Why I Believe the Bible

J. B. Hewitt, Chesterfield

The Holy Scriptures are themselves the permanent and authoritative "form" of God-given revelation. This revelation has been recorded in the original writings by inspiration, both the writers and the writing being inspired, 2 Tim. 3. 16-17; 2 Pet. 1. 21. Consider these ten reasons for confidence in the Bible, in the form of an acrostic on the word "Scriptures".

Spoken by Jehovah, 2 Tim. 3. 16; 2 Pet. 1. 21. A great proportion of the Scriptures are definitely stated to consist of the very words of God. The first chapter of Genesis repeatedly states "God said", Gen. 1. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29. Trace the expression "the Lord said" in Genesis and Exodus. "The Lord spake unto Moses" opens almost every chapter in Leviticus. These and similar words, declarations of the utter­ances of God, stamp the whole book with a divine impress. Dr. W. Evans has stated that in the Pentateuch the list extends to nearly 700. In the historical books their number exceeds 400. "Thus saith the Lord God" and similar phrases occur some 150 times in Isaiah. The "Word of the Lord came unto me saying" and like statements are found almost 350 times in Ezekiel. Such expressions as denoted above occur altogether 3,800 times in the Old Testament so at least three-fifths of the whole of the Old Testament is directly declared to be the Word of God.

Confirmed by the Lord Himself, John 5. 46-47; 7.42; Luke 24. 25-27. The Lord's witness to the historicity of the events and persons recorded in the Old Testament is indisput­able. In Matthew's record He refers to Moses, 8. 4, David, 12. 3-4, Jonah, 12. 40-41, Solomon, 6. 29, Isaiah, 15. 7-9, Daniel 24. 15, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 8. 11, the queen of Sheba, 12. 42, Noah, 24. 37, 38, Abel, 23. 35, Sodom and Gomorrah, 10.15. The Lord's appeal was always to Scripture, "Have ye not read", 19. 4; 22. 31. "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures", 22. 29. Find similar confirmation in Mark, Luke and John. He appealed to the Word of God as the final authority, Matt. 19. 4-5; Mark 7. 9, 13.

Revealed by the Holy Spirit, Acts 1. 16; Heb, 3. 7;

2 Pet. 1. 2i. David said, "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me", 2 Sam. 23. 2. Elsewhere we read, "David himself said by the Holy Ghost", Mark 12. 36; compare Acts 4. 25; 28. 25.

The Lord ascribed the writing of a Psalm to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Mark 12. 36. The prophets were borne along by the Spirit of God, 2 Pet. 1. 21; Heb. 10. 15-17. Throughout the Pentateuch the Holy Spirit was pointing beyond the shadow to the substance, Heb. 9. 8. In the New Testament He continues to speak to the churches, Rev. 3. 6.

Information is Accurate. The words of the Lord are pure words, Psa. 12. 6; 119. 140, and true, Psa. 119. 160, and per­fect, Psa. 19. 7. The Scriptures are an unerring guide, Prov. 6. 23; 2 Pet. 1. 19. The Lord reminds us of the reality of Lot and his wife, Luke 17.29-32, of the manna, John 6. 31,49, 58, the brazen serpent, John 3. 14, of Elijah and Elisha, Luke 4. 25-27. This book is living and powerful, and a critic of thought and will, Heb. 4. 12. God preserved the writers from error, they made no mistake and set forth nothing which might mislead. "All thy commandments are truth", Psa. 119.151-152.

Proved by Experience. The Bible is the only living book, Heb. 4. 12. It is the instrument used for regenerating, Jas. 1. 18; 1 Pet. 1. 23, quickening, Psa. 119. 50, 93, converting, Psa. 19. 7, making wise, 19. 7; 2 Tim. 3. 15, producing faith, John 20. 31; Rom. 10. 17, cleansing the heart and ways, John 15. 3; Eph. 5. 26; Psa. 119. 9. It is sure, Matt. 24. 35, strengthening, 1 Pet. 2. 2, sanctifying, John 17. 17; Eph. 5, 26, satisfying, Psa. 119. 97, and if obeyed will bring success, Josh. 1. 8. It is enduring in substance, 1 Pet. 1. 23, emancipating in its ministry, John 8. 32, and encouraging in its promise, 1 Kings 8. 56.

Teaching is Instructive, Rom. 15. 4. The word of God is profitable both for doctrine and practice, 2 Tim. 3. 16-17, fall and sufficient, Luke 16. 29, 31. The true meaning of the Mosaic Law is found in Matthew 5-7 where its moral content is expounded and expanded, and summed up in the golden rule given in 7. 12; compare 22. 40. It is a storehouse of wisdom and gracious promises, the delight and rejoicing of the heart. Psalm 119 is the classical example of the power and influence of this indispensable book for holy living. Trace the synonyms for the Word of God in it, "statutes" 22 times; "way" 13 times; "testimonies" 23 times; "precepts" 24 times; "com­mandments" 22 times; "law" 25 times; "judgment" 23 times, "righteousness" and kindred terms, 12 times; "word" with two different meanings, one meaning "to reveal", "to bring to light", 19 times, the other meaning "to set in order", "to arrange", 23 times.

Unfolds a Divine Plan, Eph. 1. 8-10; John 20. 31. The Scriptures reveal the processes of redemption; how man fallen, corrupt and condemned can be reconciled, forgiven and restored in Christ.

In the Pentateuch the foundation principles of redemption are revealed; in the historical books the external historical development of redemption in the chosen nation, in the poetical books the internal spiritual development of redemption in individuals; in the prophetical books God's future purposes concerning the Kingdom. The New Testament follows on, dealing with the fulfilment of God's purposes in Christ and in His Church, a heavenly people. Dr. Griffiths Thomas puts it thus: "In the Pentateuch the revelation of God to His People. In the Gospels the revelation of Christ to His Church, and in Acts to Revelation the realization of Christ in His Church".

