Many people, even Christians, believe that the Bible’s claim of being the inspired Word of God has to be accepted by faith. The Bible claims that this is true and either you believe it or you do not. They are not aware that there is evidence that this is true. And they are certainly not aware that it can actually be proven that this is true.
Yes, the Bible claims to contain the inspired Word of God’s truth in it. If this is really correct and it has the truth of God in it, then when people apply that truth to their lives, it should produce in their lives what it says it will do. There are hundreds of places in the Bible where God makes it clear that if we do what He tells us that it will benefit our life in the way that He says that it will. Therefore, part of the evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God is the tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of people who have applied its truth to their lives down through the ages and had their lives beneficially changed by it like God said would take place. An incalculable number of these people could testify that this is what has happened. I, in fact, am one of those people! Therefore, part of the evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God is that when you apply it to your life, it works! There are also other evidences that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
That the truth in the Bible can wonderfully benefit our life is a great thing and a testimony to the fact that God really does love us. However, there is something besides this that can actually prove that the Bible contains the inspired Word of God. It begins with the fact that there are about 100 different prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament. How many of these prophecies does the New Testament record of Jesus’ life confirm came true? It confirms that all of them came true. These prophecies and their fulfilment can be seen, for example, in the pamphlet 100 Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus by Rose Publishing. There are also many sites on the internet that list the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and their fulfilment by Him in the New Testament.
Now, is it humanly possible to predict 100 details about a person’s life who will live hundreds of years in the future and get them all correct? It has been calculated that the odds of being able to do this are one versus the number of all of the atoms in the universe. In other words, it is completely impossible to have been humanly done. Then how did the people who wrote down all of those prophecies do it? The only answer is that the God of eternity who knows the future told them what to write down just like the Bible declares took place. The Bible states in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” We see here that God’s prophets perceived what to say for Him from His Holy Spirit within them and that this is what then became their “prophecy of Scripture.” This is why all of the prophecies about Jesus that were written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He was born could all be correct and come true. The prophets of God who wrote them were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit within them. And the fact that about 100 different details about Jesus’ life were accurately prophesied hundreds of years before He was born proves that the Bible was written by people who were inspired by God and that, therefore, the Bible contains the inspired Word of God.
But wait a minute. A skeptic of the Bible might say that Jesus did not actually fulfill all of the Old Testament prophecies about Himself. In fact, they could claim that when Jesus did not, that the writers of the Bible were devious and changed the Old Testament to match what Jesus actually did. This way, it made it look like Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies in the Old Testament about Himself, when, in fact, He did not. And the skeptic could add that you can’t prove that this did not happen and that the Old Testament was not changed. Therefore, they could say, the fact that it looks like Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies has no real validity. Is the skeptic correct and we cannot prove that the writers of the Bible did not change the Old Testament record to conveniently match Jesus’ life?
Fortunately, we can answer the skeptic and prove that the writers of the Bible did not change anything in the Old Testament. For providentially, God has insured that a completely different religion than the Christian faith has kept an independent copy of the Old Testament; a completely different religion that does not believe in Jesus as the Messiah, no less as the Son of God; a completely different religion which is the Jewish faith. And if you go to any synagogue and ask for a copy of their holy scriptures, the Tanakh, which has the same contents as the Bible’s Old Testament, and look up all of the prophecies about Jesus in it, you will see that what is in it is identical to what is in the Old Testament of the Bible. You will see that none of the prophecies in the Old Testament were changed by the writers of the Bible. The record of Jesus’ life in the New Testament exactly fulfills every prophecy about Him as it is recorded in the Old Testament. The skeptic’s challenge has been answered and they have been proven to be wrong.
The first skeptic’s challenge has been proven wrong, but a second skeptic could present a second challenge. They could also claim that Jesus did not actually fulfill all of the Old Testament prophecies about Himself. They could then add that since the writers of the New Testament knew that the Jewish faith had their own copy of the Old Testament, that they could not change it to match the facts of Jesus’ life. Instead, the skeptic could say, whenever what Jesus did or said was different from what was recorded in the Old Testament, they did not record that in the New Testament. Instead, they simply wrote what He should have done or said according to what was stated in the Old Testament. This way, they made it look like Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about Himself when He actually did not. Then the skeptic could add that since you cannot prove that this did not happen, your claim that Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies is invalid. Is the skeptic correct and we cannot prove that the record of Jesus’ life as it is recorded in the New Testament is always accurate? Is the skeptic correct so that we cannot prove that the writers of Jesus’ life did not simply write about the prophecies of Him in the Old Testament whenever it was necessary? The skeptic would also add that we were not there to know what Jesus did and said, so how can we know if the record of His life in the New Testament is accurate or not. Is there a way to answer this skeptic?
The answer is yes. During the time when the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ life were being written, the Christian faith had two very powerful opponents who were well established and much stronger than they were. Both the Jewish religion and the Roman Empire were certain that the Christians were wrong and rejected and persecuted them. And they knew that if they could prove that the Christians’ belief in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God was based on lies instead of the truth, that they could undermine the basis of their faith and deal them a death blow. Both the leaders of the Jewish faith and the officers of the Roman Empire were present where Jesus carried out His ministry and knew what He had said and done. If the Christians’ accounts of Jesus’ life in the New Testament were not accurate, the Jewish leaders and the Roman officials would surely have made this known and denounced the Christians’ deceitful writings about His life. They may even have produced their own accurate accounts of Jesus’ life in order to show that the Christians’ accounts were inaccurate. So what does the record of history show? Are there any Jewish or Roman records stating that the accounts of Jesus’ life as they are given in the New Testament are inaccurate? Is there any outrage expressed at a fraud that was perpetrated by the Christians? Is there any account of Jesus’ life by a Jewish or Roman authority of that time who wanted to set the record straight? The answer is no, no, and no. The silence of history is deafening! The lack of any historical objection by the two most powerful opponents of Christianity at that time to the accuracy of Jesus’ life as it was recorded in the New Testament testifies to its accuracy and truthfulness. Therefore, the skeptic’s challenge that the New Testament writers did not accurately record Jesus’ life has been answered. It has been shown that they did accurately record Jesus’ life and did not alter their account in order to make it match the prophecies in the Old Testament about Him.
In conclusion it has been shown that:
- There are about 100 different prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus and the New Testament record of His life shows that He fulfilled every one of those prophecies.
- It was humanly impossible to produce the approximately 100 different Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and have all of them come true. The only way that the writers of the prophecies could have produced them is if the eternal God who knows the future told them what to write down. This shows then, that the writers must have been inspired by God in what they wrote.
- The approximately 100 different prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus were not changed by the Christian writers of Jesus’ life in order to match His life.
- The record of Jesus’ life in the New Testament, were He fulfills all of the 100 different Old Testament prophecies, is accurate and true.
- Therefore, since Jesus actually fulfilled all of the approximately 100 different Old Testament prophecies that were written by people who were inspired by God means that the Bible contains the inspired Word of God.
So, yes, it can be proven that the Bible contains the inspired Word of God. And my hope is that this truth about the Bible will strengthen your faith in it as being God’s Word that contains His truth, and that it will encourage you to use it in your worship services to the benefit of your people.