Is the Bible Inspired of God

A Vital Issue

It is very manifest, if we assert that the Holy Scriptures are given by inspiration of God, that the claim must be sustained by the contents of the Scriptures themselves. The proof is to be found there and nowhere else. The issue of our enquiry as to whether we have an inspired revelation from God is therefore of the most vital concern to every one, for if God speaks to man it must be a message of deepest importance, since divine inspiration is the essence of authority.

If the Scriptures claim to be inspired of God, and they do, and if that claim is true, and it is, then the Bible must be the best of books, a book standing altogether by itself, the fountain head of divine revelation, a book coming to us with nothing less than the authority of God Himself.

On the other hand, if the claim to inspiration is false and untrue, then the Bible is the most wicked and blasphemous hoax ever imposed upon the credulity of the human race, and should have an evil effect upon all who read it. If this is so, it should not be difficult to prove this and discredit the Bible and completely efface it from the earth.

If the Bible be inspired of God, it will surely stand the test of the closest examination, and more than ever discover to us where the truth lies.

We begin by saying that the inspiration, that Scripture claims for itself, is nothing less than

VERBAL INSPIRATION.

That this claim has been acknowledged by men of intellect and learning the following quotations will prove.

Webster in the first edition of his Dictionary, defines inspiration as
  “The supernatural influence of the Spirit of God on the human mind, by which prophets, apostles, and sacred writers were qualified to set forth Divine truth without any mixture of error.”

Dean Burgon, a man of vast learning, and a devout Christian, wrote:
  “You cannot dissect inspiration into substance and form. As for thoughts being inspired apart from words, which give them expression; you might as well talk of a tune without notes, or a sum without figures. It is as illogical as it is worthless, and cannot be too sternly put down.”

Bishop Colenso of South Africa a good many years ago was notorious for his questioning the full inspiration of the Scriptures. The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England at that time in a united protest addressed to Bishop Colenso said:
  “All our hopes for eternity, the very foundation of our faith, our nearest and dearest consolations, are taken from us, if one line of the Sacred Book be declared unfaithful and untrustworthy.”

Of the Scriptures own claim to verbal inspiration we have abundant testimony. The various theories that are given forth weaken or deny verbal inspiration. The inspiration of the Holy Scriptures by God is a central stone in the arch of Divine revelation. Take that stone away, and the whole arch is destroyed. Without an inspired Book from God, what could we know of Him, and out relation to Him?

Let Scripture speak for itself We read:
  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [Greek, theopneustos, God-breathed], 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” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

The Revised Version gives an alternative translation, rendering it, “Every Scripture inspired of God,” etc., but this in no wise alters the main sense of the passage. Here we have a very plain claim to the full and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. At the time this was written the Old Testament had been acknowledged for long centuries as the inspired word of God by the Jewish nation. In addition to this nearly all of the New Testament was in existence. The Apostle Paul’s second epistle to Timothy, in which this text occurs, was written at the very close of his career, when he was awaiting martyrdom at the hands of Nero, the cruellest of the Roman Emperors. The Apostle John’s writings were still future, but would be embraced under the term, “all Scripture” or “every Scripture.”

It is to be carefully noted that the verse before the one we have just quoted speaks of the Scriptures as

“ABLE TO MAKE . . . WISE UNTO SALVATION”

Why should this statement be followed immediately by the claim to verbal inspiration? The answer is very striking and important. The assurance of salvation is wrapped up in the inspiration of the Scriptures by God. How can any person be assured of salvation, unless they are convinced that the words of Scripture are the very words of God, and not of fallible man. The Devil knows full well that to undermine belief in the inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture undermines the gospel message and in truth destroys Christianity itself. Hence the violent and persistent and prolonged attacks upon the Scriptures. The attack against God’s Word began in the very Garden of Eden when Satan sought to inject doubt into the mind of Eve, when he tempted her to her sad fall, saying

“YEA, has GOD SAID?” (Gen. 3:1).

A case in point occurs to the writer. A lady came under deep conviction of sin, and a sense of her need of a Saviour. But she had the sad misfortune to sit under the ministry of a Modernist minister, who did not believe in the full and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures. Alas her belief in the inspiration of the Bible had been rudely shaken. When a preacher of the old-fashioned gospel of the grace of God brought to her notice a text of Scripture which if received in faith would have filled her with “all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13), she exclaimed with bitter tears running down her cheeks, “How happy I should be, were I sure that this verse is inspired.” Oh! the pity of it.

These Modernists have much to answer for, and will assuredly find this out when the secrets of all hearts are revealed.

Men may speak eloquently of the Scriptures, go into raptures over its wonderful poetry, expatiate with enthusiastic delight over its ethical teaching, but if they do not receive the Bible as an inspired message from God, they can only take their hearers further and further away from the truth, veritable “blind leaders of the blind” (Matt. 15:14).

OUR LORD’S TESTIMONY TO THE SCRIPTURES

The Bible lays claim to nothing less than verbal inspiration. In the passage we are about to quote, this same claim comes from the lips of our Lord Himself.

  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till earth and heaven pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18).

If this is not a clear and emphatic claim to verbal inspiration, then words have no meaning. If our Lord claims verbal inspiration for the Scriptures, and He does, then we are in good company indeed when we receive His testimony. The supercilious sneer of many Modernists and Higher Critics, and the fear that one may be charged with being behind the times, and wanting in ripe scholarship, will have no effect in the stand we take alongside of our beloved Lord.

In the passage just quoted the law stands for the five books of Moses, and with the prophets and psalms, embraces the whole of the Old Testament, the only Scriptures extant when our Lord was here on earth in the Scripture we have just quoted, our Lord does not refer to words, but to parts of words.

What is a “jot”? The smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, answering to the letter, “I,” in our English alphabet.

What is a “tittle”? It is even less than part of a word. It is part of a letter, consisting of a small mark to distinguish one letter from another, letters so alike, as to be easily confused the one with the other.

If the very “jots” and “tittles” are inspired, then every word is inspired. If we give full weight to this statement of our Lord, we are bound to believe unqualifiedly in the verbal inspiration of the original Scriptures.

Of course we refer to the original Scriptures. These have tracelessly disappeared, and possibly just as well, for if they had been in existence they might have been the objects of idolatrous worship. A striking warning against idolatrous worship is given in the case of the brazen serpent, that Moses erected, on a pole in the wilderness. We read that all who had been bitten by the fiery serpents, turning their eyes to it, were healed. This brazen serpent had been preserved for centuries, and had become the occasion of idolatrous worship on the part of the Israelites. Good King Hezekiah, in clearing idolatry from the land broke it in pieces and in derision called it “Nehushtan” (2 Kings 18:4), meaning a piece of brass, and nothing more.

But the survival of hundreds and thousands of manuscript copies of the Scriptures, either in part or in whole, proves absolutely the existence of the original Scriptures, and the very high esteem in which they were held. These manuscripts are unanimous in giving to us the great fundamental doctrines of Christianity unimpaired in the slightest degree. The variations in the manuscripts are so minute in the main, that they are happily likened to a handful of grain as compared with a field of many acres of ripening corn.

