How do we know the Bible is God’s word and not man’s?

Posted on February 16, 2013 · Posted in Apologetics, Bible

One of our readers asks an important question regarding a recent post. This question deserves a separate post to answer it. Perhaps others of you have asked the same question or have had it asked of you by friends, family members or others. Here is the question David asked:

 

“I wonder how words from a man turn into the word of god. Still have a very difficult time grasping this concept.”

 

David thanks for asking this question.

 

To begin with your first sentence, you ask how the word of man can turn into the word of God. If this was what really happened, man’s words turning into God’s words, then it would make no sense to rely on the Bible at all. If God were dependent upon man to provide the right things to say, this would make God in need of man and not God. So your premise is only partially complete. 

 

What Scripture teaches is that God’s Spirit breathed out, inspired, the writers of Bible with the words and message he wanted them to record. Then these writers accurately wrote these words down in their own voice. Then, through the direction of this same Spirit, these written words were collected into the Bible we now have. 

 

So instead of man’s words turning into God’s words, the sequence is like this:

 

1. God gave man his words through the direction, inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2. Man then expressed these words accurately, in his own voice, under the supervision of the Holy Spirit.  

3.The Holy Spirit oversaw the collection of these inspired writings so that they became the Bible we have now.

 

This, in short form, is what the Bible teaches about how it was inspired, written, and complied. However, this makes no sense if you don’t believe the Bible is true and is the word of God. Faith is essential to be able to trust what the Bible says about life, reality, and the way it was written. Thus, it appears that there is logic problem here: you have to believe the Bible is trustworthy before you can believe what it says about itself. But, not really.

 

The answer is that we have to begin at the right place to start talking about the Bible and God. The Bible says we must begin with the reality that our hearts, our inner being, are deceptive and untrustworthy. If this is true then simply saying biblical teaching is illogical and doesn’t make sense is also a statement without merit. 

 

David, here is a way for you to check your ability to evaluate the truthfulness of Scripture. Ask yourself this question. How reliable are your own thoughts and assessments of yourself and your past actions? How are you dealing with the things that you think you have done wrong in your life? These are questions that only you, the person you look at in the mirror, can answer. 

 

These are the ultimate, most important issues, that the Bible addresses. Before you discard the trustworthiness of Scripture, you need a trustworthy source to evaluate yourself. The Bible is the one place that teaches you can’t make the messes of life better by your own efforts and performance. You can’t make things right simply because you want to. Only trusting Jesus Christ can do that. Only then, can you know if the Bible is the word of God. Only then can you know if the words of Scripture are God’s words. 

 

I hope this helps. Let me know if it doesn’t. Thanks again for your comment!

 

 

 

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.