In order to truly know God, He must in some way or another commutate with us. There is a way to know about God by observing power and wisdom seen in the creation (Rom. 1:20). Though we can know about Him, in order to truly know who He is and what He is like, there must be communication. To fulfill this purpose, there are several books in existence that claim to contain revelation from God. Among these books perhaps the most well known is the Bible. The Bible claims that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16). If the Bible is indeed the word of God then it is every person's responsibility to learn what it has to say. But, it would be foolish for any man to accept something of this nature without first testing it or proving it as to whether or not it is what it claims to be. The Bible itself teaches, "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (1 Thess. 5:21). For this reason, we will examine some of the evidence that has been used to prove that the Bible is in fact the word of God. Let the reader understand that this list is not complete. This is merely a glimpse of the evidence which suggests that God as spoken.
Types of Evidences
When examining a literary document such as the Bible, there are two types of evidences that can must be examined: 1. Internal Evidence: This is evidence which can be seen within the Bible itself without using outside sources. This evidence consists of fulfilled prophecies, the unity of the Bible, the conciseness and honesty of the Bible, and so forth. 2. External Evidence: This is evidence taken from outside sources which confirm the truthfulness of what the Bible says and claims. This evidence consists of archeological evidences, geographical references, scientific principles and facts, and historical accuracy. We will examine just a few of both of these kinds of evidences to show that God has spoken, and that the Bible is His written word.
Fulfilled Prophecy: In Deuteronomy 18:21-22 Moses describes a principle that is most useful for testing the validity of a prophecy. "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' -- when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him." Simply put, if a prophecy does not come true then the one who gives it is not from God. If the Bible is not the word of God then this statement would be the downfall of its claim. If the Bible is the word of God then this statement provides the means for absolute surety that its claim is true, for there are hundreds of prophecies recorded in the pages of the Bible. Have these prophecies been fulfilled exactly as they were revealed?
In Ezekiel 1:2; 29:17, Ezekiel clearly predicted that God would make the city of Tyre "a bare rock" (26:5), "a place for the spreading of nets" (26:5), that the stones and timbers by which the city was built would be thrown into the water (26:12), and that it would not be built up again (26:14). These prophecies were spoken between 595 and 570 B.C. In 332 B.C. (250 years later) Alexander the Great attacked Tyre with his armies. The Inhabitants had deserted the mainland city to take up residence on the island city of Tyre half a mile off shore. In order to reach them, Alexander built a causeway (which still exists today), connecting the mainland to the island city. As material for the causeway, Alexander had his soldiers cast the stones and timbers from which the city was built into the water, even to the point of scraping off all the topsoil down to bedrock. Hence, Tyre became a "bare rock", according to prophecy. If one were to visit Tyre today, they would find no mainland city. In its place there would be a flat surface which fishermen continue to use to spread their nets.
Around 748-690B.C., Hosea prophesied in Hosea 13 that Samaria would fall violently. Around 738-690 B.C. Micah prophesied that Samaria would become "as a heap in the field," that vineyards would be planted there, that the stones of the city would be poured down into the valley and that her foundations would be "discovered." According to history, Samaria fell by the sword in 722 B.C. when attacked by Sargon. It fell again in 331 B.C. by the hand of Alexander the Great and finally in 120 B.C. by the hand of John Hyrcanus. John Urquhart pointed out that, "The stones of the great city have been taken up by the great cultivators and piled together or thrown down the hill-side, that its site might be turned in to fields and vineyards." (McDowell, pg. 282, 283).
The greatest of all fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament are those dealing with the Messiah. The gospels indicate that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies made 500 to 1500 years before He came to the earth. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, His birthplace was foretold (Mic. 5:2 - Matt. 2:1). Seven hundred years before Jesus was born Isaiah said that He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14 - Matt. 1:23). Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah described how He would be treated at His death (Isa. 53). One thousand years before the birth of Jesus, the Psalmist told of His pierced hands (Psa. 22:16 - Matt. 27:35). The apostle Paul summed up these prophecies saying, "When they had fulfilled ALL that was prophesied concerning Him…" (Acts 13:29). Hundreds of prophecies concerning one man, not one was left undone. This cannot be said of any other book in existence today.
The Unity of the Bible: In order for us to understand the significance of the unity of the Bible we need to first compare it to the level of unity generally found in writings of human origin. On this point, A. C. Armstrong in his book, The Bible Under Trial (1907), said, "It is a simple fact that there is nothing that can be properly called history in these other sacred books of the world. They are, as every student of them knows, for the most part jumbles of heterogeneous material, loosely placed together, without order, continuity or unity of any kind. There is no order, progress, or connection of parts…The Bible, on the other hand is a history with a beginning, a middle, and an end; a history of revelation; the history of the developing purpose of God, working up to a goal in the full-orbed discovery of the will of God for man's salvation in His Son Jesus Christ. There is nothing like this, nothing even approaching it in any other collection of sacred books in the world" (Baxter, pg. 186).