It seems as if God’s good hand has been over the translation of the holy Scriptures from the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and the Greek of the New Testament to the English of our Bible, not that they were inspired in the full sense of the word, but committing themselves in prayer to God and seeking His help and guidance, their prayers were doubtless abundantly answered

When our Lord was here on earth, He quoted as authoritative the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. This translation was made about 270 B.C., at Alexandria, Egypt, and is commonly called the Septuagint, because the number of translators employed was about seventy. If there had been any weakening of any fundamental truth our Lord would surely not have quoted from it.

In a similar fashion we cannot be too thankful for the excellent Authorised and Revised Versions of the Holy Scriptures, obtaining in English-speaking lands, and use them freely and without question as the Word of God.

Again we quote the Lord’s attitude to the Scriptures. We read that when the Jews took up stones to stone the Lord, He asked them for what good work did they stone Him. They replied that they took up stones to stone Him not because of any good work but because He blasphemed God in claiming to be the Son of God.

  “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken: say ye of Him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:34-36).

In this passage our Lord speaks of the law (the five books of Moses), and the Scripture as identical, adding the very significant statement, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” These words mean the full assertion of the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. If the Word of God had been a mixture of truth and error, of God’s inspiration and fallible man’s additions, this statement of our Lord that “the Scripture cannot be broken,” could never have been made. The Bible would have been like the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the great image, partly iron and partly miry clay, partly strong and partly weak. No author would ever allow such a mixture of his writings to be given to the public. Shall God in high heaven allow His words to be tampered with? Far be the thought!

Our Lord wholeheartedly believed all that was in the Scriptures. He believed the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness, their murmuring and being bitten by the fiery serpents, and being cured of their bites by a look at the uplifted brazen serpent. Nay, more He linked up that incident as prophetical of His own atoning death on the cross. We read His own words:
  “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

Our Lord believed in the inspiration of the Psalms. He asked the Pharisees a question, “What think ye of Christ? whose Son is He?” They replied, “The Son of David,” meaning that He was a man, and naught else. He then quoted Psalm 110:1 as authoritative.

  “How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto My Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his Son?” (Matt. 22:43-45).

He quoted David as “in spirit,” that is, as inspired, calling One his Lord, who in lowly grace should become in due time David’s son, as being the fruit of the virgin’s womb. If David called Him Lord long centuries before He was born into this world, he certainly could never have written such a profound truth, involving the Deity of our Lord, were he not inspired. Our Lord’s answer was enough to silence the Pharisees. They were confounded by the Scriptures they themselves acknowledged to be the Word of God. If David called Him Lord, why could they not call Him Lord likewise?

Our Lord believed the story of Jonah and the great fish. The Higher Critics tell us that the book of Jonah is not historical, but simply a story of pious fiction to teach good moral lessons. But our Lord believed that Jonah was a historical person, and that he was actually three days and nights in the belly of the great fish. Modernists scoff at miracles, but if men can make a submarine, that can keep alive twenty or thirty men for days at the bottom of the ocean, is it impossible for God, who made man, to make a great fish capable of receiving Jonah into its belly, and carrying him as a passenger for three days and three nights? Moreover our Lord used this incident as a sign of Himself. We read His own words,
  “As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly*; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40).
{*There is no such word as “whale” in the original Scripture. The Greek word, ketos, means a great sea monster.}

If Jonah had gone to Nineveh at first with His message of doom, what chance was there, humanly speaking, of his being listened to? How could a single man, and he a Jew, expect to be listened to with such a message of doom in one of the mightiest and proudest cities of the then known world?

But when it was a matter of such absolutely startling news, and news spread very rapidly in those days and in those countries, that Jonah had been flung into the raging, sea, and it had become calm, and that after three days and nights he had been vomited on to dry land, the people of Nineveh would come to the conclusion that a messenger sent in such a miraculous fashion, being one as good as risen from the dead, must be listened to, and his message responded to.

Similarly it was the wonder of Christ’s resurrection that gave great force to the apostolic preaching of the grace of God. The fact that GOD raised from among the dead the One that men had crucified, made its great impact on the world of that day. But here we have the Divine vindication of the story of Jonah and the great fish, the Lord giving it as the sign of His own death and resurrection.

OUR LORD’S FAMILIARITY WITH THE LETTER OF SCRIPTURE

Then we have the outstanding example of our Lord’s familiarity with the letter of Scripture, and the use He made of it as “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

In His conflict with Satan, when He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil this is clearly seen. Having fasted for forty days and forty nights, our Lord was afterward an hungered. The Devil then tempted our Lord to make the stones bread wherewith to satisfy His hunger. He replied,
  “IT IS WRITTEN, Man, shall not live by bread alone., but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

Again Satan, having taken our Lord to a pinnacle of the Temple, bade Him cast Himself down, quoting, or rather misquoting, Scripture for his own evil ends. Satan too said, IT IS WRITTEN, evilly tampering with Holy Scripture. We quote the Scripture he employed, printing in capital letters the vital part he left out.

  “He shall give His angels charge over Thee, TO KEEP THEE IN ALL THY WAYS. They shall bear Thee up in their hands, lest Thou dash Thy foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

Our Lord’s ways were far removed from listening to the temptation of the evil one. He replied,
  “IT IS WRITTEN AGAIN, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt. 4:7).

A third time Satan comes up to the attack. Our Lord is taken to an exceedingly high mountain, and shown all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and Satan offers them to our Lord if only He will fall down and worship Him. Here we see the height of blasphemous audacity. Our Lord replies:
  “IT IS WRITTEN, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10).

Thrice our Lord flashed “the sword of the Spirit” in the sight of Satan. Baffled and defeated, he left our Lord victor on the field, and angels came and ministered unto Him.

If our Lord could say, “IT IS WRITTEN,” concerning these three quotations from the book of Deuteronomy, He could write, and has written, these same words over the whole of the Word of God, over every single word, over every “jot” and every “tittle.”

Adolphe Monod, the celebrated Swiss theologian, referring to the use our Lord made of the Scriptures in the temptation in the wilderness, wrote:
  “I know nothing in the whole history of humanity nor even in the whole field of divine revelation, that proves more clearly than this the inspiration of the Scriptures. What! Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth! Does He call to His aid in that solemn moment Moses His servant? Does He fortify Himself against the temptations of hell by the word of him, who spake on earth? Nay, how can we explain this spiritual mystery, that wonderful reversing of the order of things, if for Jesus the words of Moses were not the word of God, rather than those of men? How shall we explain it, if Jesus were not fully aware “that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost?” (2 Peter 1:21).

The saintly Bishop Handley Moule wrote:
  “When the Lord Jesus became a living and unutterably necessary reality to me, I remember that one of my first sensations of profound relief was, HE [the Lord Jesus Christ] absolutely trusted the Bible. Although there are things in it inexplicable and intricate that have puzzled me much, I am going, not in a blind sense, but reverently, to trust the Book because of HIM.”

THE SCRIPTURES AND CHRIST STAND OR FALL TOGETHER

We have said that the inspiration of Scripture by God is a central stone in the arch of Christianity, without which the arch would fall. This can be also said in the fullest way of the Person of our adorable Lord. The Scriptures themselves plainly show how they and our Lord stand or fall together.

