10 Truths about the Bible

 

COPYRIGHT ©2017 - James M. Frye

When I speak of “the Bible” in this article, I am referring to the Authorized King James Bible. All scripture quotations are taken from it. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.

For more articles on other issues, please visit our website at: www.seekingfortruth.com .

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Introduction

The Bible is a truly amazing book! One of the most interesting things about the Bible is that it has much to say about itself. Scripture teaches us many things about: what it is, how it came to be written, and how it is to be understood. The Bible also teaches us that what we believe about it will determine the effect it will have upon our lives (1 Thess. 2:13).

In this article, we will be looking at 10 truths which the Bible teaches us regarding itself. These truths are essential to having a proper understanding of the Bible. Coming to understand these things changed how I relate to the Bible, and that, in turn, changed my life. It is my hope that God will use this article to do the same for you.

 

#1 – The Truth of REVELATION

The Bible is a revelation from God.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

There are two types of information: the things which have been revealed by God and the things which have not. The things “which are revealed” refer to those things which have been revealed to us in scripture (“the words of this law”). The “secret things” refer to those things which God has kept secret and not chosen to reveal to us in the Bible. Think about it. If it wasn’t for the Bible we would know virtually nothing about God. Other than knowing that God exists by seeing His creation (Rom. 1:19-20), and having some basic sense of right and wrong (which God has written upon our hearts - Rom. 2:14-15), we would know absolutely nothing about spiritual matters. 

But God has chosen to reveal many things to us in the Bible so we might know them, do them, and teach them unto our children. Is that the way you view the Bible - as a book through which God has chosen to reveal the things He wants you to know and teach to your children? If so, you will find yourself having a desire to read the Bible and to discover all that it contains. As I said in the introduction, coming to understand these truths will change how you relate to the Bible, and that, in turn, will change your life.

Ephesians 3:3-5 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Notice how the word "revelation" is used in the above passage. It refers to things which had never been "revealed" before, but have "now" been revealed by God and written in scripture (the words “as I wrote afore” refer to the previous chapter). So God revealed these “new revelations” to his holy apostles and prophets and they recorded them in scripture for us to read. Revelation is new spiritual truth God is “revealing” for the first time.

The Bible is the only book whose contents were given by revelation from the one true God. Therefore, it is the ONLY source of spiritual truth in existence. How do we know this? God tells us that the difference between Him and the false gods of the world’s religions is that He alone can predict the future. He even puts forth a challenge in this respect to the “would be” gods to try.

Isaiah 41:21-24 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

God challenges the false gods of the world's other religions to predict the future if they are in fact real. The Bible is like no other book in the world in this respect. No other "religious" book even attempts it. The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies that were made hundreds or even thousands of years ahead of time that have been fulfilled to the letter. I can show you 48 prophecies that were given concerning Jesus Christ 400 to 2000 years before He was born which came to pass in exact detail. A mathematician determined that the chance of such a thing happening by mere chance is 1 out of 10 to the 157th power. That is 1 chance out of 10 with 157 zeros behind it.

There are not that many grains of sand on all the beaches in the world. There are not that many drops of water in all of the oceans, lakes & rivers on earth. As a matter of fact, there are not that many electrons in the known universe. Now what is the mathematical statistical probability of something like this happening by mere chance?

It would be less than the chance of guessing when an alarm clock will go off sometime in the next 27 billion years, and guessing it to the exact second. Or how about this, I could take one grain of sand and mark it with an invisible dye. I could then hide it somewhere on one of the beaches on earth. Now what are the chances of a person going out with a pair of tweezers and not only picking the right beach, but also of picking the right grain of sand with their first attempt? They would have a greater chance of doing that than the chance of all these prophecies coming to pass by mere chance. This proves, according to God Himself, that the Bible is the ONLY true revelation from God. People are free to ignore the Bible if they choose, but I wouldn't wager my soul against such odds.

 

#2 - The Truth of INSPIRATION

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The word "inspiration" here means "breathing". All scripture is given by God breathing (the breathing of God). What does that mean? If you put your hand closely in front of your mouth and speak, you will feel your breath upon your hand. That is what this verse is saying.

Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

All scripture is given by God breathing (or speaking). In other words, all scripture is the word of God and not the word of men.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 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 worketh also in you that believe.

God worked in such a way so that the things recorded in scripture were exactly what He wanted to be written.

2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.

God put His words in the mouth of His prophets (Jer. 1:9) and they either wrote them down themselves (Exod. 24:4) or dictated them to a scribe who wrote them down for them (Jer. 36:4). But it was God who was moving and in control of the process so that what was written was exactly what He wanted to be written. That is inspiration. According to the Bible, the very words of scripture were given by inspiration.