The simple truth is that man does not have the ability to organize even one document of literature, let alone 66, into a uniform, organized and concise work that even compares to the Bible. Yet, the Bible, although written over a time span of 1500 years by about 40 different human authors on three continents, contains not even one contradiction in its doctrinal teachings, historical, geographical, or archeological facts. There are many who have set out to find such contradictions and claim to have found some, but these supposed contradictions are easily found to be false by sound reasoning (see Geibler's, When the Critics Ask). There is Doctrinal Unity throughout the Bible. From Moses to the apostle John, the Bible writers never contradict one another (John 10:35). Since no human has ever been able accomplish this, the only conclusion we can make is that the Bible was directly inspired by God, and is therefore His written word.
There is Organic Unity throughout the Bible. That is, all parts of the Bible are necessary to the complete whole. Every book of the Bible is essential. Not one book of the Bible has proven fruitless in revealing the complete will of God to man. "The entirety of Your word is truth" (Ps. 119:160). The Bible is not complete without all of its books intact.
Its Honesty: In all secular history books, the heroes of a nation are made out to be almost supernaturally great. There seems to be no flaws in their person, (unless one is willing to dig deep). The Bible, on the other hand, is not so dishonest. The faults of even the most faithful are given in some detail to show the honesty of God and His ability to forgive those who repent. Read Gen. 9:20-21; 20:1ff; 2 Sam. 11; Mark 14:66-72.
Archeology and History: "Biblical archaeology is that branch of archaeological study which takes place in the countries where the events of the Biblical record transpired. The 'Biblical world,' or 'Bible lands,' includes the areas of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Egypt, Canaan, Italy and a few other areas" (Jenkins, pg. 58-59).
"The Moabite Stone, discovered in 1868 by a German missionary, was cut in 850 B.C., during the reign of Mosha, king of Moab. It tells of his being subjected to the Israelites. It also mentions that Omri, the captain of the Israelite host, was made king in that day. The Scriptures speak of that very event in 1 Kings 16:16" (Thompson, IDBI, pg. 61). "Genesis derives the ancestry of Israel from Mesopotamia. It is this fact with which archaeological findings concur. Albright says that it is 'beyond reasonable doubt that Hebrew Tradition was correct in tracing the Patriarchs directly back to the Balikh on the coincidence of Biblical and archaeological findings tracing the movement of these people out of the land of Mesopotamia'" (McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol. 2, pg. 69, 1E). In other words, archeology agrees that the Hebrews actually came form where the Bible says.
"During the excavation of Jericho (1930-1936) Garstang found something so startling that a statement of what was found was prepared and signed by himself and two other members of the team. In reference to these findings Garstang says: 'As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers would be able to clamber up and over their ruins into the city.' Why so unusual? Because the walls of cities do not fall outwards, they fall inwards (on account of enemy forces pounding them in with battering rams, rocks, and so forth). And yet in Joshua 6:20 we read '…The wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city every man straight ahead, and they took the city.' The walls were made to fall outward," as the Bible records" (McDowell, pg. 69, 4E)
"The conduit, or tunnel, cut by Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:30) was cleared of debris in 1909. It is now possible to walk through the tunnel which connects Gihon spring with the pool of Siloam. An inscription from the tunnel can be seen in the Istanbul Museum. The tunnel is nearly 1800 feet long, has an average height of just under 6 feet, is 23 to 26 inches wide, and at some places is about 150 feet below ground level" (Jenkins, pg. 63).
"In the book of Acts Luke frequently made geographical and political remarks on provinces, regions, and cities. The terms by which he reported local customs, the names he gave to local officials, and the reporting of local religious facts has been proven correct by archaeological inscriptions. The 'rulers of the city' (Greek: politarchs) in Thessalonica (Acts 17:6) was unknown in any classical author a few years ago. It has now been found in 19 inscriptions ranging from the 2nd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D., as a title of magistrates in Macedonian cities. It is used five times of Thessalonica, which seems to have had five politarchs at the beginning of the first century A.D. and six in the middle of the second century. Publius is called the "chief man" of the Island of Malta (Acts 28:7). Inscriptions in both Latin and Greek have shown this to be a proper title. The ecclesia is presented as meeting in the theater at Ephesus (Acts 19:23ff; translated "assembly" in v. 32). Greek and Latin inscriptions have been found in the theater showing that the ecclesia did meet there. The open-air theater which seated nearly 25,000 has been excavated. The silver statue of Artemis (Diana) and other statues were 'to be set up in the theater during a full session of the ecclestia'" (Jenkins, pg. 64)
Science: It is only logical that if there is supreme God who created all things, then He must have a complete understanding of how all things work in nature. This being the case, we can ask, does God reveal any scientific truths within the scriptures and are they accurate? The answer to this is, Yes! Following are just a few examples of where the Bible reveals truths several hundred to several thousand years before men officially discovered them according to science. Much of the information in this section is taken from A.O. Schnabel's, Has God Spoken?, unless otherwise noted.