For instance, if the Old Testament prophesied events to take place in relation to our Lord, and the time for their fulfilment arriving, they did not take place, or took place in a different manner than foretold, then we have an Old Testament that is not reliable, and the Higher Critics would be triumphant.

On the other hand, if our Lord supported the Old Testament, as He did here on earth, and the Old Testament does not fully answer to our Lord’s claim for it, then we have an unreliable Christ, who is no Christ at all. We need an infallible Christ and an infallible Word of God.

It is noteworthy that our Lord is called in the Scriptures “The Word of God” (Rev. 19:13). The Scriptures, likewise, are called “The Word of God” (John 10:35). The One we often call the living Word; the other the written Word.

To show how the Scriptures and our Lord stand or fall together, we bring forward a striking example. The Higher Critics denied that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, for they said that writing was quite unknown in his day, therefore he could not have written the five books that bear his name. This was triumphantly put forward as an “assured result.” To deny it was to pit oneself against the scholarship of the day.

Christians were distressed, and many minds were shaken by this attack on the Word of God, until it was discovered to be an ignorant blunder. Moreover we have the testimony of our Lord, who said:
  “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he WROTE of Me. But if ye believe not his WRITINGS, how shall ye believe My words?” (John 5:46-47).

Our Lord here asserts that Moses DID write, and links up his writings with His own WORDS, as being of equal authority. How could that be, if the writings of Moses were not fully inspired by God, and therefore the very words of God? Our Lord asked the question; “If ye believe not his [Moses’] WRITINGS, how shall ye believe My WORDS?” The Scriptures’ testimony to Christ, and Christ’s testimony to The Scriptures, support each other in the fullest and most unequivocal way.

Let us see now how the faith of the Christian was triumphantly vindicated. In the winter of 1901/2 a great discovery was made by De Morgan’s expedition to Persia. The famous Code of Khama-Rabi, or Hammurabi, identified as Amraphel, king of Shinar (Gen. 14:1), was unearthed. This was inscribed on a monument of black diorite, standing eight feet high. It consisted of a long inscription of 44 columns, totalling 2,644 lines. Now Amraphel was contemporary with Abraham. Here was writing long before the time of Moses, dating back 400 years before that great lawgiver was born.

This discovery shattered the “assured results” of the Higher Critics. Today they do not like to be reminded of their folly. “Assured results” are exploded one after another, as the spade of the archaeologist turns up more than sand. The curious thing is that the Higher Critics received without demur testimony to the antiquity of writing as evidenced by this Code of Hammurabi, written, as it was, at the command of a heathen king, when they would not receive the testimony of Moses; and, what is infinitely worse, of our Lord Himself. Does this not show their shockingly unfair bias in the matter?

The unerring Scriptures of truth describe such in scathing words.
  “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom. 1:28).
  “They willingly are ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5).
  “Science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).

There is a very striking Scripture, that is very apposite to the present time:
  “I am the Lord . . . that frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish; that confirms the WORD of His servant, and performs the COUNSEL of His messengers” (Isa. 44:24-26).

In the case before us, the wise men are turned backward, and are forced to acknowledge that their “assured results” are made foolish, whilst the word and counsel of God’s holy Word are triumphantly vindicated.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Let us now run through the Old Testament in very cursory fashion to show how the claim, that God is speaking through His servants, is put forward in no uncertain way.

THE BOOK OF GENESIS.—In the very first chapter we find the words,
  “AND GOD SAID,”

repeated nine times (verses 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 29). It is very evident that we have here a matter of pure revelation. The events narrated in Genesis 1 took place about 2,300 years before Moses was born. Would Moses have dared to place on record nine times that God had spoken, and pretend to give His actual words, had God not spoken?

There are plain and manifest signs that God did indeed inspire Moses in his record of creation. Take the uninspired accounts of creation, that the earth was flat and triangular, seven stories high, supported on the backs of elephants, in turn supported on the back of a tortoise with no visible support under it; that the heavens were a solid vault over the earth, studded with stars; that the mountains were created to act as chains and anchors to keep the earth from moving. Such are samples of the puerile, fantastic, crude accounts of creation in ancient times, which no one today would give credence to for a moment.

In contrast take the simple, profound account of creation in Genesis 1. How did Moses know that the order of creation was first the fiat of God, of the introduction of light, of day and night; of the distinction and the connection between heaven and earth; of the arrangements of earth and seas; of the beneficent ruling of day and night by sun and moon; then the creation of fishes, birds, cattle, beasts of the field and creeping things, and finally of man and woman.

It is said that the order of the six days of Genesis 1 is capable of being arranged in hundreds of different ways. How is it that Moses, writing in the desert on clay tablets in the early days of the world’s history, should write an account of creation in keeping with the real findings of science? Where did Moses get this wonderful knowledge, and how did he convey it to us? There is only one answer. He was verbally inspired of God in giving us this record.

Hear the testimony of men, eminent in the sciences. Cuvief, the celebrated French naturalist, said, that while Moses was brought up in all the wisdom of Egypt, he was superior to his age, and has left an account of the creation of the world, the exactitude of which verifies itself every day. Sir William Dawson, the well-known Canadian scientist, declared that Scripture in all its details as to creation contradicts no received results of science, but anticipates many of its discoveries. Professor Dana, the eminent American geologist, affirmed that he found the Bible account of creation in perfect accord with known science.

THE BOOK OF EXODUS.—Out of 40 chapters comprising this book no less than 16 chapters begin with the words,
  “AND THE LORD SAID”

Specially to be noticed is the beginning of chapter 20, where we read:
  “AND GOD SPAKE ALL THESE WORDS, SAYING”

Then follows the giving of the ten commandments, that great code of law and order in this world, the repudiation of which is causing deepest concern on the part of thoughtful men today. Were the ten commandments observed among the nations, what a peaceful world of order and security we should have. No wonder that General Smuts declared that the world does not need a New World Order, but the ordering of the lives of the people according to the Bible.

Look at the awful fate of Germany. Hitler boasted that he was laying a substantial foundation for world dominion that would last a thousand years. Not many months after this boast, he committed suicide in an underground fortress in Berlin, with that beautiful capital tumbling down in tragic ruins on every side. No, the world is hurrying on to the verge of a frightful catastrophe by disregarding the Ten Commandments, and refusing the Gospel of the grace of God.

A warning example of this is a matter of history. John Urquhart wrote:
  “The central figure in the propaganda [of infidelity] was Frederic the Great, whose military successes and growing power fixed upon him the gaze of Europe. Berlin, which in his father’s time had been the rallying point of the pietists, now became the centre of German infidelity. He gathered round him the infidel wits and littérateurs of France, and inoculated German society with the light raillery and scoffing scepticism of Paris. He hesitated not to supplant evangelical professors and pastors by free-thinkers, and at any time to bring ridicule on any religious fact or custom. That thin visaged man in top-boots and cocked hat, surrounded by his dogs and infidels at Sans Souci, his royal palace at Potsdam, dictated faith to Berlin and Europe . . . But Frederic lived to see the day when all this bore bitter fruit, when insubordination sprang up in his army, and in many departments of public life. IT CAME FROM THE ABNEGATION OF THE EVANGELICAL FAITH. And it is no wonder, when the old man saw the disastrous effects of his own theories upon his subjects, that he said he would ‘willingly give his best battle to place his people where he found them at his father’s death,’ that is, believing in the faith of the gospel of Christ.”