Jeremiah 30:2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

Exodus 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD …

It is the words of scripture, not the thoughts or the ideas, which have been inspired. God didn’t just give people ideas regarding what to write about and have them put those ideas into their own words. And being the words of God, the words of the Bible are alive (have spiritual life in them). The Bible is a supernatural book.

John 6:63  ... the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The words of the Bible are alive. They are the words/breath of the living God. In creation, God breathed into Adam giving him life (Genesis 2:7). The same is true of the word of God (the Bible). God inspired the words of Scripture and those words have spiritual life.

The first verse we referenced in this section, 2 Timothy 3:16, also tells us how much of scripture is inspired. It says all. Some people mistakenly believe that the words of Jesus (the red letters) have more authority than other parts of the Bible (the epistles of Paul for example) because these words were directly spoken by Jesus Himself. But notice what Paul said via inspiration concerning the things which he wrote.

1 Cor. 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

All of scripture is inspired and not just the words spoken by God/Jesus. The entire Bible, from beginning to end, is the word of God. Many people are confused by this and will ask how the words of people other than Jesus or the apostles could be the words of God. If God is not the one directly speaking, how can those words be God’s words? These words are God’s words because it was God who controlled which words were written in scripture in giving an account of each event via inspiration.

Let me give you an illustration. Suppose that I go outside and listen to a discussion between two of my neighbors. When I come back inside, my wife asks me what they were saying. I then tell her what was said. Now, were the words I spoke to my wife my words? Yes, they were my words even though I was restating what others had said.

This is pale comparison to how scripture was written. Jesus told his apostles that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance the things He had said to them (John 14:26). So when John sat down to write the gospel of John, the Holy Spirit brought to His remembrance the exact words which Jesus had spoken and he wrote them down. Were the words he wrote merely John’s words? No, they were the very words of God because God communicated them to him by the Holy Spirit.

Also, the words of scripture are the words of God because God will speak to us through those words. So when you read the scriptures, you are reading the very words of God and not merely the words of men.

 

#3 - The Truth of INERRANCY

Another thing which the Bible tells us about itself is that it is true.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Since God’s word is true, this means that the scriptures are “inerrant”. According to the Bible, God cannot lie.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Since God cannot lie, and since God caused the very words of scripture to be written via inspiration (so that the words of scripture are God’s words and not merely man’s words), those words must in fact be true and without error. In other words, the Biblical doctrine of inspiration leads to the doctrine of inerrancy.

Since the Bible is the only book which was given by the inspiration of God, it is the only source of absolute spiritual truth anywhere on earth. What men tell us is often false, but what God tells us is always true. This truth is expressed in the following scripture.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar

Therefore, we can compare what people tell us to what the Bible actually says to determine if it is true or not.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

If what we are being told is backed up by the Bible then we can know that those things are indeed true. But if the Bible anywhere contradicts what is being said, those things are not true and should be rejected.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

The truthfulness of the Bible is another doctrine which people are often confused by. For example, we see in scripture where men spoke lies and the Bible says that what they said were lies. But, these words are recorded in scripture. Since God cannot lie, how can those lying words be the words of God? In other words, how can what the Bible says be true if lies are sometimes spoken in it?

As we saw earlier, the words of scripture are the words of God because God caused the writers of scripture to pen those exact words in giving an account of each particular event. How are those words true, even when a lie is recorded in it? They are true in recording the fact that what these people said was a lie. It is true that those people lied. And the Bible truthfully records that what was spoken was indeed a lie.

We must remember that although all of scripture is true, not every scripture is necessarily a statement of fact. For example, people in scripture said that: Jesus was possessed by an evil spirit (John 7:20), that He cast out evil spirits by the power of Satan (Matt. 12:24), and that He was not a true prophet because He was from Galilee (John 7:52). None of these statements are a statement of fact, and they are all refuted by scripture itself. But as part of God’s word, these statements truly record what was said. All scripture is true but not every scripture is necessarily a statement of fact. We must pay careful attention to the context.

 

 

 

#4 - The Truth of AUTHORITY

There are three things which scripture teaches us regarding the authority of the Bible. First, we need to understand that scripture has the same authority as God Himself. Let me illustrate. Suppose that a king were to make a proclamation and send it throughout his kingdom by messengers. Would the citizens of that kingdom be obligated to obey the king’s proclamation even though he had not spoken it to them in person? Yes, they would.  

