Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 15, 1966
NUMBER 19, PAGE 5c-7a

Is The Bible Of Divine Or Human Origin?

Thomas F. Shropshire

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." 1 Pet. 1:20,21. This is an affirmation, by a new testament writer, of the inspiration of the scriptures. Let us spend some time in an examination of the term "scripture", to see what the writer was talking about. The term "scripture" or "scriptures", as used in the Bible, had reference to the sacred writings contained in the Bible. When Christ used the term, he had reference to the old testament scriptures because the new testament scriptures had not been written at that time. He spoke of the lack of knowledge of the scriptures on the part of some, as seen in Mt. 22:29. He advised some to search the scriptures and declared that the scriptures testified of him. Jno. 5:39.

But the new testament is also referred to as scripture. "And account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unsteadfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Pet. 3:15,16. Peter, in referring to what had been written by Paul, said that some wrested these things as they did other scriptures. The term "other", as used by Peter, shows that what Paul wrote was scripture. Peter had said that the scriptures were written as "men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." Paul said, "For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ." Gal. 1:11, 12. And again, "But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words."

Peter said that the scriptures did not come by the will of man. The scriptures themselves testify to the truth of this statement. This testimony shows that man could not have written the scriptures of his own will. And furthermore, man would not have written them, even if he could have. The scriptures were written over many centuries and involved many writers. The scriptures contain one principle subject and that subject is God and his dealings with man. The Bible contains one principle intent and that is the redemption of man from sin. Since God is eternal, ("one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day". 2 Pet.3:8) and since man is limited by time, the fact that the harmony of the subject matter and the handling of the intent, by a combination of writers, over centuries of time, it would have been impossible for these men to have written what they wrote without divine guidance.

Man would not have written, as a matter of fiction, the things contained in the Bible. They believed the things that they wrote to be true. Many of them gave their lives because of this belief. Not only this, none of them took credit for originality in their writing. This is completely contrary to human nature. Men have always been the heros of their own compositions. All of the writers of the Bible claimed that the things that they wrote originated with God.

Testimony Of History

In the Bible, Moses referred to the growing of grapes and the making of wine in Egypt. This account has been used as a basis of a claim of historical inaccuracy of the Bible. They said that grapes did not grow in Egypt. But when archaeologists unearthed Egyptian paintings, showing that grapes were grown and that wine was made, the accuracy of the Bible account was vindicated.

The claim has been made that, because the pages of secular history failed to mention some forty-seven kings, mentioned in the Chronicles and Kings of the Bible, these persons never existed. But again, the archaeologists unearthed the names of the kings, including the forty-seven which the skeptics claimed to be fictitious.

Testimony Of Science

Although the Bible is not primarily a book of science, everything it contains in that field is scientifically accurate. The five basic facts of science, time, space, matter, force and action, were recorded in the first chapter of the Bible many centuries before science, as a field in itself, came into existence.

Until the last few centuries, people thought the earth was flat. But many centuries ago, one of the writers of the Bible, spoke of the earth being poised in space. "He stretcheth out the north over the empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." Job 26: 7. This statement not only shows that the earth is not flat, but that the north is an empty space, a fact that astronomers have verified by the use of powerful telescopes.

Centuries ago, Moses laid down rules of sanitation which prevented the spread of disease through contamination by germs. It has been only a comparatively short time that contamination by germs has been a proven fact by scientists.

There are many other things in these fields and others, to which we could call attention, to verify the fact that the Bible is of divine origin, but we believe these will suffice for now.

Let us think now about the point in presenting this evidence to prove that the Bible is of divine origin. If the Bible is of divine origin, that is, if the things contained in the Bible originated with God and men were moved by him to write them; are not those who believe them to be true and factual, obligated in a certain way by that belief, in regard to them? There is a principle in regard to Bible faith which is axiomatic. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rorn.10:17. Since faith comes by hearing God's word, it is evident that our faith must consist in what God's word says. Yet there are many who profess faith in the Bible, who believe things which are contrary to what the Bible says.

Since man is a free moral agent, he is free to believe or disbelieve as he chooses. But, just because man is free to choose to believe or disbelieve, does not mean that he can believe a thing (the Bible) and at the same time believe that which is contradictory to it. These are the things he is obligated to choose between. But because man does not want to accept the obligation imposed upon him to make the choice, he simply evades the obligation by believing what he wants to believe and merely professing a faith in the Bible.

There are multitudes of people in the religious world today, who profess a faith in the Bible, but whose faith is so vague by reason of their evasion of their obligation to choose, that they hardly know what they believe. It is high time for all who profess to believe the Bible, to get down to the serious business of making sure that what they believe is what the Bible says.

-P.O. Box 308 Allen, Texas