Here is a solemn warning as to what is coming upon lands, which give up the Bible, even a deluge carrying before it every trace of order, decency, honesty, and security out of human lives on every hand.

Was it likely that Moses in saying that, “God spake all these words,” including the commandment not to bear false witness against our neighbour on earth, would bear false witness against God in high heaven? We think not.

Here is another striking acknowledgment of the restraining power of the Bible from the pen of an acknowledged infidel. The late Professor T.H. Huxley, the well-known agnostic, and propagandist of evolutionary theories wrote:
  “I have always been strongly in favour of secular education without theology, but I must confess that I have been no less seriously perplexed to know by what practical measure the religious feeling, which is the essential basis of moral conduct, is to be kept up in this present utterly chaotic state of opinion WITHOUT THE USE OF THE BIBLE.”

THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS.—Out of 27 chapters no less than 20 chapters begin with the words, in slightly varying form,
  “AND THE LORD SPAKE”

Here we find outlined the ceremonial law, instructions as to the rearing of the Tabernacle, of the order of sacrifices on Jewish altars, etc., all shadowing forth the Person of our adorable Lord, and the efficacy of His one atoning sacrifice on the cross, and the blessings that come with the exercise of faith. The epistle to the Hebrews shows us how Christ and His atoning death exactly answer to the outlines of the shadows, sketched by the hand of inspiration in the Old Testament. Could Moses have performed a feat like this, were he not verbally inspired to write as he did? That were impossible.

Verily the higher critical sceptics are called upon to believe far more than the devout believer, for the latter believes in a mighty effect proceeding from an adequate cause, which the critics do not.

THE BOOK OF NUMBERS.—Out of 36 chapters no less than 9 begin with the words in slightly varying form,
  “AND THE LORD SPAKE”

Remember, we have only been enumerating beginnings of the chapters in these books, which claim that God speaks, but this same claim is woven in many more times throughout the chapters. We have the authority of the late Dr. J.H.Brooks, of St. Louis, America, who stated that the words or their equivalents
  “THUS SAYS THE LORD”,
  occur some 2,000 times in the Old Testament.

THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY.—This book is largely historical, in which case we should not expect to find the claim of God speaking so prominent. Yet the beginnings of chapters 6, 10, 28, 29, 30 sufficiently testify to God speaking through His servant Moses.

Is it reasonable to suppose that a character like Moses should give himself to a system of wholesale lying on such solemn subjects, and take the name of the Lord his God in vain? At the time when He was solemnly calling upon the children of Israel to serve God, and to worship Him only, was he indulging in a gigantic and blasphemous hoax? We cannot believe it.

BALAAM, THE SOOTHSAYER

But before we finally leave this very rapid sketch of God speaking as recorded in the Pentateuch, we would draw attention to a very remarkable case of verbal inspiration. We refer to the false prophet, Balaam. We read of him in Numbers 22-24. He stands condemned as a soothsayer, a spiritist, a medium, a man of extreme covetousness and unclean morals. He was hired by Balak, the king of Moab, to curse the children of Israel, who were pursuing their victorious march to the promised land, and whom he feared might over-run his country. Covetous Balaam would be keen to carry out the king’s wishes, especially as he promised him handsome rewards.

But God chose to take up the challenge, and we have an extraordinarily interesting account of a battle between the forces of darkness and light of a conflict between Satan and God. Balaam is made to bless, and not to curse; to utter words to which he was a complete stranger, and to be unable to say the words he fain would have done in cursing God’s people. Here is a case of verbal inspiration put on record in the Scriptures. God used the unclean mouth of this enemy of good to bless His people, and to show Satan, that when He blesses, none can say Him nay.

THE PSALMS.—In the Books of the Psalms we should not expect much mention, if any, of God speaking, seeing that they are the heart-breathings of the writers, addressed to God in prayer or praise. Yet there are found in the Psalms beautiful affirmations of the purity of the Word of God. For instance, we read:
  “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Ps. 12:6-7).
  “Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope” (Ps. 119:49).
  “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps. 19:8).
  “For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).

Psalm 119 is by far the longest psalm in the Bible, consisting of 176 verses, and in no less than 174 of them, the writer praises the Word of the Lord under the titles, Law, Commandments, Precepts, Testimonies, Words, Ordinances, Judgments, Statutes. The writer of this psalm answers fully to the Scripture.

  “His delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night” (Ps. 1:2).

Psalm 22 is a very striking proof of inspiration, because it is so plainly prophetic, and its prophecies have been literally fulfilled. The Bible is the only Book in the world that records prophecies being fulfilled hundreds of years after they have been predicted. Could that be said, if the Bible were not inspired?

The middle of the Psalm presents a vivid and prophetic description of the scene round the cross of Calvary when our Lord was crucified. There two items stand out most vividly. We read in verse 16:
  “They pierced My hands and My feet.”

David must have wondered and pondered over these words for its language could not apply to him, going clean beyond the experience of any ordinary man. His hands and his feet were not pierced. What could it mean? There was no likely explanation, for death by crucifixion was not known in David’s time, not for hundreds of years after. It was the cruel invention of the Romans.

Behold our Lord on the cross. They pierced His hands and His feet, and nailed Him to the tree. Much is made of that in Scripture, for in the future day when Israel shall again come in for blessing, we read:
  “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son” (Zech. 12:10).

The second item we would draw attention to is found in verse 18,
  “They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.”

Can you not see the Roman soldiers at the foot of the cross gambling for the clothes of our Lord? We read,
  “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat; now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: THAT THE SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, which says, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture did they cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did” (John 19:23-24).

Some of these wise critics say that our Lord was familiar with these prophecies, and took upon Himself to fulfil them. But we would ask a very pertinent question, Did the Roman soldiers know anything of Psalm 2, and were they wishful to fulfil it? Indeed hundreds of persons, most of them bitter enemies of our Lord, all played their part in fulfilling Scripture in the details of our Lord’s death on the cross. Any child can see the wise critics are not so very wise after all, that their arguments are often puerile, and can be punctured over and over again by the facts of the case.

But sad as the description is of the way our Lord was despised and laughed to scorn, of the strong enemies likened to bulls of Bashan, and ravening and roaring lions, it is infinitely sadder to hear in prophetic language a thousand years before the cry was actually wrung from the anguished lips of our adorable Lord, the words,
  “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” (v. 1).

We referred first to the middle of the Psalm for the purpose of identifying by external signs, that it could only refer to our Lord. Here in the very beginning of the Psalm we get to the very heart and inner meaning of the cross. What our Lord suffered from the hands of God when He took the sinner’s place at the cross, and endured the outpouring of God’s unmitigated judgment upon sins, constituted the atoning sufferings of the cross. Hence the Psalm begins with the cry of abandonment from the lips of our Lord, and ends with His triumph when He declares God’s name to His brethren (v. 22), quoted in the New Testament. We read,
  “For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:11).

Surely David was inspired in the writing of Psalm 22.