The word of God is like that proclamation. It is the word of the king! When scripture is quoted, it has the same authority as if God parted the clouds and thundered those very words from heaven Himself. We have no more right to reject what the Bible says than we would have a right to answer back to God if He spoke from heaven and tell him “No”. The Bible tells us that to disobey God’s word is to disobey God (Exod. 5:1-2; 2 Kings 18:12; 1 Cor. 14:37), to disbelieve God’s word is to disbelieve God (1 John 5:10; Deut. 9:23), and to reject God’s word is to reject God Himself (John 12:48; Psa. 81:11; 2 Kings 21:22. All of these things could only be true if scripture has the same authority as God Himself.

The second thing the Bible tells us about its authority is that scripture has the same authority (the authority of God) and effectiveness regardless of who gives it out.

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Jesus said that people who would keep His sayings (His word), would keep them regardless of whether He told them, or if His disciples (believers) told them. In other words, the word of God has the same effectiveness regardless of who gives it out. The Bible tells us that he who is of God will hear God’s words (John 8:47). Jesus said that His sheep will hear His voice (John 10:27-28). And Scripture says that God’s words will not return unto Him void (Isa. 55:10-11). These things are true regardless of who gives the word of God out. This is why believers are told to carry forth the truth of God’s word into the world as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20). Just like in our earlier illustration, we are the messengers and God is the king. And people are obligated to hear and believe the king’s word regardless of who gives it to them.

The third thing scripture tells us about its authority is that the Bible is the only spiritual authority on earth. Earlier, we saw how the Bible is the only source of spiritual truth because it is the only book which was given by revelation from God. This means that the Bible is the only spiritual authority there is. During the reformation this truth was affirmed by the words “sola scriptura” meaning scripture alone. God says His word alone is of authority and we may not add anything to it, nor take anything away from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Scripture alone is given by inspiration of God.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

And scripture is the judge as to whether a person is teaching the truth or not.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Acts 17:11 … they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The Bible teaches us that the following things are of absolutely NO spiritual authority.

  1. The opinions of men (Matt.16:13-17).
  2. What philosophers say (Col. 2:8).
  3. The traditions of men (Mark 7:6-8).
  4. What the world does or thinks (1 Cor. 3:19).
  5. The doctrines of men (Eph. 4:14).
  6. What a particular church teaches (2 Tim. 4:2-3).
  7. What a particular teacher says (2 Pet. 2:1).
  8. What the majority thinks (Matt. 7:13-14).
  9. What creeds, confessions, and/or church “fathers” taught (Acts 20:28-32).
  10.  What seems right to us (Prov. 14:12).

And in case I missed anything, anything else! (Isa. 8:20).

 

#5 - The Truth of COMPLETENESS

Another truth which the Bible teaches us regarding itself is that the Bible is complete. One of the words which scripture often uses to convey the idea of completeness is the word “perfect”.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

In the above verse, the word “perfect” means to be entire and lacking/wanting nothing. In other words, it means to be “complete”. If I were to draw a circle but leave a small gap at the top, would that be a perfect circle? No. Why? It would not be a perfect circle because it was not complete. That is how the Bible uses the word perfect. It means complete.

Scripture uses the word perfect in the same way (meaning complete) to refer to the time when the Bible was to be completed/perfected.

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Each prophecy was only a partial revelation of God’s truth, but once God's completed revelation of the New Testament (that which is perfect) was come, prophecy would no longer be necessary and would be done away. For more on this see my article, “Are there Prophets Today?”. God has already included everything in the Bible which He wants to be in it and nothing more is to be added. God even placed a warning at the end of the last book of the Bible not to add to it.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

So the Bible is complete in both its canon and its contents. When we say that it is complete in its canon, we are saying that is already contains every book which God wants to be in it, and no more books are to be added. When we say that it is complete in its contents, we are saying that each book is complete and nothing is to be added to any of them. Since the Bible is complete and nothing more is to be added to it, it is complete in both its canon and its contents.

People often question whether or not revelation is still taking place today. If we are talking about "new revelation" like we discussed in point #1 of this article, the answer is “No”. Scripture teaches us that this type of revelation ceased once the scriptures were completed. God has already told us everything He wants us to know in the Bible. No additional revelation is needed. And as we saw in our last point, the Bible is the sole (only) authority for our faith. Along with the reformers, we proclaim “Sola scriptura”. We go by the Bible and the Bible alone.