Astronomy: Bible writers: 1033-975 B.C. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 8:27, "He inscribed a circle on the fact of the deep." 745-695 B.C. Isaiah 40:22, "It is He that sitteth above the circle of the earth." The Hebrew word "Khug" is translated "circle." A more exact connotation would be "sphericity" or "roundness." The use of the word "deep" refers to the deep bodies of water, similar to our word "depth." The Hebrew word "erets" for "earth" is used in two senses by the ancient writers. One use denotes the entire world, while the more common usage was limited on only dry land portion as used in Genesis 1:10. History of Science: 384-322 B.C. In every civilization, other than Israel, the unearthed records show man thought the earth to be flat. The first arguments set forth for a spherical earth were by the famous Greek, Aristotle. These were: ships disappear over the horizon, and the circular shape seen on the moon during an eclipse of the later. Disappointingly few people, other than Aristotle's personal students, were convinced by this evidence. 1520 A.D. The common man held the earth was flat until "the introduction of the compass and improved sailing vessels which made possible the voyages of Columbus, Magellan, and others. These great discoveries caused a revolution in map making" which finally brought general acceptance of the fact that the earth is spherical.
Number of Stars: Gen. 15:5 (~1400 B.C.); Jer. 33:22 (~600B.C.). (cf. Isa. 40:26; Psa. 147:4; Rom. 1:20). 150 B.C. Hipparchus taught there were less that 3,000 starts, (A Greek astronomer and mathematician who discovered the precession of the equinoxes, calculated the length of the year to within 6 ½ minutes, compiled the first known start catalog, and made an early formulation of trigonometry). 150 A.D. Ptolemy counted 1,056 and claimed the actual number was not over 3,000. 1608 Galileo used a telescope and announced the number of stars "innumerable" (Joe Price, "The Bible and Science", from www.bibleanswer.com/evidence7.htm <http://www.bibleanswer.com/evidence7.htm>).
Geology: The entire earth has been under water. Moses, in speaking of the preparation of the earth for habitation wrote in Genesis 1:1, 6, and 9, "And the earth was formless and void." "Then God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." "The God said, 'Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so." Again, Moses spoke of the earth later being covered completely with water during the life of Noah, Genesis 7:19, 20, 24. "And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth; so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered…And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days." David spoke of this as well in Ps. 104:6-9. In summarizing these writings, we see that they were aware that this planet was twice engulfed with water. Both times covering the tallest mountains. History of Science: Pre-1669 A.D. there was no though or science that would allow man to study such things as fossils and minerals. Therefore there was no knowledge of the earth being submerged in water. 1669 A.D. Geology as a science was initiated in Italy when a Danish anatomist, Nicolas Steno, first found fossils. 1885 A.D. Edward Sues was one of the first geologists to publish a study based on the geologic framework of all countries. His research led to his discovery that all land surface has been under water, especially in his observations of the world's mountain ranges. It is now evident that even the oldest rock formations show traces of sedimentary origin." The fossils found in 1669 were of ocean life and were found in some of the highest peaks.
Oceanography: Paths of the Seas: Ps. 8:8 (~1000 B.C.). One day in1855 A.D. during a temporary illness, Matthew Fontaine Maury, had his eldest son read to him from the Bible. Upon hearing Psalm 8:8 he had his son read it to him again then said, "It is enough, if the word of God says there are paths in the sea, they must be there, and I am going to find them." He set out to discover and chart the oceans' sea lanes and currents (Statue of Maury in Richland, VA).
Meteorology: The water vapor cycle: Job 36:27-28 (~2000-1600 B.C.); Eccl. 1:7 (~1000 B.C.). In these passages the Bible writers state that the sea does not fill up and actually describe the evaporation and water cycle. It was not until 350 B.C. that Aristotle comprehended the water-vapor cycle and published his "Meteorlogica." In 1770 A.D. Benjamin Franklin observed movement of water by storms (river-to-sea-river water cycle) (Price). He observed that the water from the ocean would evaporate, clouds or storms would form and move over the land dropping rain. This rain is then funneled into rivers and then back into the ocean. "It is now known that the precipitation and evaporation rate is approximately 16,000,000 tons per second." (Schnabel, pg. 42).
Physics: The Universe is Decaying: 745-695 B.C. Isaiah 51:6, "Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner." In 538 B.C. Psalms 102:26, speaks of the heavens and the earth: "Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; and all of them wear out like a garment." 63 A.D. the Hebrew writer reveals this same principle in Heb. 1:10-11. The first indication science had that the universe was growing old and being used up, was the discovery of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or the Law of Entropy in 1850 A.D.
These are but a few of the numerous evidences that support the authenticity of the Bible as the inspired word of God. It is true that archeology does not prove the Bible to be inspired. It merely supports or validates the claim that has already been made. The Bible is 100% accurate in these areas, so much so that some archaeologists use the Bible as a reference while doing their work.
When we look at the massive amount of evidence which supports the Bible's claims, it is extremely difficult to keep from stating the obvious truth: God has spoken!