The True Scriptures
John E. Todd, Chesterfield, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
'Thy word is truth', John 17. 17.
What divine credentials does the book known as the Holy Bible have, to make it stand out among all the false scriptures as the true word of God? To prove its authenticity as the word of God the Bible must have upon it divine seals which are impossible for man to imitate. Logically these divine seals will be absent from false scriptures.
1 The Divine Seal of Harmony
Unlike the false scriptures we have reviewed in previous articles the Bible was not written by one person at one time. It was written by numerous men over a span of 1,500 years, which is a very long period of time. The Bible is a library of 66 books written in more than one language by men whose social standing ranged from farm labourers to kings. Not only did its authors speak different languages but were from different civilizations. And yet the 66 books are like 66 chapters in one book recording the history of God's unfolding purpose for mankind. It is utterly impossible that man could supervise this age-spanning harmony to tell one progressive story.
The persons around whom the Old Testament story centres, are those who form the family tree of the Messiah; read Matthew 1. 1-17. This is the work of God, for only He knows the end from the beginning.
2 The Divine Seal of History
The unfolding of the divine purpose in the Bible is not a progressive development of philosophical ideas, it is a series of historical events. The Bible is a history book, not a philosophical treatise. The history of God's people Israel, the incarnation of the Son of God and the establishment of the church are historical events, God's intervention in human history. It all happened. If it had not happened, there would be nothing to write about. The Bible would not exist. The divine revelation, recorded in the Bible is embedded in history. It is not, as with all the false scriptures, just one person writing.
This biblical history is verified by archeology and secular history.
3 The Divine Seal of Prophecy
Man cannot predict the future. Man can project past and present trends into the future and thus plan ahead. But so many circumstances are unknown and uncontrollable that everyone knows that even short range forecasts can be unreliable. The weather forecasts are an example of this. But the events of salvation history were foreshadowed in scripture centuries before they came to pass. The coming of the Saviour into the world being the outstanding example of this. Man cannot do this, only God can, for with God there are no unknown or uncontrollable circumstances. He can use all events to fulfil His purposes, Acts 2. 23. Prophecy is simply divine planning followed by its irresistible execution.
4 The Divine Seal of a Personal Revelation
The eternal Creator, unknowable by human searching, has made Himself known in human terms, the only terms we human beings can really understand. 'No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him', John 1. 18. The incarnation of the Son of God is the central historical event of the Bible and is not even contemplated in the false scriptures. Indeed, that God was manifest as a human being is denied, in various ways, by them all. The Bible records the evidence of eyewitnesses of the signs (miracles) of the incarnation. When the Creator met the blind, He gave them sight; when He met the sick, He healed them; when He met the dead, He raised them to life. Confronted by the storm, He stilled it; meeting the hungry, He fed them with five loaves and two fishes; hearing of the thirsty, He turned water into wine. Amidst sorrow, He wept; among children, He blessed them; surrounded by enemies, He cursed not. Then out of free grace He bore the sin of the world and rose again as the Conqueror of death itself.
It is in the Bible alone, in the person of Christ alone, that God draws near to be intimately known by faith.
5 The Divine Seal of Truth
The Bible has another dimension, a practical dimension. It claims to direct men and women into an experience of peace with God by faith in the redeeming work of God's Son. The Bible offers to all, the directions, the motive and the power to live God-pleasing lives. The directions are in its teaching, the motive of love and gratitude for the salvation revealed in its pages and the power in the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. It places before believers who receive these blessings the hope of eternal glory. Are these claims true? Can people enjoy peace, guidance, love, power and hope in their daily lives in spite of contrary circumstances? Down 2,000 years millions of Christians have answered, 'Yes'. The claims of the Bible have been fulfilled in the arena of daily living. Its claims are true.
The Holy Bible maintains its claim to be the very words of God in this fivefold manner, whereas all the false scriptures fail on all five counts.
AUTHOR PROFILE: John has been constributing articles to assembly magazines since 1986. together with his wife he began work amongst children that led to establishment of the assembly. Now he serves the assembly as an elder and in the ministry of God's word.