#6 - The Truth of SUFFICIENCY

The Bible is not only complete in its canon and its contents, it is also complete in another way.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 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, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In the above passage, the word “perfect” is restated to mean “throughly furnished”. In giving us the scriptures, God has thoroughly furnished us with all we need in order to live the Christian life perfectly/completely. If scripture provides us with everything we need in order to live the Christian life perfectly, then it is not lacking anything. In other words, the scriptures are sufficient. They tell us everything we need to know in order to live the Christian life.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

God has already given us “all things” which pertain unto (have to do with) living the Christian life in all godliness. And those things were given to us “through the knowledge of Him”. Where did God give us this knowledge of Him? In scripture of course, and that is what the book goes on to speak about later in the chapter (verse 19-21). If God has already given us all things which we need to live the Christian life in scripture, then the Bible is not lacking anything. It is sufficient. It contains all we need to know.

So when we say that the scriptures are sufficient, we are saying that the Bible is not lacking anything. It contains everything we need in order to live the Christian life perfectly. The Bible has all of the answers to our problems and provides guidance in every situation. This means we are to go to the Bible for answers and guidance for everything in the Christian life.

Scripture tells us how to handle difficulties, raise our children, deal with false teachers, have a good marriage, use our money. etc. etc.. A person who understands and believes this will live quite differently from the world around them. They will read through the scriptures again and again applying what they read to their lives. They will search the scriptures repeatedly to discover God’s guidance for every area of their lives. And in doing so, they will be greatly blessed by God.

Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalms 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalms 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalms 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Psalms 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

This Psalm tells us the difference between a Godly person and an ungodly one. The Godly person does not take counsel from ungodly people, but instead gets their counsel from God’s word (Psalm 119:24). They meditate (think about) God’s word day and night. Because of this, they soak up that word like a tree planted by a river soaks up water. God blesses them, and whatsoever they do prospers.

This is an entirely different life than that which is lived by most Christians. Why? Because they do not realize that the Bible has all the answers to everything in life. They do not live in the Bible so they do not bear the fruits of having done so. Just as I said earlier in this article, what you believe about the Bible will determine the effect it will have upon your life. Doctrine matters.

 

#7 - The Truth of ILLUMINATION

There is another way in which the word “revelation” is used in the Bible. 

Ephesians 1:16-18 … making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

In the passage above, the word "revelation" is used in an entirely different way than in the passages we saw in point #1. Here the word “revelation” is not referring to "new revelation" (new spiritual truth which God is giving for the first time). It is instead referring to being able to understand the truth God has already given us in scripture. A particular truth may have been in the Bible all along, but God may have just opened your spiritual eyes to see (understand) it today. It is as if you were in a dark room and couldn't see it until God turned the "light" on. That is why we use the term "illumination" to describe it. We see Jesus opening the understanding of His disciples in exactly this same way.

Luke 24:44-45 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Jesus didn’t give them a new revelation which was not already contained in scripture. He opened their understanding to what the scriptures already said. That is Illumination. These passages teach us that we are dependent upon God/Jesus to open our understanding in this way. We are not able to do it ourselves. The first passage shows us that we should pray for illumination, not only for ourselves, but also for others. The Bible is not like any other book. Its author (God) alone can unlock the depths of its spiritual riches for us to understand.

This is part of what makes the Bible so incredible. For in it, we have a virtually inexhaustible source of spiritual truth. People have spent their entire lives reading, studying, and learning the Bible and never been able to learn all its truths. The Bible holds many truths which may only be understood as our knowledge of it increases. It is new and fresh every day. What an amazing Book God has given us! We have more spiritual truth in the Bible than we could ever learn in an entire lifetime.

Scripture also teaches us that God will often reveal truth to some while withholding it from others. For example, God will often hide spiritual truth from those who are proud but reveal it to those who are humble. (Those who humble themselves are often referred to in scripture as babes/children - Matthew 18:4).

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Being able to understand spiritual truth and discern truth versus error is also linked to a person’s willingness to do God’s will by obeying His word.

John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In short, scripture teaches us that if we wish to be able to understand the Bible we must not only humble ourselves and do God’s will by obeying His word, we must also put away sin from our lives (1 Peter 2:1-2; Daniel 12:10), and serve God with singleness of heart/mind (James 1:5-8; James 4:8; Matthew 6:22:23). This means that serving God must be the highest priority and purpose in our life (Matthew 6:24) and all other things in our lives must be secondary. The Bible teaches us that we are to do all things in our life in the service of God and in a way which pleases Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23).

 

#8 – The Truth of TRANSLATION

A person who serves as a translator between two languages in our day is called both a translator and an interpreter. The Bible uses these two words but in quite different ways. The word “translated” is used in a different sense entirely (Heb. 11:5; Col. 1:13). So, when we want to learn what the Bible says about “translation” we need to look at verses which use the words “interpretation” or “interpreted”.