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH.—Out of 66 chapters we get six chapters (43, 44, 45, 50, 56, 66), beginning with the words,
  “THUS SAYS THE LORD.”

The prophecy of Isaiah is remarkable for the very direct prophecies it contains of the coming Messiah, of Hs virgin birth, of His Name, Immanuel (God with us), (Isa. 7:14). Again we are told of the Child born, the Son given, of His Names—Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6). These prophecies were made seven hundred years before our Lord was born in the stable at Bethlehem. Can we doubt divine inspiration here?

The purpose for which our Lord came into the world was man’s redemption. Isaiah furnishes us with the clearest and fullest prophecy of this in chapter 53. This is one of the great outstanding chapters of the Old Testament. It is the despair of the Jewish theologians. It points so manifestly to a suffering Messiah. The Jews, however, were looking in a mere material way for a Conqueror, who would put them in the proud place of being the head of the nations, They had no room in their conceptions for a suffering Messiah. To this day when the Sacred Scriptures are read Sabbath by Sabbath in the Jewish synagogues, they will read Isaiah 52, and the following Sabbath, chapter 54, completely ignoring chapter 53. This is a very great proof of its true meaning.

This was the very chapter the Ethiopian eunuch was reading when he was returning from his fruitless journey to Jerusalem, and was joined in his chariot by Philip, the evangelist. At his request Philip expounded the chapter to the eunuch, and preached unto him JESUS. One verse stands out very prominently as plainly stating the reason why our Lord died on the cross, a verse used to the conversion of John Calvin, and to thousands besides:
  “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).

Could Isaiah have known this apart from inspiration?

Another point we would mention. We all know how our Lord would have been in the ordinary course of things buried with the two malefactors in the place reserved for criminals, had not Joseph of Arimathæa boldly begged His body from Pilate. Joseph and Nicodemus reverently buried the body in a new tomb in which man had never lain. This was the fulfilment of Isaiah 53:9. The Authorised Version of that verse renders its meaning rather obscure, so we quote from Darby’s New Translation, which reads as follows,
  “And [men] appointed His grave with the wicked, but He was with the rich in His death, because He had done no violence, neither was there guile in His mouth.”

Could Isaiah have foreseen this? Was he not inspired to write what he could not have understood? The Apostle Peter tells us, that the Old Testament prophets searched their own writings in the effort to understand the message they were inspired to give. We are told that it was not unto themselves but unto us in New Testament times they ministered these wonderful revelations. (See 1 Peter 1:10-12).

THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL.—This consists of 48 chapters. The astonishing number of no less than 29 of them begin with the words in varying form,
  “THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME.”

THE BOOK OF HOSEA.—This consists of 14 chapters, 4 of them beginning with the words in varying form,
  “HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD.”

THE BOOK OF AMOS.—A prophecy of 9 chapters, 8 of which begin with the words in varying form,
  “THUS SAYS THE LORD.”

THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH.—A prophecy of 14 chapters, 5 of which begin with the words in varying form,
  “THE BURDEN OF THE WORD OF THE LORD.”

THE BOOK OF MALACHI.—This is the last of the Old Testament books, beginning with the impressive words,
  “THE BURDEN OF THE LORD TO ISRAEL BY MALACHI.”

THE BOOK OF DANIEL.—Before we leave the Old Testament we should like to draw the attention of our readers to the remarkable proof of inspiration that this book presents. It contains the most startling prophecies, mainly already fulfilled, but which have taken hundreds of years to complete—prophecies relating to great world-happenings, and especially to the days when our Lord should die an atoning death. The critics have tried hard to prove this book to be of much later date than that given in the Old Testament. It looks as if they wished to discover flaws in the book in order to impugn its reliability. But Assyriologists have proved the critics to be wrong. The late Sir Robert Anderson wrote a book with the remarkable title, Daniel in the Critic’s Den. And just as Daniel escaped scathless from the lion’s den, so his book has emerged triumphant out of the hands of the critics. We come now to some details.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM OF THE GREAT IMAGE

In this book we have the story told of King Nebuchadrnezzar’s dream. This made a very deep impression on the King’s mind. On awakening he found the vision had clean passed from his memory. He demanded the Chaldeans, professional soothsayers connected with his court, to tell him the vision, and if they failed to do so, death was to be the penalty. This cruel and unreasonable edict was about to be carried into execution when Daniel intervened. In answer to prayer Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was revealed to him.

This is what Daniel told the King. In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image, with head of gold: breast and arms of silver: belly and thighs of brass: legs of iron: feet and toes of mingled iron and miry clay. Finally a stone “cut out without hands” fell upon the feet of the image, utterly destroying it, the said stone becoming a great mountain, and filling the whole earth.

The interpretation that Daniel gave by inspiration of God is one of the great wonders of prophecy. The great image symbolized four great world-empires, the Babylonian, which was then in existence, lasting 68 years; the Medo-Persian, 208 years; the Grecian, 304 years; followed finally by the Roman Empire lasting about 400 years. This fourth world-empire is to be revived in the last days, and finally to receive its complete overthrow at the great battle of Armageddon, for which things seem to be heading up very rapidly.

Our Lord answers to the stone “cut out without hands.” His rule shall fill the whole earth. The day will come when
  “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was further emphasised by a vision Daniel had in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon. Four beasts were seen arising out of the sea—a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a fourth beast, “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly” (Dan. 7:7). These set forth the same four world-empires that were set forth in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the composite image. The lion symbolised the Babylonian empire; the bear, the Medo-Persian; the leopard, the Grecian; the nondescript beast, the Roman.

Nor are we left to guess the interpretation of this vision. The Babylonian empire was existent at the time that Daniel wrote, whilst the prophet in the third year of Belshazzar was favoured with a second vision in which further light was afforded as to the second and third world-empires. The ram with the two horns, we are told, stood for the kings of Media and Persia; the rough goat stood for the king of Greece (Dan. 8:21), known so widely in history as Alexander the Great. Blind indeed must the student of history be, if he fails to recognise in the Roman Empire the fourth great world-empire.

Here we have a prophecy which covers the history of the world for long centuries. That history has fulfilled the prediction of this prophecy in a very remarkable way cannot be gainsaid. Who but the omniscient God could have moved Daniel, a young captive at the Babylonian court, to outline unerringly a future of this world-wide character? This prophecy cannot be explained away, and there can be only one true conclusion drawn from it in the light of history, viz., that it was verbally inspired by God through his servant Daniel.

THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL

This very remarkable prophecy refers particularly to our Lord Himself. Daniel is told that seventy weeks are determined of God to bring in the reign of Christ (Dan. 9:25-26). In Scripture a week generally stands for seven ordinary days. This is evidently so in Daniel 10:2, where the prophet is seen mourning for “three full weeks” (margin, Heb. weeks of days). This definite expression, “a week of days,” is not however, used in Daniel 9:24, where we find the expression “seventy weeks” in our English Bibles. In the Hebrew original this expression stands for “seventy sevens,” whether of days, years, or any other period of time is not specified. This must be determined by the context. That a day may stand for a year is clearly seen in Ezekiel 4:6. But in the case of Daniel 9 to treat “the weeks” as periods of seven years, and therefore the 69 weeks as representing 483 years, is to foretell exactly the actual time between the commandment to restore the walls of Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 2), and our Lord’s death. This leaves us in no doubt that the weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 stand for periods of seven years.

