moves His writers to reflect Him and His will.
Unlike religions that originate with man, our God is not a reflection of man’s traits. His word does not reflect the philosophies or values of man. He inspired writers to deliver this message to us, to record His will, so we can follow after Him and change our lives to be what He would have us to be.
lesson by Tim Smelser