John 1:41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

The Hebrew word “Messias” is interpreted/translated to its equivalent Greek word “Christos”. We then read this in our English translation as “Christ”.   

John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Cephas is a Syriac word. It is equivalent to the Greek word “Petros” which is translated into English here as “a stone”.

Apart from a few sections in Ezra and Daniel, and a few words or verses here and there were written in Aramaic, the vast majority of the Old Testament (O.T.) was originally written in Hebrew. The New Testament (N.T.) was written in Greek. When we read our Bibles we are reading an English translation from those languages. For more on the translation process see my article, “Which Bible is the Word of God?”.

It should be noted that names in the Bible are often not translated when they are brought over into English, but are rather transliterated. Transliteration is the process whereby each letter of a word is brought over into another language rather than translating the whole word. This is why many of the names of people from the Old Testament are different from their names in the New Testament. For example, Isaiah from the O.T. become Esaias in the NT (Matt. 3:3), and Elijah from the OT becomes Elias in the N.T. (Matt. 17:3).

 

#9 – The truth of PRESERVATION

The Bible tells us that God not only inspired the words of scripture, it also tells us that He would preserve the words of scripture. God promised that He would preserve both his word and his words. God’s word refers to the whole of scripture (the whole Bible). God’s words refer to the individual words in the Bible.

Here are some of the verses.

Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them [God‘s Words], O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalms 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Psalms 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The sad thing is that despite the clear testimony of scripture on this matter, the vast majority of Bible teachers, preachers, and professing Christians do not believe that God actually preserved His word as He promised. This is especially alarming because most of these same people believe in what the Bible says about its “inspiration”. But, for every one Bible verse which speaks about scripture’s inspiration, there are 7-10 Bible verses which speak of scripture’s preservation. Why believe one and not the other? We are certainly living in times of great apostasy.

Those who do believe that God has preserved His words as He promised, and that we have them available for us to read today, are often referred to as “Bible Believers” They are called “Bible Believers” because they actually believe what the Bible says about itself in regard to this matter. I will (God willing) be dealing with this matter in more detail in an upcoming article entitled “Why the King James Bible?”. Until then, I leave you to decide whether you will believe what God says about this matter or not.

 

#10 – The truth of INTERPRETATION

As we saw in point #8, the word interpretation is sometimes used in scripture to refer to translation from one language to another. The word interpretation is also used another way in the Bible. It is also used to refer to the act of determining the meaning of something, in this case, scripture itself.

2 Pet. 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.

The words “private interpretation” do not mean individual interpretation. According to the Bible, believers have both the right to interpret the scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:10-11), as well as the responsibility to do so correctly (2 Tim. 2:15). The words “private interpretation” are referring to interpreting the scriptures privately apart from the rest of scripture. The Bible teaches us that all of scripture is true (Psalm 119:160). Therefore we may not misinterpret one scripture in a way which causes it to contradict another. After all God does not disagree with Himself. God does not state one thing to be true in scripture in one place and then disagree with Himself in another.

There are a number of principles which the Bible itself teaches us regarding how it is to be interpreted. We aren’t talking about any man-made methods here. We are talking about how God Himself tells us to interpret His word. I have already written about these things in an article entitled “How to Interpret the Bible”. I will refer you to that article rather than restating those things all over again here. You can find it by going to the link at the top of this article.

Summary

In this article, we have learned the following truths that the Bible teaches us regarding itself.

  1. The Bible is the only book whose contents were given by revelation from the one true God. Therefore, it is the ONLY source of spiritual truth in existence.
  2. All scripture is given by the inspiration of God. Therefore, the words of the Bible are not the words of men but rather the words of God.
  3. Scripture is inerrant. This means that what the Bible says is true.
  4. Scripture has the same authority as God, and it is the only authority in spiritual matters. It has the same authority regardless of who gives it out.
  5. The Bible is complete in both its canon and its contents, and nothing is to be added to it.
  6. Scripture is sufficient and is not lacking anything. The Bible contains everything we need to know in order to live the Christian life.
  7. We are dependent upon God for, and should pray for, the illumination of scripture that we might understand it.
  8. Scripture was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. When we read it in English we are reading a translation.
  9. God promised to preserve the words of scripture forever so that we could have them and read them in our day.
  10.  The Bible sets forth numerous principles which tell us how scripture is to be interpreted. We are not to follow man-made methods here, but rather God’s own principles from scripture.