Let’s pretend for a minute that you were a blind person and someone kindly offered to take you to the concert hall in your city to hear your cities symphony orchestra. You arrive at the concert hall and proceed to listen to this magnificent music. Half way through the evening’s program there is intermission. During intermission, the man in the seat next to you realises you are blind and leans over and tells you that the orchestra had been playing without a conductor. Would you believe him?
Of course you wouldn’t! Even if you can’t see the orchestra you know that the conductor must be present, you can tell this from the beautiful way the orchestra is playing. Harmony between the different components of the orchestra doesn’t just happen – there must be a conductor to create it.
The same idea applies to the Bible. In the Bible there are sixty-six books, by about forty different authors, written over a period of about 1,500 years. Yet despite this, the harmony running through the Bible is exceptional. If you look at all the books you will see that they all teach the same great principles about life and death, sin and salvation. From the first verse of the first book of the Bible through to the last verse of the last book of the Bible there is a one consistent story which steadily unfolds:
God has a plan for the earth and the human race and He will see it slowly but surely come to completion. Harmony doesn’t just happen. If the members of the orchestra are playing well together then it can only be because of the conductor standing at the front of them. In the same way the Bible is consistent all the way through because of the great creator God who designed it that way.
What exactly is the Holy Bible?
The word Bible means “Book” and the word “Holy” means “separate”. So the Bible is separate from all other books. But you make ask, why is it separate from all other books? It is separate because it is God’s book. Its matter, its purpose and its author are all different from all other books. If you go to a library or a book store you are not going to find any other book which comes close to the Bible.
The Bible itself is like a library; inside its covers are 66 individual books. 39 of these books are found in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. God directed the recording of the Bible. Its ideas, doctrines and events all came from Him. God employed writers to do the actual work of writing the Bible.
The books were written by over 40 “authors”. They came from every walk of life (kings, priests, scholars, shepherds, fisherman) and they lived in many different countries (Syria, Arabia, Italy, Greece, Babylon, Palestine) and they wrote at widely separated intervals of time. The writers wrote over a period of between 1,500 and 1,600 years.
God’s message always at the forefront
When you look through the pages of the Bible at the sort of topics it covers you will notice one thing. God is always kept to the forefront and there is a suppression of things that are of mere human interest.
Some passages of the Bible which you read seem to be of little interest beyond describing some historical event that took place. But I guarantee if you look deeper you will find that it has some deeper spiritual meaning or it is connected with some other important event. In other words, you can learn something from every chapter in the Bible.
What about chapters of the Bible which contain, for example, Genealogy. Genealogy is a list of a particular man and the names of his children, and the names of their children, etc. It is sort of like a description of someone’s family tree. You can see an example of a Genealogy in Matthew chapter one and verses one to seventeen.
I remember being told a story about a genealogy: an old and wise man said that there is a message to be learnt in every chapter and passage of the Bible. A young man (trying to be clever!) got up and said that his statement wasn’t quite correct about every chapter and passage containing a lesson for us to learn and he then pointed to a chapter full of genealogy – which had nothing but a list of names. The older man then proceeded to go through that chapter showing how this man was a great man of faith and that man had shown great courage and this man had truly loved the lord and so on for the next half hour. He pointed out that this wasn’t a stale list of names but rather a list of great men who we should fashion our own lives after!
The younger man sat down quite embarrassed….
A conciseness throughout its entire length
There is a conciseness in the words so that matters of importance are not lost in a multitude of words. There is 602 thousand words in the old testament and a 170 thousand words in the new testament, that’s getting up to almost 800,000 words in the whole of the Bible. That’s a lot of words and you can imagine that any messages in there could easily get buried by the sheer weight of words and verses. Yet despite this size, God’s messages clearly come out at you and you go away having learnt something every time you read the Bible.
Moral purity throughout its pages
The Bible is continually morally pure in its teachings and encourages over and over that the reader’s thought and conduct be morally pure. Sin is always repulsed.
Impartiality from start to finish
There is always impartiality in its pages. In other words, it is not biased towards a particular person. For example, the well-known Bible character King David is described as a “man after God’s own heart”, yet his sins are not hidden. There laid out in the pages of the Bible for everyone to read.
Written with majesty and dignity
There is a certain majesty and dignity in the Bible which is not found in the writings of humans. When you have some time read chapter 40 and chapter 53 from the book of Isaiah – you will see what I mean.
So we have looked at the first reason why you should believe the Bible. Despite containing 66 books, being written over a 1500 year span, by 40 different authors, in different locations and on separate continents, in three different languages, covering diverse subject matters at different points in history – despite all this – it has a harmony and consistency from the first word through to the last word.
We also saw that the Bible is special and unique by looking at its content – the nature and style of the book. If the Bible was written by man the qualities mentioned in this article would be missing. Essential parts would be left out and immaterial parts would be inserted. The record of human failure and sin would be biased in one way or another. Mere political gossip of the age would be included and there would be bias and misrepresentation. Such writing would be unreliable for those who believe in God.