#5--The Nature of Scripture

The Bible is unlike any other religious work. While other works express man's philosophies or religious ideals, the Bible declares that It alone contains a true and accurate written revelation of God.

Now, as we continue the discussion of the importance of the Bible, we must recognize that the Bible is the written, recorded revelation of God [Jesus is the Incarnate Word].

So what does this mean to say that "the Bible is the written, recorded revelation of God?" 

Now, before I answer that, we have to stop a moment and consider some words that religious scholars nonchalantly fling about in describing the Scriptures. Knowing these words will may our discussion clearer. We could spend days discussing each of these definitions, but their meanings will become more evident as we

  • The first definition is "revelation." "Revelation"refers to a supernatural communication from the Creator God to man. Through this unique revelation, God reveals a truth or truths to a person which no person or persons could learn through either scientific observation or logic and reason.
  • "Epistemology" is the study of the origins, nature, methods, or limits of knowledge. It focuses on how we acquire knowledge and how people can discern truth and falsehood.
  • A priori ("from the earlier") and a posteriori ("from the later") are Latin phrases [based on the ideas of Aristotle] that distinguish between different types of knowledge based on their reliance on empirical evidence or experience. A priori knowledge is independent of current skills or encounters. An example of this would be the study of mathematics [1+1=2].   A posteriori knowledge depends on empirical evidence [that is, information obtained through controlled, repeatable experiments, such as Franklin's experiment with lightning.]
  • On sequitur is a Latin term meaning "It does not follow." The term usually refers to a conclusion that does not logically follow the provided facts. At times, the Bible represents things as they appear, although it does not mean that the Bible is in error if that appearance is deceiving. Types of on sequitur events in the Bible include the various descriptions prophets use to explain their visions, the fact that the Bible does not thoroughly discuss every topic or issue that concerns modern people, or specific Biblical claims [such as the creation of plants before the sun (Genesis 1:8-11-16)].
  • "Canon" or "Canonicity" refers to a measuring rod or a fixed standard. This term refers to the consideration of the individual books included in the Bible as part of the completed, harmonious, and divine revelation that God has provided humanity to reveal God's authoritative revelation for the establishment of the believer's faith and practice. 

Thinking about Revelation. The Bible represents the unveiling of God's revelation to man over some 1600 years. Scripture contains the very essence of God's will and purpose. The Bible Itself speaks about Its own unique nature. The Scripture, like Father God, is eternal, "enduring forever" (Ps. 19:9). The revelations, principles, and judgments of the Bible will never change, for "… the word of our God shall stand forever." (Is. 40:8).

This revelatory nature of the Scriptures is demonstrated in multiple ways. These proofs include [but are not limited to]

  • The imperishable nature of the Bible. The Bible has existed for over 2500 years, in spite of various recorded attempts to destroy it.
  • The cohesion proof. Although the Scriptures were written over 1600 years by various people from different nationalities and cultures, the Scriptures are a cohesive unity, revealing God’s plan of redemption.
  • The priori proof. The Scriptures contain information that cannot be obtained except through divine revelation.
  • The fulfilled-prophecy proof. Isaiah declared Cyrus would allow the Jews to return to the Holy Land long before Babylon conquered Judah. Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies in his first coming.
  • The miracles proof. The miracles of the Bible, many of which are now having through archeological support, demonstrate the God of the Bible is the one, true God who has chosen to reveal His will to humanity.
  • The influential impact proof. The Scriptures do not respond to man; man respond to the Scriptures—either positively or negatively. This eternal Word is supernaturally powerful. It can convert the soul and make the simple-minded wise (Ps. 19:7) or harden hearts [Isaiah 6].

The Scriptures do not respond to man; man must respond to the Scriptures. This eternal Word is also supernaturally powerful. It can convert the soul and make the simple-minded wise (Ps. 19:7). The impact of Scripture on humankind is profound. History has recorded how men have changed, great explorations (such as that undertaken by Columbus) have launched, and societies have transformed after men have studied the Word and accepted Its teachings.

The Bible can change men and circumstances since It is the Word of God.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. [Is. 55:11, NKJV]

Perhaps the most startling truth about Scripture is that It is "True and righteous altogether" (Ps. 19:9). The word translated as "true" is iemethi) which means "stability, certainty, trustworthiness, assured . . . . faithful, (Strong's). The word translated "righteous" is triday which means "to be right … cleanse, clear self . . . 11 (Strong's).

Thus, the Scripture has eternal stability, certainty, and verity. It is reliable; all Its commandments contain this honesty and reliability (Ps. 119:151), and this trustworthiness and stability have existed from the beginning (Ps. 119:160). The Scripture is also totally righteous and can spiritually cleanse all who study It (Ep. 5:26) and believe in It.

Although various depraved incidents are recorded in the Bible--Abel's murder, David's adultery, Judas' betrayal—the Bible is not a dark, pornographic record of man's misdeeds. While the Bible remains faithful in Its record of human affairs, It can still cleanse a person from all filth and unrighteousness [even a person’s secret sins (Ps. 19:12)]. The revelations of the Bible can provide hope and restoration.

The Word of God can cleanse man because "Every word of God is pure. . . ." (Pro. 30:5). The Scripture Itself contains no corruption or impurities. It can purge the one who opens himself to It in the same way that metal ores are smelted and purified by refining. Finally, the Word is protective. The Bible protects several ways. First, the Word of God "is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105). The Word brings the light of God's revelation to the believer so that he may gain understanding (Ps. 119:130) and avoid the path of the foolish, which leads to disaster (Pro. 28:26; Ps. 49:13; Ec. 10:3). The Word works as "a shield to them that put their trust in Him." (Pr. 30:5). It protects the believer from the curse of God's wrath (Deu. 11:26; 27:15-26) and enables him to receive the blessings of God (Ex. 23:25; Deu. 11:27).

The Word of God, therefore, is more than just a historical record of the people of Israel, a collection of pithy sayings, or a description of man's myths and fantasies. The Bible is a supernatural book:  It is God's essence, distilled onto paper.In addition, the Word of God is alive (Heb. 4:12), able to discern the very soul of man and bring to him a revelation of the saving grace found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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