The late Sir Robert Anderson took great pains to calculate when these 483 years should expire. He gives it out as on the 10th day of the month of Nizan in the 18th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the day that our Lord rode into Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of an ass, this happening during our Lord’s last week on earth.

And further, Daniel prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (Dan. 9:26). This was fulfilled when Titus besieged the doomed city with terrible slaughter (A.D. 70), and the Jews were led away captive into all countries (Luke 21:24). Then there comes a break in the continuity between the 69th week and the 70th week, whilst the present day of grace, between Pentecost and the coming of the Lord into the air to summon His church to glory, runs its course.

The seventieth week begins when the Head of the revived Roman Empire will make a treaty with the Antichrist at Jerusalem for seven years, in the middle of which he will break the treaty, and then the great tribulation spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:21) will break out, at the end of which “the stone cut out without hands,” even our Lord Himself, will appear with the armies of heaven, and all that rise up against God will be brought low, and all opposition shall cease, and the Lord’s glorious reign over His earthly people as their Messiah, and over the whole earth as Son of Man will begin.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

Before we look at the further testimony to inspiration as found in the New Testament, it will be well to say a word or two as to the connection between the Old and New Testaments, as helping to our understanding of the inspiration of the Scriptures.

The Old Testament anticipates the coming of our Lord. Beginning at the Acts of the Apostles the New Testament looks back upon the advent of Christ, and unfolds its consequences. The four gospels form a sort of meeting place between the two Testaments. The one is supplementary and complementary to the other.

A convert from heathendom was given a copy of the New Testament. He began diligently to study it, but soon came to the missionary with a request that he might possess the first volume. He found in the New Testament allusions to Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and a long list of kings and prophets, and to many incidents of history. We need the Old Testament for the full understanding of the New Testament. In a sense the New Testament supersedes the Old Testament, just as law is superseded by grace, and shadows pass away in the full light of day. Both the Old and New Testaments are EQUALLY inspired.

As to the connection between them an illustration will help. Suppose there was a seal of some ancient and powerful monarch, known to be of very elaborate and beautiful construction. It consisted of two parts, the obverse and the reverse, the one part fitting into the other part with the greatest exactitude. Further, suppose it had been lost for centuries. All hope of finding it has been given up. But further, suppose archaeologists of recent times in turning up the sands of Egypt to their intense surprise discover the reverse of this celebrated seal. Encouraged they work for weeks on end, seeking the obverse. At last the obverse part of a seal is found. It is of beautiful and elaborate construction. Their hopes run high that this is the completion of the wonderful seal of the ancient king, that their search has been successful. Their excitement is great. With trembling hands they put the two parts together. To their intense joy they fit exactly, the one to the other. Without a doubt it is the complete seal. The same hand that made the reverse made the obverse.

In a similar way the New Testament is like the obverse of the seal. The Old Testament is like the reverse. And the one part fits perfectly to the other. Prophecies by the score in the Old Testament have been literally fulfilled in the New Testament. The types of the Old Testament find their antitypes in the New Testament. The shadows of the Old Testament find their answer in the substance of the New Testament. The New Testament quotes scores of times from the Old Testament as confirmatory of the intimate relation between the two parts. They are not in one sense two books, but in reality two parts of one book.

That was an exposition of surpassing interest from the lips of the risen triumphant Son of God, and listened to by the two disciples going to Emmaus, when
  “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
  “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

So we have Christ in shadow in the Old Testament, and Christ in substance in the New Testament.

THE LIFE OF LIVES

If there is one surpassing claim to verbal inspiration, it is seen in that four men unknown to fame have produced records of a life, the like of which are not found in all literate of all time. The four gospels are but brief pamphlets. Yet there is compressed within their small compass a life which transcends every other life; not a life contrasting, and surpassing every other life, but a life that stands altogether by itself. These four men—Matthew, a former tax officer—Mark, a young man who companied with the Apostle Paul,—Luke, a Gentile physician—John, a simple fisherman from the Lake of Galilee, have produced records of the life of our Lord, the like of which Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, and many others of the world’s greatest writers have not been able even remotely to approach.

When the enemies of our Lord praise the Bible, it is praise indeed. The late Theodore Parker, a well-known infidel writer of America, gave this remarkable testimony:
  “Measure Jesus by the shadow He cast into the world; no, by the light He shed upon it. Shall we be told that such a Person never lived? That the whole story is a lie? Suppose that Plato and Newton never lived. But who did their works, and thought their thoughts? It takes a Newton to forge a Newton. What man could have fabricated a Jesus? None, but Jesus.”

The life of lives is so remarkable that the record of it must be inspired. Think of our Lord’s birth, begotten of the Virgin, as overshadowed by the Holy Spirit of God, born in a stable, cradled in a manger, acclaimed by the angels, who filled the heavens with their melody,
  “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN” (Luke 2:14).

His life was perfect. He never apologised for anything He said or did. He never withdrew or altered any statement that He made. Heaven proclaimed its deep satisfaction on the occasion of His baptism, when were heard these words,
  “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

He stood up in the synagogue of Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and read in the Prophecy of Isaiah:
  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor He has send Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).

He closed the Book, and all eyes were fastened on Him. He then made the amazing claim:
  “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:21-22).

He proved His claim by deeds. A stream of miracles followed His every step. The blind saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, the leper was cleansed. He fed the multitude, He raised the dead, His word was with power.

  “Never man spake like this Man.” (John 7:46) was the testimony of the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees.

But more wonderful still. He announced His own death and resurrection, that He should be crucified, and be raised the third day.

  “For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a RANSOM for many” (Mark 10:45).

He came to die an atoning death, satisfying God’s righteous judgment against sin, enabling God righteously to offer salvation to men. So He went to the cross with all that this entailed.

  “But none of the ransomed ever knew
    How deep were the waters crossed
  Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed through
    Ere He found His sheep that was lost.”

He exclaimed on the cross with loud voice,
  “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30).

The work, which none but He could do, was done to God’s complete and full satisfaction. He rose from the dead the third day, the proof of God’s acceptance of His atoning work. He convinced His unbelieving disciples that He was indeed the risen Saviour. He took them out as far as to Bethany, and from the Mount of Olives He left this earth, spreading out His hands in blessing His own, as a cloud received Him out of their sight. He has promised to come back. We believe that promise is near to being fulfilled. All the signs, corresponding to what Scripture teaches us to expect in the last days, are crowding upon us. The Lord’s people cry aloud with fervour and expectation,
  “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

Was there ever a life like that! Surely nothing but the hand of inspiration could produce the record of that life of lives, the like of which has never been, nor ever will be.

TESTIMONY OF THE EPISTLES TO THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES

We will now bring forward a few claims to inspiration from the Epistles of the New Testament. We read:
  “The Scripture, FORESEEING that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Gal. 3:8).

