What proof do we have for the inspiration of the Bible?
The Bible itself claims to be inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but is there evidence to support this claim? Several lines of evidence exist to reveal how God has divinely inspired Scripture.
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First, fulfilled prophecy offers evidence to support God's inspiration of Scripture. Specific fulfillments in the life of Jesus were used by the early church to prove to Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Apollos "powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus" (Acts 18:28).
Regarding Jesus, the Bible predicted hundreds of years in advance that, among other things, He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), would be introduced by a messenger (John the Baptist, Isaiah 40:3), would be rejected by the Jews (Isaiah 53:3), would be pierced in His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34), and would suffer crucifixion (Psalm 22:16-18; John 19:23-24). Each of these prophecies was fulfilled exactly, yet was predicted hundreds of years in advance.
Second, the unity of the Bible offers evidence of its inspiration. It was written by about 40 authors over an approximately 1,500-year period in three languages on three continents. Its authors ranged from kings to shepherds and scholars to fishermen, yet offer a consistent theme regarding key teachings. Amazingly, there is not one clear contradiction in the Bible, an impossible achievement for a book so diverse apart from God's inspiration.
Third, many historical and archaeological findings support the accuracy and reliability of Scripture. From the kings of Israel to the kingdoms of Babylon and Persia, the Bible speaks accurately on history at all points. One resource notes there are more than 25,000 times archaeology confirms something found in the Bible.
Fourth, the Bible speaks accurately regarding many areas of science long before the discoveries were made. The shape of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), valleys in the seas (2 Samuel 22:16), and the hydrological cycle (Job 26:8), for example, all express ideas not discovered until long after being mentioned in Scripture.
These and other examples help to show the Bible is no ordinary book. In fact, it is the only book in human history to include such a wide variety of information that is completely accurate and yet speaks even of future events in detail without conflict or error. Such accuracy helps provide evidence of the divine nature of the Bible and support the Bible's own claims that it is inspired by God.
How is the Bible inspired? What does it mean for the Bible to be inspired?
Are the translations of the Bible inspired?
How do we know which book - The Bible, the Apocrypha, the Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, etc. - is the Word of God?
What is Verbal Plenary Inspiration?
What is the canon of the Bible and how did we get it?
Truth about the Bible