Virtually all the world religions and sects have their “sacred” books e.g the Vedas, Puranas, Quran, Book of Mormon, the Grail Message, to name a few. On the other hand, the Bible, the most widely distributed book in history, distinguishes itself from these books. What are the evidence that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
1. Its internal harmony
The Bible is the oldest book ever written and many centuries older than any other “sacred” book of any religion. It’s divided into two major parts: the Old Testament and the New. The Old Testament pre-dates Buddha and Confucius by 1000 years and Muhammad by 2000 years.
The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different writers beginning in 1513 BC to 98 AD. These writers came from different walks of life, lived at different eras and many of them had no contact with the others. Yet, the Bible follows a central, coherent theme throughout such that even the Tree of Life forfeited in the book of Genesis is restored in the last book of Revelation. The Gospel of Christ is the consummation of the Law and Prophets which Jesus completed fulfilled. Hardly will a book written around 300 AD and completed in the 19th century with different writers having different occupations contributing be coherent or harmonious. But the thematic consistency of the Bible proves that its writers were led by the same Intelligent and Divine Mind.
Conversely, the Quran for example, was allegedly written by one man within a space of 23 years (or by Allah in heaven as Muslims claim), yet it is plagued with gross inconsistencies and incoherence. Its early Meccan parts call for toleration of non-Muslims while the latter Medinan parts call for their death. It gives 2 conflicting versions of creation; 3 versions of Moses’ call; 2 versions of Pharaoh’s fate; 5 versions of man’s creation and 2 versions of Mary’s visitation by Gabriel. It’s so illogically arranged that the first chapter Muhammad recited is Sura 96, his last being Sura 9 while Sura 1 was his fifth.
2. Confirmed by secular history
The Bible contains the most accurate ancient history of any book in existence. It spoke of real people living in real places at real periods of history. Secular records confirm the Bible’s description of Nineveh (in Assyria) as a city full of “the crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots” (Nahum 3:2). Assyria was indeed a war-like nation.
Luke made a reference to the decree of a Roman census when Quirinus was governor of Syria (Lk. 2:1-2). This event was recorded in the edict of a Roman governor preserved in the British Library. Tacitus and Jewish historian Josephus also both made references to Quirinius. The Bible spoke about Herod of Agrippa who was smitten by an angel and eaten by worms (Acts 12:21-23). This incident was also recorded by Josephus who gave details that Agrippa gave his speech in “a garment made wholly of silver” but a severe pain arose in his belly which began in the most violent manner and died days later.
The Bible says that Athens during Paul’s visit in 50 AD was “full of idols” (Acts 17:16). Historical evidence confirms that Athens and its suburbs were filled with religious shrines and idols. In Acts 18:2, the Bible says that “Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.” In a biography of Claudius written about 121 AD by Suetonius (a Roman historian), it stated that Claudius “banished from Rome all the Jews” because they “were continually making disturbances” in their hostility against Christians. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was also recorded by Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Lucien ( who was an anti-Christian philosopher).
In contrast, the Hindu Vedas and Puranas are filled with fantastic tales and hymns about mythological characters like Agni, Shiva, Vishnu, Sati, Devi and Krishna without a shred of historical evidence for their existence. The book of Mormon is also filled with stories about civilizations of the Jeredites, Lamanites and Nephites which are without historical foundation.
3. Scientific accuracy
The Bible fits in with true science and scientific discoveries ahead of its time. In ancient times, there were much speculations about how the earth was held. Even Aristotle (4th cent. BC) taught that the earth could never hang in empty space. But in the oldest book of the Bible, it says God “suspends the earth over nothing” (Job 26:7). It wasn’t until 17th century AD that the force of gravity holding the earth in relation to other heavenly bodies was demonstrated.
Centuries before microorganisms were known, God gave the Israelites laws on hygiene (Deut. 23:12-13). The principles applied in modern quarantine and public health were given to them (Lev. 13:47-52; 14:1, 8-9). It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the roles of microbes in causing infectious diseases were known. Similarly, in the book of Genesis, God “formed the man from the dust of the ground.” (2:7) According to the World Book Encyclopedia, “All the chemical elements that make up living things are also present in nonliving matter.” In other words, the same chemical components found in man and other living organisms are also found in the earth, proving that indeed God made man’s body from the dust.
The Bible states that God created all living things to reproduce “according to their kinds” (Gen. 1:11, 21). Today this has become one of the basic facts of science – all living organisms come from a parent of like kind. This ability is encoded within their DNA which contains detailed information on each life forms.
The Bible says that the Lord Jesus who “made the universe” is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:2-3). Today, science has shown that the energy that the earth receives from the sun has to be carefully controlled and precisely directed or it will speed up decay and make a building deteriorate – an evidence pointing to the existence of the Creator.
4. Divine inspiration
The Bible’s accuracy is a proof God as its authored by. He merely used human Bible writers to pen it down. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). Bible writers spoke and wrote “from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:21) Apostle Paul said “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13).
God led the writers of Scripture by giving them His exact words (Ex. 32:16), leading them to write as His Spirit moved them (Ex. 34:27) and allowed the writers to choose their own words to relate truth by guidance of His Spirit (Dan. 12:8-9). This is the most distinctive feature of the Bible. The Spirit of God who inspired the Bible which convinces the world “of sin, and of righteousness and judgment” (Jn. 16:8) also teaches all those in whom He dwells to understand the Word.
