What does the Bible say about the Bible? This question sounds
circular. Atheists wonder why it is asked; your feet will never touch ground
walking on a tread-mill. Bible quotes cannot establish the Bible's authority.
Nevertheless Catholics and other liberals raise objections on this
point. For these groups, who have some remnant attachment to the
sacred scriptures, as well as for the children who feed on God's word,
it is worthwhile to collect those verses which speak to this point.
The Bible says that God's words are "pure:"
- “The words of the LORD are pure
words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”
- (Psalm 12:6).
- “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.”
- (Psalm 119:140).
- "Every word of God is pure: he is a
shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou
not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found
- (Proverbs 30:5-6).
'Pure' means without admixture of foreign material. There are
plenty of quotations in the Bible, expressing the thoughts of such
unreliable speakers as the serpent in the Garden of Eden,
Nebuchadnezzar, and the fool whose says in his heart 'there is no
God,' also the complaints and lamentations of men like David
and Jeremiah, as well as the very words of God: 'thus saith the Lord.' Nevertheless these
disparate threads are woven together by one Author's hand into a
harmonious whole. One Author inspired the whole:
- “But continue thou in the things
which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of
whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast
known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise
unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
- (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
The word translated 'inspiration' is 'θεοπνευστος,' 'God-breathed.' The men who wrote
the books of the Bible were not operating off of their own store of
- “For the prophecy came not in old
time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
- (2 Peter 1:21).
Some inspired authors, like Luke, report calmly sitting down and
doing research; but even these are serving as an instrument, in the
way Philo describes, "He, with great energy, forbids his disciples
to apply themselves to such sources of knowledge; and he says, that
if they are truly pious they shall not be deprived of a proper
knowledge of the future; but that some other prophet [Deuteronomy 18:18] will appear to them on a sudden, inspired like himself, who will preach and prophesy among them, saying nothing of his own (for he who is truly possessed and inspired, even when he speaks, is unable to comprehend what he is himself saying), but that all the words that he should utter would proceed from him as if another was prompting him; for the prophets are interpreters of God, who is only using their voices as instruments, in order to explain what he chooses."
(Philo Judaeus, On Monarchy, Book I, Chapter IX).
Like they say, The Bible is the oldest book in publication whose
author is still alive." (Making Sense of the Bible, David Whitehead,
p. 14). God used men like David as an instrument:
- “Now these be the last words of
David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was
raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the
sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake
by me, and his word was in my tongue.”
- (2 Samuel 23:1-2).
- “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been
fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake
before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.”
- (Acts 1:16).
The human authors of scripture are mouth-pieces speaking for God,
as Jeremiah experienced:
- “Then the LORD put forth his hand,
and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I
have put my words in thy mouth.”
- (Jeremiah 1:9).
As we have seen, nither is this revelation above human understanding: "For
we are not writing any other things to you than what you read
or understand [επιγινωσκω]." (2 Corinthians 1:13 NKJV). This word
1) to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know
1a) to know accurately, know well
2) to know
2a) to recognise
2a1) by sight, hearing, of certain signs, to
perceive who a person is
2b) to know i.e. to perceive
know i.e. to find out, ascertain
2d) to know i.e. to understand
(Online Bible Dictionary).
Modern Roman Catholics and several main-line Protestant churches routinely deny these Bible truths in the
Therefore there has had to be a division: