Question 4: How does it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and
purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is
to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert
sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God
bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able
fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.
The first of these, therefore, is the Bible's testimony of itself as the very Word of God. This is demonstrated by the following...
1. The Majesty of the Bible
...the Bible has too much majesty of style, sublimity of doctrine and too much divine
wisdom in it to have been invented by men. Its contents are nothing less than wonderful, i.e., causing wonder, awe and adoration, because this revelation is incomprehensible to the human mind, since God’s thoughts are so infinitely higher than ours. What the Bible reveals is a mystery, in that none of its message would have occurred to the human mind, without the revelation of God. (187)
The divine authority of the Bible is seen in the purity of its doctrines. (187)
The Bible is completely harmonious. It contains no contradictions or inconsistencies. This exact and harmonious consent of all the parts of the Bible proves it to be of divine origin and divine authority. Not only is there perfect unity between the Old and New Testaments, but perfect unity also exists between the
particular books of the Bible. (189)
The exaltation of God and the humiliation of man comprise the purpose of the Bible as designed by God; and everything in the Bible advances that purpose (Is. 2:10–22). (190)
Had the Bible been an invention of human beings, or had the authors falsely pretended to have received it by divine inspiration, its great purpose would have been the exaltation of man. Human authors would have written the Bible in such a way that is agreeable to their sinful inclinations and self-centered desires, that tends to indulge in, excuse, or down-play sin. And their Bible certainly would not have set forth the holiness of God and His fiery anger against all sin. In their doctrine of salvation, they would have made it easy to obtain, and in the obtaining of it, man surely would have received some credit. They would have created a religion that makes man independent of God, in some sense, for his life and
The effects of the Bible testify to its divine authority, for it accomplishes what only God can do. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the soul itself and generating faith and piety in the hearts, minds and lives of its hearers, “as well as invincible firmness in its professors, and always victoriously triumphs over the kingdom of Satan and false religion.”71 [Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 1:64] (191)
1. Jesus Himself verified the Old Testament as Scripture
Jesus used “proof texts” from the Old Testament as final and conclusive support for His own statements (Matt. 4:7; 22:32; 21:13). (195)
Jesus promised supernatural guidance to His apostles (Matt. 10:19–20; Mark 13:11; John 7:16–17; 14:23–26; 15:26–27; 16:13). In these passages the words of the risen Christ are identified with those of His apostles inspired by His Spirit. To receive His apostles and their Spirit-inspired words is to receive Him and His words; and to receive His words is to receive the words of God Himself. (195)
The Apostles often wrote of the Scriptures as if they were God (Gal. 3:8; Rom. 9:17). They also wrote of God as if He were the Scripture (Matt. 19:4–5 and Gen. 2:24; Heb. 3:7 and Ps. 95:7; Acts 4:24–25 and Ps. 2:1; Acts 13:34–35 and Isa. 55:3; Heb. 1:6–7 and Deut. 32:43; Acts 1:16; Rom. 15:9f. and Ps. 18:49; Deut. 22:43; Ps. 117:1; Isa. 11:10). (196)
The Apostles claim divine authority for their own writings (1 Cor. 2:13; 14:37; 1 Tim. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:1–4; 1 Thess. 1:5; 4:2; 2 Cor. 10:8; 2 Thess. 2:13,15; 3:6–14; 1 Pet. 1:12). They define “Scripture,” and in doing so, include each other’s writings as
God-breathed Scripture, thereby placing the Spirit-inspired writings of the apostles on the same plane with the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:16–7). (196)