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Special Evidences of Divine Authorship

The truth of the Bible is apparent from its nature, but its authority is dependent altogether upon its source. The more carefully and reverentially we study the sacred Scriptures, the more deeply are we impressed with the fact that they have proceeded from one source. True, the Bible consists of many books, penned by various writers during a period of fifteen hundred years, but there exists throughout a grand unity and harmony that suggest divine inspiration. The writers themselves did not claim to be the authors of the messages they delivered, but, as the Apostle Peter affirms, they “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Pet. 1:21) Their writings encompass a variety of subjects—the origin of things, history, prophecy, biography, law and government, moral philosophy, ethics, theology, and poetry; still there exists a remarkable harmony of sentiment and teaching such as can be found in no other collection of books.

The revelation that the Scriptures make of the one true and living God testifies to its source. While the idea of a Supreme Being is universal, his nature and his relations with men are necessarily subjects of revelation. The history of all heathenism fails to disclose in one single instance the conception of a pure, holy God kindly disposed toward the human race. On the other hand, the mythologies of heathen nations abound with the most shocking and disgusting details of the actions of the gods whom they worship. The history of the Hebrew people given in the Bible shows that they, like other nations, were prone to evil of the deepest and blackest type. Whence, then, did they derive the idea of a God of holiness, a God who was opposed to all their evils, and yet gracious and full of mercy? When even Athens was devoting thousands of her choicest women to the lustful service of Venus; when Corinth, according to Strabo, had a thousand sacred prostitutes in one temple—who, we ask, taught the Israelites the principle of holiness and gave them such exalted moral conceptions of God?

Many of the special messengers of God by whom the Bible was written were given the power of performing miracles, by which their inspiration was attested and their messages made authoritative; but the “more sure word of prophecy” (II Pet. 1:19) furnishes the greatest external proof of its inspiration. To this, more than to anything else, Christ and the Apostles made their constant appeal. Matthew, narrating the deeds of the Savior, gives us the standing phrase, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet”; Peter affirms, in words unmistakable, that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (vs. 21). From such facts as these, Paul adduces his conclusion relative to the authority of the Bible, in these words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Tim. 3:16)

The marvelous prophecy, which Christ made concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the ruin and dispersal of the Israelites has been fulfilled with such unquestionable exactness that the boldest infidels dare not deny the agreement.

The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah describes Christ’s crucifixion and atonement work with such accuracy of detail that the inspiration of the prophet is assured. [ The End ]

 

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