The Bible makes certain claims
One of the great considerations confronting every person is the answer to the question, “What is the Bible?” It is probably more accurate to ask, “Is the Bible what it claims to be?” The reason this question is of such importance is because the Bible makes astounding claims about itself. These claims are so great in scope and importance that a person must either conclude that the claims are true or the biblical text was written by liars and tricksters. We should all believe it impossible that honest individuals could write such claims without nefarious reasons. If on the other hand the claims the Bible makes are correct, the information becomes imperative, the implications affect every person’s life, and the warnings should not go unheeded.
Here is a list of the most prominent claims the Bible makes
The Bible claims its author is God.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV).
“For no prophecy [or biblical writing] was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 ESV).
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 ESV).
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16 ESV).
Donald Grey Barnhouse, a noted Bible teacher and author, explains to us the work of God as the author of the Bible, and writes:
The fact that many men of varying backgrounds, writing over a period of sixteen hundred years, could produce a work in which every part may be fitted perfectly into every other part, with not one verse too many and not one verse too few, demonstrates that behind the human authors there was a God who breathed through them the message He wished to have recorded at the time and in the manner and form that suited His purpose (Donald Barnhouse, The Invisible War, p. 14).
The Bible claims to be eternal and will never pass away.
The Bible tells us that the words spoken by God and recorded in the Bible will endure past the age in which we live. The words of God will endure throughout eternity. Here is but one of the many passages that make this claim (italics added).
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away: but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:24-25 KJV).
The Bible claims to be the revelation of God to man in written form.
The Bible indicates that the Scriptures reveal God to humanity. Not only do the Scriptures reveal who God is, but describes what he is like, clarifies what he desires from people, and announces what he has accomplished in the created world.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1 KJV).
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God" (Psalm 90:2 ESV).
“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” (2 Timothy 3:15 KJV).
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27 KJV).
The Bible's great purpose is to explain God to humanity. The biblcal record references the word "God" some 4473 times and is more than sufficent to provide adequate information about God necessary for people to understand him.
The Bible claims to be truth in written form.
The Bible uses the word truth some 237 times. The subject of truth in Scripture is discussed throughout the Bible: truth as it relates to the biblical testimony; truth as it relates to understanding God; truth as it relates to God’s acts; truth as it relates to God’s plan of redemption (that is, saving people from their sins and granting them eternal life) for all who believe in Jesus Christ. The Bible makes a repeated and clear claim to be truth and the source for understanding life and the existence of all things.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:7 KJV).
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, ‘If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31-32 KJV).
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37 KJV).
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).
The Bible claims to be the single source of information to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bible also provides ample information and testimony about Jesus Christ: the reason for his life, his death, his burial and his resurrection—the gospel is explained for all to read. It is the Scriptures alone that provide a reliable testimony about Jesus Christ. Donald Grey Barnhouse states this matter like this: “He is giving us the story of the eternal plan, with special emphasis on man’s complete ruin in sin, and His own perfect remedy in Christ” (Barnhouse, The Invisible War, p. 17). The most relevant information accessible to mankind is the gospel of Jesus Christ, presented to all humanity in order that every individual can have access to God through his Son. Consider the following verses, their meaning, and the fact that without the Bible it would be impossible to know these things (italics added).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16 KJV).
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6 KJV).
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:26 KJV).
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15 KJV).
A couple of other things
Please understand this is not an exhaustive listing of the biblical claims, only what might be viewed as some of its capital declarations. There are a couple of other points that should be mentioned.
First, the Bible is the single most influential book in human history. The Bible is also the most read, the most studied, the most widely printed, the most quoted, the most debated, and the most purchased book in human history. The Bible has had a greater impact on the human race than any other book in history.
Secondly, the Bible lays claim to being authoritative. Of course, in one sense, the Bible’s authority is limited to the amount of authority given to it by individuals, and on a greater scale, that which is given by society. Much the same manner as any item’s value is dependent upon the value attached to it by people. In the broader and far more important sense, the Bible is authoritative upon all human beings and no one is exempt from its authority—if it is the word of God to all of humanity, then every person is included.
Finally, the Bible is divisive. In the book, The World’s Greatest Book: How the Bible came to Be, the authors summarize the feelings people have toward the Scriptures, and write,
...[the Bible] is one of the world’s most loved and loathed books...When it comes to the Bible, everyone has an opinion. America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, gushed that the Bible was “the best gift God has given to man” and that “all the good the savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book.” Compare Lincoln’s warm sentiments to the decidedly colder view of Celsus, a philosopher of Platonism in the second century. He called the Jewish and Christian Bibles “altogether absurd.” Seventeen centuries later, American novelist Mark Twain wrote that the Bible contains “some good morals, and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” More recently, British actor Ian McKellen said on the Today show, “I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying, “This is fiction.” Surely a book this discussed and disputed, this revered and this reviled is worth a closer look (p. 5).
Let’s continue our discussion of the Bible by addressing its invitation to everyone.To next section Homepage