Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bible is in a class by itself

2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Why is the Bible so special and unique?
Over the past few days we have been exploring the exclusivity of the God of the Bible, noting that there is only one way to Him, since He is by nature the God of truth.  Some may object and ask why such statements can be made, since the Bible would of course argue for the exclusvity of Christianity over against other religions.  Is the Bible unique in the the world of all other religious books?  Lets find out three reasons why the Bible is in a class by itself - and thus is the Word of God.

1. The Bible was composed over a longer period of time, by more authors, than any other religious book
As a piece of literature, both from antiquity to modern times, no other book has had more human authors than the Bible.  40 different authors are responsible for the literary side of its composition.  Furthermore, beginning with Moses in 1446 b.c up to the Apostle John in 96 A.D, from Genesis to Revelation repesents roughly 1500 years!  No book knows of such a length of time to complete! 

Despite the length of its composition, the Bible displays remarkable unity of message and flow of thought.  Its wonderful purpose is the glory of God, its work is the salvation of God and its wonderful focus is the Son of God.  It was written by farmers, poets, kings, prophets, statesmen, theologians, preachers, historians and other types of men.  The diversity of human authorship, and unity of thought, demonstrates the Single Divine Author breathing out each word - God Himself.  The Bible for sure is a book written by men, however it is a book that is Divinely originated from God.  It is not a religious book, it is a revealed book.

Other religious books suffer from lack of unity and diversity
When you survey other "so-called" holy books, you will note that they were written by one person, or unknown people of unknown or questionable character, or within a limited time and circumstance.  Books such as the Quran or the Book of Mormon were each written by one man - displaying a very limited point of view.  Furthermore, both also display lack of unity in their message and composition. 

2. The Bible was composed on three continents and in three different languages
Did you ever think of the Bible, in terms of its literary traits, as being a multi-cultural book?  It is a book of the far east, written in the languages of Hebrew and Aramaic.  Its settings are as diverse as the deserts of Egypt to the courts of the Kings of Persia to the roadways of Israel.  It is a book of European thought, written in the language of the Greeks.  In the Bible, East meets West, and Eternity meets History.  On the cross, the Bible tells us that Jesus' title: "King of the Jews" was written in three languages of Greek, Aramaic and Latin.  God was revealing the fact that from this specific book - the Bible, and from that specific Savior, Jesus Christ, would come forth His command for all men everywhere to repent.

The limitations of other religious books
No other book, claiming to be God's revelation to the world, has these traits.  The Koran, the book of Islam, was composed in the land of Arabia, in Arabic - a book that is time bound and geographically limited.  The Book of Mormon is a North American book, built on the fable of Native Americans being the descendants of the Jewish people.  Outside of North America, the Book of Mormon quickly demonstrates its inability to be a book binding the consciences of all men. The point being that the Bible alone, as a literary work, qualifies to make claims on people everywhere.  By virtue of its Divine authorship, the Bible alone is God's tool for converting the hearts of men and women. (Psalm 19:7; James 1:18)  No other book can do that.  The Bible is the living book of God, whereas all others are dead letters of men.

3. The Bible has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, no other religious book as even one example
The Bible is a book full of predictive prophecy that can be shown to have fulifllment in history and archaelogical records.  By the time Jesus Christ died on the cross and raised from the dead, over 330 prophecies from the Old Testament had been fulfilled.  Fulifilled prophecy is the chief mark of Divine inspiration, since human beings are bound by the present, and can only recount the past.  The ability to accurately and with detail forecast future events can only have one explanation - A Divine One. 

Nostradomas has nothing on the Bible
When you survey the other books of the other religions of the world, you will not find one example of fulfilled predictive prophecy.  Everytime I see shows about Nostradomas, I shake my head, knowing that 60% of what he wrote was wrong on predictions or too vague.  Every so-called event he predicted is read back into after the fact.  According to Deuteronomy 13:13-18 and Isaiah 41:21-23, if a man gets the future right less than 100% and points people in another direction other than the True God of glory, that man is 100% wrong!  If anything, the Bible is a book in a class by itself. Its prophecies were always 100% right and highly specific!  The alone can be called "The Word of God".  It is in a class by itself.    

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