Reliable in its Prophecies, Luke 24. 25-27; Psalms 22, 40, no. The first general prophecy is found in Genesis 15, which is the seed of the Old Testament Messianic idea. Some other prophecies in Genesis are found in chapters 12. 7; 13.15; 17. 7; 22.18; Compare these with Gal. 3.16,29. There are clear predictions of Christ's birth and birthplace, Isa. 7. 14; Mic. 5. 2; Matt. 1. 21; 2. 6, His flight into Egypt, Hos. 11. 1; Matt. 2. 15, His residence in Galilee, Isa. 9. 1-2, Matt. 4. 14-16. The Calvary Psalms are most impressive and instructive. Psalm 22 gives a detailed version of the whole scene of the crucifixion, at least ten New Testament counter­parts are here. Study Psalm 31. 5, and Luke 23. 46; His condition on Calvary, Psa. 31. 9-18 with 2 Cor. 5. 21. Psalm 8 gives the cry of the suffering Saviour, v. 11 with Luke 23. 49. Note in this Psalm verses 3, 5,7 r.v., 10. Psalm 40 is an utterance of Christ, compare vv. 6-8 with Heb. 10. 5-7, and His passion is depicted in verses 12-17. Psalm 41. 9 is referred >to in John 13. 18. Psalm 69 vividly portrays the Saviour, vv. 4, 9, 2ij and the New Testament fulfilment should be searched out. Psalm 88 predicts His cry of despair, vv. 1-6, the approach of death and the wrath of God, vv. 7, 16, 17, and His anguish vv. 14, 15. As we read these accounts our hearts bow in adoring worship.

Exposes Man's Failure and Sin. The ruin of humanity from Genesis 3 onwards is a dark depressing picture, see Gen. 6 and 7; Psa. 14; Isa. 53. 3, 6; Rom. 3. 9-20; 5. 6-7; Col. 1. 21. Man stands condemned at the bar of God, a slave of sin in helpless and hopeless captivity to the law of sin and death, Eph. 2. 1-3; 1 John 5. 19 R.V.; Job 42. 5-6; Isa. 6. 1-5. The hope of humanity is in Jesus Christ, His death, resurrec­tion, ascension and exaltation. His death is referred to 175 times in the New Testament. His death and resurrection arc the theme of the Gospel, 1 Cor. 15. 1, 3, 4; Gal. 1. 4; 2. 20; 4. 5; 1 Pet. 3. 18; 1 Tim. 2. 6; 1 John 2. 2; Rom. 5. 18 R.v.; Rev. 5. 9-10 r.v.

Saves the Soul, Jas. 1. 21-23; 1 Pet. 1. 23; 2. 2. It demands obedience, Deut. 17, 19, 20; supports life, Deut. 8. 3; Matt. 4. 4, it comforts, Psa. 119. 82; Rom. 15. 4, rejoices the heart, Psa. 19. 8; 119. 111. It should be believed, John 2. 22, known, 2 Tim. 3. 15, appealed to, 1 Pet. 1. 16, read and searched, Isa. 34. 16; John 5. 39; 7. 52; Acts 17. 11. May we love it exceedingly, Psa. 119. 97,113,159,167, delight in it, Psa. 1.2, hide it in our hearts, Psa. 119. 11, and let it dwell richly in our hearts, Col. 3. 16.

Throughout the Scriptures we are pointed to Christ and the things concerning Himself.

In the Pentateuch Christ typified or Christ announced. In the Psalms Christ vivified or Christ acknowledged. In the Prophets Christ prophesied or Christ anticipated. In the Gospels Christ crucified or Christ arrived and atoning. In the Acts Christ glorified or Christ acclaimed. In the Epistles Christ magnified or Christ alive in the saints. In the Revelation Christ satisfied or Christ abiding through all ages.

There are 8 articles in
ISSUE (1968, Volume 19 Issue 5)

The Flesh

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

The Incarnation

Liberality - Monetary and Moral

The Merchants and the Children

The Overcomer and the Earthdweller in the Book of Revelation

The Seal

Why I Believe the Bible

This article is not part of a series

There are 59 articles by this author

Why I Believe the Bible

Glimpses of Christ

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Introduction

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 4 - 5

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 6-7

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 8 - 9

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 10

Outline Studies in the Pentateuch - Introduction

Genesis - Part 1

Genesis - Part 2

Suggested Analysis of Genesis

Exodus

Exodus: Its Message for Today

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Glimpses of Christ

Outline Studies in the Penteteuch

The Authority of Scripture in This Modern Age

Truth for the Times - Introduction

Controlled by Divine Truth, 2 Peter 3

The Peril of Apostasy, Jude 4-19

The Antidote to Apostasy, Jude 1-3; 17-23

Christ in the Prison Epistles - Introduction

Ephesians - Christ our Leader and our Lord

Philippians - Christ our Life

Colossians - Christ our Head

Philemon - Christ our Example

Help from Haggai - Introduction

Help from Haggai, Verses 2. 10-23

The Eight Men of James Chapter One

Meditation-a Lost Art

The Cross in Galatians

The Industrious Servant of Jehovah

Abraham - Friend of God

Living by Faith, Habakkuk

Help from Haggai, Verses 1. 1-11

Help from Haggai, Verses 1. 12-15; 2. 1-9

The Son of Consolation

The Lion-Hearted Amount the Lions - Daniel 6

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

1 Thessalonians - Some Suggestions for Study

Outline Studies in the Minor Prophets - Introduction

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 1

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 2-3

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 11

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 12

Outline Studies in Hebrews, Chapter 13