On the other hand, many religious books reflect the influence of pre-existent religious myths, legends and speculations by men without a shred of divine inspiration.
5. Prophetic accuracy
About 30% of the Bible is devoted to prophecy. It predicted the destruction of ancient Tyre, that its ruins will fall “in the depth of the waters” (Ezk. 27:34-36, Is. 23:1-18). Centuries later in 322 BC, the troops of Alexander the Great destroyed Tyre and scattered its ruins into the sea.
About 200 years before the time of Alexander the Great, the Bible predicted a ruler symbolised as “a goat with a prominent horn…from the west” who destroyed a ram and “became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off and in its place four prominent horns grew up” (Daniel 8:5-7). In vs 20-22, the ram is identified as “the kings of Medo-Persia” and the goat is identified as “the king of Greece.” This prophecy was fulfilled in detail. Alexander the Great became king in 336 BC and defeated King Darius III of Persia within 7 years. Alexander died at the age of 32 at the peak of his reign and his 4 leading generals – Lysimachus, Cassender, Seleucus, and Ptolemy – proclaimed themselves kings and took over the Greek empire.
In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be invaded by its enemies. They “will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another…” This was accurately fulfilled in 70 AD when Roman armies led by Vespasian and his son, Titus, invaded Jerusalem. They built a wall of pointed stakes around the city and destroyed their temple stone by stone just as predicted.
No human mind – no matter how intelligent – can prophesy let alone make it come to pass. These and more evidences affirm the existence of God and the Bible as His inspired Word.
6. High moral integrity
The honesty and candour of the Bible in exposing human sin and failures is another evidence of its inspiration. Most ancient writers recorded only the successes and virtues of their heroes or people, but God’s hand was upon Bible writers such that they openly admitted their own mistakes as well as the sins of their leaders (which was almost a crime at the time). The shortcomings of Abraham were recorded; the sins of Noah and those of Moses – Israel’s first prophet (Num. 20:1-13; Dt. 32:50-52). David and many kings of Israel had their sins recorded – and most of this by the chroniclers and scribes in the palaces paid by these same rulers (2 Sam. 8:15-17). Jonah recorded his own failings (1:1-3) and Matthew recorded the failings of the disciples of Christ (17:18-20; 18:1-6).
If the Bible were of human origin, such aspects would have been omitted. The Quran, while admitting Muhammad was a sinner, didn’t record his sins. Joseph Smith didn’t record his sins in the book of Mormon. The same applies to other religious books.
7. It satisfies the present and eternal state of man
Only the Bible satisfyingly answers the basic questions of life: why we are here, why there is suffering in this world, what is sin and what happens after death (Rev. 4:11; Rom. 8:20-21; 1 Jn. 5:17; Lk. 16:22-23). It presents a definite hope and reliable plan of redemption based on Jesus Christ who died, rose and is alive forever. This is what makes Christianity unique. The founders of world religions (even the ones who taught reincarnation) went to their graves and never came out from them.
The Quran fails to present a definite plan of salvation. It says Allah created humans and jinn to worship him, it also says that his plan is to fill hell with mankind and jinn together (51:56; 11:119). It also says every bad thing that happens on earth has been decreed by Allah and that man’s fate has been hanged on man’s neck, yet he will be judged for his actions on Judgement Day (57:22; 17:13)! In other words, it says humans are just here – like robots – to live out a fixed script and will be judged by the same Allah for following his script. This is unjust.
8. Its preservation
The Bible and its message has been preserved in spite of the oppositions from political and religious enemies all through history. King Antiochus Epiphanes (c 167 BC) ordered all the copies of the Old Testament with the Jews to be destroyed in his bid to force Greek paganism on them. But Jewish communities in many other lands preserved copies of the Scriptures for future generations. During the Middle Ages, some Catholic leaders also tried to keep the Bible away from the common people. None of these measures succeeded. Today, the Bible has spread and is available in about 98% of the world’s languages.
The Bible was also preserved from decay. Bible writers mainly used parchments and papyrus which were susceptible to degradation by weather conditions, insects or rodents. Thus, many copies of the Bible had to be made from a master copy and preserved. Each new king in Israel was commanded by God “to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God…” (Deut. 17:18-19) This was how the Bible was preserved throughout Israel and it even spread to Northern Greece (Lk. 4:17; Acts 17:11). History shows how the Bible circulated and was translated into Syriac, Coptic, Armenian and Latin. Today, there are thousands of Bible manuscripts available in different languages. God who inspired the Bible also demonstrated His power by preserving it.
In contrast, many parts of the Quran were expunged during its compilation. Its original materials (stones, barks, animal ribs etc) have also been destroyed and those who memorised much of it died before it was written into a book. No one saw the golden plates Joseph Smith claimed to translate the book of Mormon from as angel Moroni allegedly took them away. None of the sayings of Buddha (Pali canon or Tripulaka) existed for 1000 years after his death. All these proofs show us that only the Bible bears the seal of God Almighty as His Word given to all mankind.