2 Timothy 3:14-17
The word “unique” describes the Bible well. The dictionary defines “unique” as follows: “1. Only one; being the only one of its kind. 2. Better than others; superior to all others. 3. Unusual; different from others in a way that makes something worthy of note.” The Bible is the only book of its kind in existence! Several features point out its uniqueness:
• The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by over 40 different authors living in many different places and times.
• The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
• The Bible was written with many different literary styles: prose, poetry, historical narrative, romance, law, biography, parable, allegory, and prophecy.
• The Bible addresses hundreds of difficult issues without a single contradiction.
The Bible is a unique book! It achieves its
uniqueness through a process known as “inspiration.”
Let’s look into the matter of inspiration and
think together about “the perfection of the holy
I. THE PROCESS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
What process did God use to get His Word
into the hands and hearts of men? There are three
terms that must be addressed as we deal with this
A. Revelation. This is the process whereby
a man hears from the Lord just what the Lord
wants him to write down. At varying times, God
used varying means to give His revelation to men.
He spoke through angels (Gen. 18; 19; Luke 1;
2; Matt. 28). He spoke with an audible voice
(Gen. 3:9-19; 12:1-3; Ex. 20:1-17; Josh. 1:1-
9). He spoke through nature (Ps. 19). He spoke
in dreams (Gen. 28:12; Matt. 1; 2; 2:19-22). He
spoke through visions (Is. 6:1-6; Dan. 7; 8; 10;
Acts 16; 19).
We do not know the exact process by which
God spoke to the original authors, but we have
God’s Word on the fact that He did (2 Pet. 1:21).
So, revelation is God telling a man what He wants
B. Inspiration. This is man writing on paper what God has told him to say. As we have already seen, this process is said to be “God-breathed.”
• The Bible clearly claims inspiration for itself (2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; Heb. 1:1).
• Paul believed his writings were inspired (1 Cor. 4:2; 15:3; 1 Thes. 2:13; 4:15).
• Peter believed the writings of Paul to be
inspired (2 Pet. 3:15, 16).
Somehow God superintended the process
of getting His Word into a man and then through
that man onto paper. Inspiration has been defined
as “God’s superintendence of the human authors
so that, using their own individual personalities,
they composed and recorded without error His
revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.”1
C. Illumination. This is the process by which
God uses the inspired written record of His revelation
to speak to the hearts of individual people.
This is when the Holy Spirit causes the light to
come into in the human heart and men to see
themselves as they are and to realize that Jesus
is what their hearts need. It is also the process
whereby the Spirit of God allows us to understand
the truth of the Word of God.
II. THE PROOFS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
Now that we have an idea of what inspiration
is, how can we be sure that our Bibles are
genuinely inspired by God? Let me share a few
tips with you.
A. It passes the historical/archeological test.
For many years, people laughed at Bible believers
because the Bible referred to places, people,
and events that had no basis in recorded history.
However, in His wisdom, God has allowed the archeologists’
spade to uncover many items from
the ancient past that confirm the factual nature of
His Word. Consider these important discoveries:
• For years, men said that a place called Ur of the Chaldees never existed; proof was discovered that it did.
• The death of Jesus has been proven to be
a historical fact.
The list could go on for hours, but, suffice it to
say, the Bible has been and continues to be proven
accurate in every detail it records!
B. It passes the scientific test. Some people
have mocked the Bible and claimed it was woefully
inaccurate in matters of science. However,
time has once again vindicated the accuracy of
the message of the Bible. The Bible says the earth
is a sphere (Is. 40:22); man discovered this in
the fifteenth century. The Bible says the earth is
suspended in space (Job 26:7); Sir Isaac Newton
discovered this in 1687.
C. It passes the prophecy test. The Bible contains
literally thousands of prophetic predictions.
Some of these prophecies are quite dramatic. For instance, Isaiah mentions Cyrus the Persian King
by name 125 years before he was born!
Not one single prophecy made in the Bible
has ever failed—or will ever fail—to come to
pass! Some of the most remarkable prophecies
are those related to the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider
some of them: He would be born in Bethlehem
(Mic. 5:2). He would be betrayed by a friend (Ps.
41:9). He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver
(Zech. 11:12). He would be crucified with thieves
(Is. 53:12). Not a bone in His body would be broken
(Ps. 34:20). Darkness would cover the earth
D. It passes the unity test. What God begins
in Genesis, He ends in Revelation (Gen. 1:1; Rev.
21:1; Gen. 1:27, 28; Rev. 21:9). This could never
be duplicated by any human work!
E. It passes the honesty test. If the Bible
were merely a human book, it would gloss over
the failures of the people found within its pages.
However, the Bible does not hide Noah’s drunkenness,
Samson’s lust, David’s adultery, Elijah’s
depression, or Peter’s denial. It tells the truth from
cover to cover!
III. THE PRODUCT OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
If we accept the Bible as the inspired Word of
God, what does that teach us? What can we take
away from such an examination? We are left with
three precious truths that must never be taken for
1. The Bible is infallible.
2. The Bible is inerrant.
3. The Bible is complete.
The final analysis is this: When you read your
Bible, you are reading the very words of God. You
can base your faith upon it. You can embrace its
message, knowing that it reveals the very mind of
God to man. It cannot fail! It cannot err! It will never
be corrected, updated, or amended. It is complete,
and it is perfect!
I hope this message has served to further anchor
your faith in the blessed Word of God. I thank
Him for His perfect Word! I am also thankful that
God illuminated my heart to allow me to see not
only myself and my need but also Jesus Christ,
the solution to my problem.
1 Charles C. Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine.