Enduring Church of God

Proof of the Bible

Is the Bible truly the inspired Word of God?
Charles E. Bryce

The Bible continues to be the best seller of all books, but is it inspired of God? How can you know that it is truly the Word of the Creator? “The Holy Bible” is what it is called. How can you know that it is truly the Holy Bible?

Some claim it is nothing more than a collection of the writings of men, done over centuries of time. It’s just the writings of men. Others view it as a nice, comforting book of poems, platitudes, allegories, and metaphors that make you feel good but cannot be taken literally.

I’ve even heard people say, “Don’t take the Bible too seriously or you’ll just get confused and all mixed up.” Others have even said this, “You take the Bible too seriously and you’ll go crazy, I’ve seen people do it.“

Well, what’s the truth about this Book called the Holy Bible? What are the facts? Is it real? Can we prove it to be true one way or another?

Today I want to go through some evidence and clear proof that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Go get your Bible and follow along if you would and let’s go through some scriptures, first of all.

If you have your Bible, let’s turn over here to 2 Timothy 3:15. Notice what it says here about God’s Word, right in the Bible.

It says here in 2 Timothy 3:15. Paul is talking to Timothy here and he said:

15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now, please understand that when Timothy was a child, the only Holy Scriptures he had was the Old Testament. The Old Testament was the only scriptures that had been written and canonized and saved at that time. Paul was complimenting him and he told him that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures and what do those Holy Scriptures do? They’re able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now notice verse 16. What about the Old Testament? What about the New Testament? It says here in verse 16.

16 All scripture

See that word?

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly —

—equipped or

17 — furnished unto all good works.

So there’s the verse that should clarify the question somewhat.

Now let’s go over here to 2 Peter 1:20, and there’s more. It says here in 2 Peter 1:20.

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

First of all, it says, we should not interpret the Bible. The Bible actually interprets itself. And the next thing you notice is, the scriptures came from holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In other words, God inspired these men to write down these words.

Let’s go over here now to Isaiah 28:9 regarding the Bible interpreting itself and regarding taking the Bible as a whole and seeing how it blends together, how well it is intertwined.

Notice Isaiah 28:9 and let’s see what He says here.

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

So we have to take the Bible as a whole. And we find a little bit of understanding here and we find some more understanding over there. And then we put that with the scripture over here. And then it all opens up and the Bible interprets itself. It’s like a coded book and you have to go in and find the code by finding the scriptures that will open it up. And then your understanding of the Bible begins to be clear. But what do you do in the process?

You begin to prove that God inspired this whole book from Genesis to Revelation. He inspired the whole thing. It is inspired of God through His Holy Spirit. And through His Holy Spirit, He gave these words to holy men who are yielded to Him to record and to preserve and to canonize for us today, all 66 of these books.

What about the Word of God? How long will it continue? How long has it continued?

Let’s go back over here to 1 Peter 1:25. Is He able to preserve it? Is He able to keep it together? We know that basically speaking the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek. We know that many different books have been written. Why did He settle on these books in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, making up 66 books altogether?

Because God knew what He wanted us to have in terms of His mind in print. And so He inspired and preserved and saw to it that it all was kept together to our day so we would have His Holy Book. He is the One who oversaw the process. Of course He did it through people, of course He did it through circumstances. But He’ s the One who oversaw the whole process.

And notice what it says here in 1 Peter 1:25.

25 But the word of the Eternal endures forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The Word of the Eternal endures forever. Of course God is able to see to it that His Word is printed and preserved and published and put out to the world and for the world and anyone who wants to obtain it. There may be some exceptions where no one can obtain it and we have to give them a Bible or whatever. But anyone who seriously wants to obtain a copy of the Bible in today’s society should be able to do that, and many, many people do.

But on the other hand, what do they do with it? And do they actually believe that it is literally God’s Word? Or is it just something you read and it makes you feel better, once you have read it? No, i’s more than that.

Let’s turn over here to another verse, over here in John 10:35 and read the words of Jesus Christ regarding the scriptures.

John 10:35. Are there any contradictions? Now there are apparent contradictions. But once you put all the facts together, then you will see that there are no contradictions. You have to get it in context. You have to take the clear scriptures and put those with the difficult or unclear scripture and then they will clear up the unclear Scripture. That’s how we can understand the Bible better. But that also shows it has continuity. There are themes and threads of thought that run throughout the Bible.

A large part of the New Testament is simply repeating parts of the Old Testament and God inspired the whole thing.

Look what it says here in John 10:35

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, —

Notice here, this verse and this sentence.

35 — and the scripture cannot be broken;

The scripture cannot be broken! It is together. If it looks like it is broken or contradictory, it’s just a matter of getting all the facts together and understanding the translation, maybe understanding the Greek word, the Hebrew word, putting all that together and you will see that then it will be clear. Or it will be a matter we don’t quite understand that yet. But you will never find a contradiction anywhere in the Bible, when you get all the facts together.

Okay now, what about that? When you look at these verses, and of course this is internal proof and there are many other verses we could go to. But when you look at these verses, you can see that God inspired this Book. That these are the words of the Eternal. That the Old and New Testament is to be taken together. And that there are no contradictions and that there are no interpretations except the Bible interprets itself. And then God gives us the understanding of what He wants us to understand in His Book. Yes, that’s internal proof.

Now let’s move on to external proof, outside the Bible. Are there any ways that we can take the facts and knowledge that is not contained inside the Bible and prove the veracity of this Holy Book?

One of the most important ways you can do that and there are several ways that it can be done, but one of the most important ways you can do that is through fulfilled prophecy.

One-third of the Bible is prophecy and when you take a look at the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled and the prophecies that have been fulfilled, and you put together that information with history and with clear and dependable scholarly work on the subject, you can begin realizing, you know what, this Book has to be inspired. No human being can foretell what is going to happen hundreds and even thousand years into the future and then have it come to pass exactly the way he said.

I know you hear about these astrologers and you hear about this fortune tellers and palm readers and glass ball gazers and all that kind of thing, which is as far as I am concerned, is a bunch of junk.

We’re talking about Someone who in the pages of this Book says, such and such is going to take place. And down through history at the appointed time, it takes place exactly the way He said. No other book, no other book can do that. But this Book does it.

How does it do it? Because the One who inspired it knew what was going to take place way down into the future, and when it does happen the way He said it would happen, that proves the veracity and the truth and the inspiration and the infallibility of this book we call the Bible.

I want to just show you a couple of examples real quickly. Let’s turn over here to Isaiah 44. And there are many examples we could go to, but for lack of time, we’ll just go to a couple or three.

Let’s go over here to Isaiah 44.

This is the case of Cyrus, and you can read about this in Bible handbooks. You can read about it in commentaries, in various history books, Herodius, Josephus, and others. This happened and it can be proven to have happened. And it happened exactly the way the Bible said it would take place. But the way it said it would take place was given about 150 to 200 years before it actually took place.

Notice here in Isaiah 44:27, speaking of Cyrus. It says, breaking into a thought.

27 That says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:

28 That says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

Continuing on in Isaiah 45:1.

1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2 And I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Eternal, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel.

4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called you by your name: I have surnamed you, though you have not known me.

Now let me just quickly read here a couple of excerpts, one from Halley’s handbook, which is a good little handbook to have, here on page 278 under the heading Cyrus. He says:

These two chapters are a forecast of Israel’s return from the captivity under Cyrus, with special emphasis on God’s unique power to PREDICT the future. Cyrus, King of Persia, reigned 538–529 B.C. He permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem and issued a decree authorizing the re–building of the temple… Isaiah prophesied 745–695 B.C., over 150 years before the days of Cyrus. Yet he calls him by name and predicts that he would re–build the temple, which in Isaiah’s day had not yet fallen.

And that took place. That actually took place 150 years later—exactly the way the Bible said. And He even called Cyrus by his name, before he was even born, God did. Then when he was born, he had that name given to him. And he did what God said he would do.

Now I want to read here in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s commentary a little more detail as to how that happened — what we read there in Isaiah 44 and 45.

Remember we read in Isaiah 44:27

27 That says to the deep, Be dry. —and I will dry up your rivers.

In recalling this event, here’s what Jamieson, Fausset, Brown says:

[It’s] referring to the Euphrates, which was turned into a different channel, close to Babylon, by Cyrus, who thereby took the city. “The deep“ is applied to Euphrates, as “sea“ is… “Rivers“ refers to the artificial canals from the Euphrates, made to irrigate the country. When it was turned off into a different bed—a lake 40 miles square—which was originally formed to receive the superfluous water in an inundation, the canals became dry.“

Alright, that answers and explains that prophecy being fulfilled.

And now we will go over here, and this is all in the commentary under Isaiah Chapter 44 and 45. Here’s what it says about the two leaved gates that would be opened. We read that in Isaiah 45.

To open before him the two leaved–gates. In the revelry in Babylon on the night of its capture, —

That took place when Belteshazzar saw the writing on the wall “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.“ And I believe you will find that in Daniel 5. And then it goes on to say that he died that very night. Well, all of this took place at that time.

In the revelry in Babylon on the night of its capture, the inner gates leading from the streets to the river were left open, for there were walls along each side of the Euphrates with gates, which, had they been kept shut, would have hemmed the invading hosts in the bed of the river where the Babylonians could have easily destroyed them. Also, the gates of the palace were left open, so that there was access to every part of the city: and such was its extent that they who lived in the extremities were taken prisoners before the alarm reached the center of the palace.

Once again, more details in recording this event in history that was prophesied to take place 150 years before it actually took place. And then it took place in great detail, exactly the way God inspired Isaiah to say it would, way before the temple was built and way before Babylon fell. That has to prove that the Bible is inspired.

Now, what about the New Testament? Let’s go over here to Matthew 24. Once again, there are many places we could go, but let’s just go here to Matthew 24 and see what Jesus Christ said regarding a prophecy. It says here in Matthew 24:3

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?

That’s pretty precise, that’s pretty specific isn’t it?

3 — Tell us what should be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in different places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Now, I ask you when you read that and then when you look at what is happening in our society today and has been happening in the world for the last several decades, doesn’t that show fulfillment of that prophecy? He said this is what’s going to be happening in the end time. And then when you take a look at what has been happening on the world scene for the last several decades, you see everything He mentions here taking place and getting worse, and He says that’s only the beginning of sorrows.

He goes on to talk about more things that are coming. Let’s skip down here to verse 22.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: —

Moffatt renders it saved alive.

22 — but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

So Jesus Christ himself said toward the end of time, there would come a situation where it would get so bad, and the means and the weapons and the wherewithal that would be available that men could use to completely destroy all life from off this planet.

When you study history, there has never been a time when mankind could completely and totally obliterate all life from off this planet, until we entered the nuclear age. Now we have nuclear weapons and we have biological weapons and we have all kinds of horrendous weapons of mass destruction. And they are proliferating and they are in danger of falling into the hands of terrorists.

We are living in a situation and a very dangerous tenuous world today where if something took place that triggered an all out nuclear assault and then an all out nuclear retaliation and then an all out nuclear retaliation again, and these exchanges begin to take place and they got bigger and bigger and worse and worse, the weapons are now available to destroy all life from off this planet.

That was never the case in past history. But it is now the case as we live in the end time. Now, this prophecy was given about 2,000 years ago. Who could have known that 2,000 years later we would be in the condition we are in now? Who could have known that 2,000 years later mankind would have within his grasp the ability to wipe out all life from off this planet? Nobody could have known that.

There were people who wrote books that said we would have utopia now. There were people who wrote books that said things will be growing great now.

But Jesus Christ said, no, things are going to be very dangerous to the point to where there would be total destruction if He did not come and cut the days short and prevent that from happening. Only He could have known that. Only He could have looked down in time 2,000 years and specifically laid out these events that you read about here in Matthew 24.

So we know that He inspired this Book, and we know He inspired the New Testament as well as the Old Testament.

Let’s turn over here now one more scripture to 2 Timothy 3.

We read our newspapers, we watch the news, and we love our country. But we see troubling time we are living in. We’re faced with a mounting problem in our society. Sometimes it borders on anarchy, not only here but in other places in the world. Now, some communities are peaceful and some cities are relatively nice. But I think anybody who is honest knows that you can go to places where you take your life in your own hands when you go to certain parts of cities and certain locations in our society today. And here’s what you find.

This is almost like reading a newspaper when you read 2 Timothy 3:1. It says:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Paul wrote this to Timothy about 1900 or 2000 years ago. How did Paul know that in the last days perilous times would come? Why wouldn’t he say, well, man will develop an incredible society where there’ll be peace and prosperity everywhere? Why would he say this? Well, because God inspired it and because God looked down through history and knew that’s the way it would be. And He had it put in this Book. And that means this Book is inspired.

Perilous times shall come in the last days and here’s the description, verse 2.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents —

We know that’s a huge problem.

2 —unthankful, unholy

We know that’s a huge problem today in our society.

3 Without natural affection,—

You see that in movies, you see that on television, you see that in sports, you see that in various facets of life today.

Loving and caring and looking after and being polite and being there for one ano ther — it’s getting to be a very rare individual who does that and feels that way.

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, —

You can’t shake hands and agree and carry through on the plan. You have to have lawyers and papers and accountants, and sometimes be taken to court in order to get done what was promise, etc. We know that.

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

We could go on, but there are some examples of prophecies that have been given many, many years ago and in some cases thousands of years ago and they’ve come to past exactly the way the Bible said they would. That proves the veracity of this Book.

Another point we will go through very quickly regarding the inspiration of the Bible. You know what you will find? If you do what it says in here, it works. You do what it says in here, you will get the results that it promises. Here’s a couple of examples of that in dealing with other people.

Let’s go over here to Proverbs 15:1.

I’m not talking about some lunatic here, some mentally deranged individual that is out of control. We’re talking about reasonable people that you have dealings with and sometimes it can get a little heated and a little hot.

Let me tell you something, this works right here, Proverbs 15:1.

1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

So somebody gets really mad and begins to really let fly. If you get mad and you let you fly back, it’s only going to get worse. But this verse tells you, if you will answer that with a calm, soft answer, you’ll begin to diffuse the situation. You know why? Because what the Bible says really works.

Here’s the manual for life. God created human beings and then He created the manual for human beings to live by. And it really works. He inspired it.

A soft answer will turn away wrath. He’s not saying become a victim here. But He is saying that when you are dealing with reasonable people, there are ways to diffuse the situation or heat up the situation. And the Bible says, a soft answer will calm it down.

Let’s go over here to Matthew 7, a very well known principle. Jesus Christ said this. Matthew 7:12. It says here regarding getting along on the job or getting along in the community or getting along in the family — whatever. Jesus Christ said right here in Matthew 7:12.

12 Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

That works. That works. Don’t do unto others as they do unto you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Where did that principle come from? It came from Jesus Christ. It came from His Word. You put it to practice and you’ll see it works.

You can read certain things that you should do from various books. And sometimes when you do them they work and sometimes they don’t. But when you do what is in this Book, it works every time if you do it in the right way and the right attitude. You’ll get the results it says. So therefore, when you live what the Bible says, you’ll be blessed the way it says you will. When you don’t live the way it says you should, you’ll be punished for doing that.

Once again, this Book is dynamic. This Book is real. This Book is true. This Book is inspired. These words in here get the results they say they will get. That proves that the Bible is inspired.

Well, we could go on but we will do that at another time. I’ll just move on to one other point and then we’ll close.

The golden rule works. The Bible itself covers every facet of life. It’s the manual for happy living. It is reliable. You can depend on it.

Let’s turn to the book of Joshua. I just want to show you one more example regarding the veracity of the Bible. It’s accurate historically too.

Bible archeology and those who are in that field depend on the Bible for finding cities that are just mounds of dirt or on flat ground in the Middle East and other places that the Bible talks about. And they can pinpoint one city and then follow the Bible measurements in the right direction and they’ll come to this mound of dirt and start digging down, and lo and behold, there’s the city that the Bible said would be there because it’s accurate and it’s historically dependable.

Now, an example of this is found over in Joshua 6:20. And of course, this right here has been contested. It says that the walls fell down when the Israelites marched around Jericho and blew the trumpets. And the people go to Jericho and they say, “Well, the walls didn’t fall down flat.“ So the Bible is not accurate.

It says here in Joshua 6:20.

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Well, I went over to Jericho and I investigated it. And I have read about this. And what you find is that there was more than one time when there was a city called Jericho. So you have to keep on digging down through the strata and through the layers until you get to the original Jericho that was in existence when the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and encircled it. When you do that and you begin to investigate what has been excavated, you’ll see that indeed the walls fell down flat and there was clear evidence that there was fire because it says in verse 24.

Joshua 6:24

24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: —

And you see the evidence there.

Now, right over here in Halley’s handbook, once again, he talks about this and there are many authorities who have gone there and archeologists who have gone there and who have investigated, and yes, they find exactly what the Bible says.

It says here on page 154,

Dr. John Garstang, Director of the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestinian government. He went there, he excavated the ruins and sure enough, he found that the Bible is correct. He found that the wall did actually fall down flat. And in another place, he says there actually was a fire.

So there you go. There’s another example of the accuracy and of the reliability of God’s Word even historically. But we’re going to have to close but I do want to go to one final scripture and we’ll come back to this topic on other programs.

Let’s turn to John 17:17 regarding this Book, this inspired Word of God. Look what it says here. Jesus Christ in His prayer to the Father before He was crucified. Look what He said here in John 17:17.

17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.

That’s right. The Bible is the foundation of knowledge. It is the truth. You can depend on it. It is inspired of God.

This is Charles Bryce with the Enduring Church of God.