I. BIBLE THE OLDEST BOOK.
A divine hand has preserved it down through ages. No other book in all world has been fought against and pulled apart by its critics as Bible has, and yet this book lives on and towers above all its enemies. Still world's best seller; most beloved of all literature. It alone can bring comfort and solace to lonely, afflicted, desolate, bereaved. It is God's eternal living Word.
1. ITS INSPIRATION.
Ex. 20:1; 2 Sam. 23:2; Jer. 1:4; Eze. 1:3; Rev. a. God communicated His thoughts and words to various writers of Scripture. However, He did not take away from them their own individuality. This is evident throughout Bible. Moses was meek, yet his inflexible character is very distinct in his works. David, sweet singer of Israel, with his poetic gift, can readily be detected. Paul's intrepid heroism delineated throughout his fourteen books. The loving John has stamped his inspired writings with golden seal of love.
2. UNITY OF THE BIBLE.
No contradictions in Bible, although its compilation covered a period of between fifteen hundred and sixteen hundred years. Perfect harmony throughout entire volume. Writers taken from various walks of life, differing greatly intellectually, educationally, socially. Yet when these varied scribes meet in the field of inspiration, mutual coherency is remarkable. A complete book, it begins with creation and fall, and ends with redemption and re-creation. A divine mind guided those who wrote.
3. POWER OF THE WRITTEN WORD.
2 Kings 21:8. God's Word is final authority.
Joshua 1:7, 8. Obedience to written Word brings prosperity and success.
Ps. 119:11. Word has power to preserve from sin.
Rev. 11 :3-6. Power to shut heaven so it does not rain.
Ex. 7:17-21. Power to turn waters to blood.
Rev. 11:6. Power to smite with plagues.
Ps. 107:20. Power to heal sick.
Eze. 37:4, 5. Power to raise dead.
1 Peter 1:23. Word of God produces new birth.
Rev. 3:10. God's keeping power will be experienced in life of him who accepts and obeys Word of God.
4. ENDURANCE OF THE BIBLE.
1 Peter 1:25. Word endures forever.
Ps. 119:89. Word settled forever.
5. FOUR RELIABLE WITNESSES.
1. Testimony of its Author.
John to :35. "The scripture cannot be broken."
Matt. 24:35. His Word will never fail.
Luke 24:44. Everything written must be fulfilled.
2. Testimony of the prophets.
2 Peter 1:21. Peter's testimony regarding Word. Prophecy did not come by the will of man. Holy Spirit was the one who indited writings of Bible.
2 Tim. 3 :16. Paul declared that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable." These writings did not come into existence by the writers searching the archives of libraries for their material.
3. Testimony of history.
"The Bible is the most ancient and most comprehensive history that men possess.
It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity."—Education, p. 173.
John 14:29. Bible prophecy foretells the future. When it comes to pass we can but believe.
Matt. 24:15. Prophecy made by Daniel emphasized by Christ.
Dan. 7 :1-25. History attests fulfillment of this prophecy.
Isa. 45 :1-4. This prophecy written approximately 120 years before Cyrus was born. Called him by name and told how he would overthrow Babylon. No man can tell future; only a divine Being, one who can see end from beginning. Isa. 46:9,10.
4. Testimony of archaeology.
Ex. I :II. Spade of archaeologist has done much to testify to inspiration of God's Book. Not many years ago ancient city of Pithon was unearthed. Built by Israelites during their Egyptian bondage for Ramses II. Discovered that houses were built of brick baked by sun; some with straw and some without. This fits in with account given in book of Exodus.
Dan. 5:16, 29. Daniel was promised by Belshazzar to be third ruler in kingdom.
Critics scoffed at these texts. The Lord has confounded these cavilers by discovery made by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1876. Tablets were found bearing account of Belshazzar, who was acting as regent for his father Nabonidus. Nabonidus, who fled Babylon, was taken as prisoner of war. He was first ruler ; his son, Belshazzar, second; and Daniel was offered third place as ruler.
Other witnesses, such as geologists, biologists, and astronomers, give their testimony to veracity of the Bible. Book of Nature and Word are in perfect accord, one illuminating the other.
These witnesses—Christ, prophets, history, nature, and science—all certify with accuracy genuineness of Bible inspiration.
II. Purpose of the Bible
2 Tim 3:15. Scriptures reveal plan of salvation. John, 5:39, Testify of Christ.
2 Tim. 3:16, 17. Good for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness; thereby being perfect.
Rom. 15:4. Given for comfort in hour of sorrow and bereavement. Hope in time of despair.
VII. Why Study the Scriptures
Cor. 2:14. Bible not an ordinary book. Spiritual things spiritually discerned.
John 5:39. "Search"--not an occasional glance.
2 Tim. 2:15. We cannot be approved by God without studying; neither can we rightly divide Word if we refuse to study.
Prov. 2:3-5. Search as for hidden treasure. As an educator it stands without a peer.—(Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 24.)
Ps. 119:100, air. Word ensures understanding that will exceed ancients.
Cor. 2:13. Holy Spirit will be our teacher.
John 14:26. He will give us retentive minds. Such study will help us to be ready for heaven.