The Scriptures from a material point of view cannot foresee. They were first given by manuscript writing, and now in the providence of God by the printed page. How can paper and ink foresee? Of course they cannot, and how much can man foresee? He may foresee things immediately ahead, or coming events casting clearly defined shadows, but ask any statesman what will happen in ten years’ time, and he will reply that nobody can tell. God alone can foresee happenings that take long centuries of the world’s history to unroll, telling us in minute detail what the future has in store for mankind. When it is said that the Scriptures foresee, it is equivalent to saying that God foresees, identifying the Scriptures as being His own word.

Again we read,
  “The Scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22).

Here the Scriptures are being given the place of universal judge. Man may be a judge of his own little country, and may sit on the judicial bench for a few brief years, and then pass away. Who can take the place of the Judge of the whole world and for all time? The answer is, ONLY GOD HIMSELF. So again the Scripture concluding all under sin is equivalent to saying that God does this, and that the Scriptures are His Word.

Again we read,
  “The Scripture says unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth” (Rom. 9:17).

When Pharaoh lived there were no Scriptures. How then could it be said, that “The Scripture says to Pharaoh”? The answer is that God spoke through the inspired lips of Moses, and this is divinely recorded in Exodus 9:16. The words of Moses would die away as soon as spoken, and if there had been no record of them, God’s words could not have been recalled, but being recorded it can be said, “The Scripture says to Pharaoh.” This claims for Scripture that it is the Word of God.

Again we read,
  “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He says not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to Thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

Here the Apostle argues his point from the fact that the word ‘seed’ was in the singular and not in the plural. The promise that God would bless the nations of the world through Abraham’s seed was centred in Christ. Isaac, Jacob, Judah were of the seed of Abraham, but they were only links in the chain, for the promise did not get its fulfilment in them. It found its only fulfilment in Christ. Here is a great claim to verbal inspiration, when the argument turns on the particular form of a word, whether it was in the singular or plural.

Again we read,
  “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Gal. 4:9).

Here the argument turns on the voice of the verb employed. Great as it is to know God, it is greater to be known of God, and the allusion to this great knowledge is used as a strong leverage in order to emphasize the Apostle Paul’s exhortation, which, if listened to and acted upon, would have disentangled those Galatian saints from this Judaising teaching, so destructive of the Gospel of the grace of God. All this shows the Spirit of God is careful to give the exact shade of the meaning He wishes to impart inspiration even to a “jot,” or a “tittle.”

Again we read,
  “As touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I AM the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:31-32).

Here our Lord rebuked the scepticism of the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. He referred them to a striking scene in their Old Testament Scriptures, in which is the record of God speaking out of the burning bush, saying to Moses,
  “I AM the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex. 3:6).

Not that He had ceased to be their God when they died, for, though they had been dead hundreds of years as far as their bodies were concerned, God was still their God, for they were alive unto Him. “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Our Lord stresses His point in that God said, “I AM.” The strength of His argument lies in the present tense of the verb, to be. So exact is verbal inspiration.

“THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL”

We turn now to a very remarkable Scripture, which sheds a great deal of light upon the Word of God.

  “The word of God is quick [an old English word meaning living] and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12-13).

We have kept this Scripture last in our enquiry, for it brings us to the contemplation of the vital and powerful effect the Scriptures have had upon man at large, and upon nations. This cannot be gainsaid. The most prosperous and stable parts of the world are where the word of God has had the most sway. You have only to read the Acts of the Apostles to see how living and powerful the Word of God was in those days. Multitudes were turned to God and righteousness. Christian assemblies sprang up over the then known world. Heathen practices were abandoned, and sinful habits refused.

The Word of God is living. This can be said of no other book. It has the power of reproduction. So we read,
  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which lives and abides for ever . . . And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23, 25).

There are millions of men and women, who can testify to the fact that the Word of God is living, that some text of Scripture, some thought from God’s word, laid hold on them, produced by the Spirit’s power a new life within, gave them a new orientation of life, new desires, new affections, new standards of living. Drunkards have been made sober. Thieves have been made honest. The impure have been made pure. Christless professors, the most difficult class to reach, have been made vital possessors of eternal life. Christ has become their Saviour, and the Object of their adoring worship. And this was not a mere turning over of a new leaf, a mere external alteration, but true deep conversion to GOD. Scripture tells us that a washed sow still has the sow nature. What is needed is a new nature, a new spiritual birth.

There flashes into our mind the stories of converted consecrated lives, such as of the Apostles Peter, John and Paul, of Augustine, Chrysostom and many an early father, of Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Whitefield, Toplady, of later years of Chalmers, McCheyne, Ryle, Moody, Spurgeon and thousands more. Nothing tells for Christianity more powerfully than real practical Christianity lived out. A young man was once asked under whose preaching he had been converted. He replied that it was not under anyone’s preaching, but through his Christian mother’s practising.

No other book in the world is living. Whoever heard of anybody saying, “I was once a slave to drink till I read Shakespeare, since when I have been delivered from the bitter bondage of drink. I no longer beat my wife, and starve my poor children. My life is changed, and my home is happy.” You never heard of a man saying that not till he studied infidelity, and imbued its teaching, was he delivered from sinful habits; that infidelity had come into his life, purifying it, and rendering him happy and joyful. You never heard anything like that, but put the Bible in the place of Shakespeare and infidelity, and we could furnish hundreds, nay, tens of thousands, of such cases. The word of God is living and powerful.

Cannibalism has been swept clean out of scores of South Sea Islands through the power of the Scriptures brought to their shores by missionaries. Two sailors were cast upon one such island, and were very afraid what treatment they might receive at the hands of the natives. One sailor suggested climbing up a lofty tree in the endeavour to see what sort of place it was. He came down with a broad grin on his face, saying, “Mate, we’re all right. I saw a mission station.” It was the power of the Bible that gave him this confidence. It was the power of the Bible that struck the shackles off the wrists of thousands of slaves in the West Indies and in the United States of America, and gave them liberty.

The word of God discerns. It divides between soul and spirit, between joints and marrow, that is between external and visible, and that which is internal and invisible, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The Chinese convert said that God must have written the Bible, for the Bible knew him. God made him, and God must have made the Bible, for it unfolded to him what he was in his innermost being. It was his simple way of saying that the Bible discerns. We do well to welcome its searching character, its purifying power.

  “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word” (Ps. 119:9).

Can this Book be a bad book? Can its writers in different centuries and in different countries be unanimously lying in asserting that God spoke all these words? If so, how can you account that such a book, when practised, makes men truthful and honest.

  “Every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit . . . Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:17, 20).

By this standard let the Word of God be judged. The Scriptures will come out of such a test triumphantly.

No wonder the enemy of souls seeks to undermine the authority of the Word of God. The fight has gone on unceasingly for hundreds of years. If the Bible had been what the Modernists and infidels try to make it out to be, it would have been dead and done for hundreds of years ago. Someone wittily has said, When the Modernists and Higher Critics have had their say, and the shouting is over, then the sixty-six books of the Bible will rise up, and exclaim with one voice, “Sirs, do yourselves no harm, we are all here” (See Acts 16:28).

The Word of God is the world’s best seller today. It has been translated in part or in whole into over 1,000 different languages, for it has a message for every nation, for every man, be his face white, copper or black, be he an emperor in his imperial palace, or the beggar that sweeps the crossing for a few pence.

THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE

Modernism has tried to prove that Science contradicts the Bible, and that therefore the Bible is unreliable. The answer is, that true science never contradicts the Bible, for God is the Author of them both. His is the work of creation, and His is the work of revelation through His Holy Word.

Theories, unproved guesses of men of science, may and often do contradict the Word of God, but as soon as fresh light is thrown upon the point in question,it invariably is found that the Bible is right, and the theories are seen to richly deserve the name the Apostle Paul describes them by, as “science falsely so-called” (1 Tim. 6:20). The more true science is known the better is it for the Bible. The more the Bible is known, the better is it for science.

Of course the Bible does not set out to furnish scientific information, but to teach spiritual truths and lessons. At the same time when the Bible does touch science in any way, it is always correct

THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION EXPLODED

Take the unscientific teaching of evolution, that man is descended from the man-like ape; which progressed in time, and became the ape-like man, and still further progressed to his present stage of advancement. Our Lord asked the Pharisees,
  “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh?” (Matt. 19:4-5).

Genesis 2:7 tells us, not that man was evolved from an ape, and back of that from birds, fishes and protoplasm, but made at the beginning by God out of the dust of the earth, God breathing into his nostrils the breath of life.

The evolutionist contradicts all this, telling us that man has evolved by infinitely slow degrees till he has arrived at his present high estate. There was therefore, if that be the case, no fall, no need of atonement, indeed the whole of Christianity would be jettisoned in favour of this unproved guess of so-called scientists, a blasphemous lie that comes from the bottomless pit.

And what has been the result of this attack? First the lie became popular, and was the occasion of overthrowing the faith of many. But what is the position today? The “missing link” has been diligently sought for, but has never been found. Darwin has been largely discredited. The leading scientists of the day now acknowledge that evolution has not been remotely proved. Professor Patrick Geddes (St. Andrew’s University), and the late Professor Sir Arthur Thompson (Aberdeen University) in a joint book say:
  “We must leave the rich mastery of THE EVOLUTION SECRET we once hoped for to the successors we would fain send out so much better equipped” (Evolution, p. 232).

“THE EVOLUTION SECRET”

So after all it is a secret, not yet discovered. It has not been remotely proved. Thus we see the statement of Scripture stands firm, whilst these scientists, if honest, have to acknowledge that their assault on the Scriptures has failed.

Charles Robin (Dictionaire encyclopedique des sciences medicales), who as an infidel, cannot be accused of having any theological bias in the matter, tells us,
  “Darwin is a fiction, a poetical accumulation of probabilities without proof, and of attractive explanations without demonstration.”

It is pathetic to find clergymen from their pulpits, and school teachers in their classes, giving out these Darwinian theories, the lie of the devil, now exploded, and found not to be even remotely proved. Poor souls, they are behind the times, even scientific times!

THE STORY OF CREATION

There was a time when men believed the earth was flat. It was long before astronomers believed that the earth was a globe in shape. But Scripture, without setting out to teach science as such, in a statement of our Lord, proves that the earth is round, though centuries after the Romish Church was ready to excommunicate any who dared to affirm this, as in the case of Galileo (about 1609). Speaking of His coming as the Son of Man to earth, our Lord said,
  “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together: the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Luke 17:34-36).

How can an event take place at one and the same moment, when it is night, when two men are in bed; and morning when two women are grinding the food for breakfast; and broad daytime when two men are working in the field? We carry a diary in our pocket telling us what time it is in different parts of the world. When it is 12 o’clock noon at Greenwich, England, standard time, it is 11.30 at night in Auckland, New Zealand; 8 o’clock, breakfast time, at Buenos Ayres, Argentina. How can this be? Only if the earth is round, and revolving on its axis day by day. How did our Lord know this? Was He not the Creator of the universe? Did He not plan all this? Can those who refuse inspiration tell us how Scripture embodies this view of the earth being round, when all around for centuries learned men thought otherwise? We leave such to answer this question.

NO RAIN WITHOUT ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE

That great scientist, the late Lord Kelvin, declared that there is never a fall of rain without electrical discharge. This was declared to be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century.

An inch of water on an acre of land weighs 101 tons. When there is a widespread rain falling over an area of tens of thousands of acres, there must have been an enormous weight of water to descend on the earth. Water can take three forms—fluid, the natural state of water; solid, when frozen, taking the form of ice; vapour as when evaporated by heat, and able to ascend into the heavens, forming clouds, which are able to float in the air, and be carried about by winds. When the rain falls it must be that vapour changes its form into water, and therefore is bound to fall by its weight. Lord Kelvin discovered that this change was brought about by electrical discharge.

How is it then that this truth was found in the Scriptures many centuries ago. As far back as Job, we read of God that:
  “He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds; and He weighs the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: then did He see it and declare it” (Job 28:24-27).

The Psalmist wrote nearly 3,000 years ago:
  “He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Ps. 135:7).

The Prophet Jeremiah wrote 2,500 years ago:
  “When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings with rain” (Jer. 10:23).

Here we have a threefold testimony. Is there any doubt of inspiration and of God’s omniscient knowledge and of His ability to impart it?

THERE ARE THINGS IN THE BIBLE WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND

There are things in the Bible we cannot understand, just as there are things in nature we cannot understand. Two doctors were talking, one a Christian, the other a sceptic. The sceptic declared he could not understand the virgin birth of our Lord. The Christian replied, Do you understand your own birth? The sceptic had to acknowledge that he did not. Then said the Christian doctor, If you cannot understand your own birth, and you a medical man, is it any wonder that you do not understand the virgin birth?

Men may say they cannot believe in miracles. If by miracles we mean that which is beyond the power of man to bring about, then we are beset with miracles. There is the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, our very bodies are miraculous from head to foot.

You cannot understand the Bible. If you could it would prove that it was written by a mind no greater than your own, by a mere man, and Modernists would be triumphant. If the Bible is inspired by God, as we firmly believe, and you could fully understand it, it would mean that your mind is on an equality with God’s. Neither of these two alternatives will do. God is God, and you are man, all of us frail, sinful and needing God’s great salvation.

Would that mankind with deep humility and reverence would receive the Scriptures as inspired, containing a message vital to our happiness now and hereafter. The world today is dying for want of the Book of books, the Bible, the Word of God, which is “able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

We rise from our task. This brief survey of Scripture has only served to deepen in the writer’s mind the truth of the inspiration of the Scriptures, and how they should be treated with the utmost reverence, realising that God Himself is speaking to us in them. We have brought forward very little, but that little overwhelmingly proves that the Scriptures are all that they themselves claim to be. The claim has been amply substantiated by the contents of the Book, the character of its writers; the fulfilment of prophecy; the correspondence between the shadows of the ceremonial law and their fulfilment in Christ and His atoning death on the cross; the supreme Person of our Lord, as delineated in the four gospels, the presentation of a life unique in every way, and in character and degree infinitely beyond every other life, however exalted, and finally its living power in moulding human lives for God. By its fruits we know the Book to be supremely good.

No wonder the world pays homage to our Lord and Saviour every day when letters and documents are headed with a date based upon the day, as far as is known, of our Lord’s humble birth in the stable at Bethlehem.

May God grant His blessing on this effort to help many on this vital issue of the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures of truth.