The Bible

Can I Know the Bible is the Word of God? Part 2

By Dr. Herbert Samworth   In the first article of this series, we sought to answer the question regarding the question of how we can know the Bible is the Word of God. In this article we will attempt to show the evidence that the Bible speaks of itself regarding this question. The question deals with our belief that the Bible is the Word of God. In others words, we have faith that the Scriptures are the Word of God. It is important that we understand the nature of faith. Faith is always based on evidence and is directed toward an object. In theological terms we say that faith is always extraspective or outside of ourselves. We do not have faith in our faith but in the ground of faith that is always outside of ourselves. The ground of faith that the Scriptures are the Word of God is the evidence or testimony that the Bible gives about itself. So the question really resolves itself into this: does the Bible contain evidence or testimony that it is the Word of God? Or putting it yet another way, how does the Bible view itself? We can begin with the Old Testament. It is important to keep in mind that the Bible or the revelation of Scripture was not given as a single unit. There is good evidence to believe that the Old Testament Scriptures were written over a period of nearly one thousand years. In the Old Testament books, it is common to read such words as the “Word of the Lord” came to an individual. We note this in the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and other prophets. There was a consciousness that the words they were writing, albeit in human language, were the Words of God Himself. In the book of Joshua, after the death of Moses, God commanded him to follow the book of the Law. He was not to depart from it but to mediate on it day and night. Note Joshua 1:8. By so doing, he was to have good success. This is a direct statement that the Law of God or the Book of the Law, as written by Moses, was to be the guide of the people of Israel because it was divine in its nature. In the last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi written about the year four hundred...

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Can I Know the Bible is the Word of God? Part 1

By Dr. Herbert Samworth   There is often great stress placed on the importance of reading and studying the Bible. People are exhorted to make daily Bible reading a priority in their lives. All of this is good and we would join in the encouragement of such a practice. However, a person, when beginning a course of Bible reading, is often faced with the question of how can he know that the Bible is indeed the Word of God. Are there not other religions with their writings which make similar claims? Why should such an exclusive place be accorded to the Scriptures? Is truth limited to just one book? These are very good and practical questions and merit a response. And certainly these questions have been asked before in the history of man. It is a question that deals with certainty that ultimately resolves itself into one of authority. A brief review of history tells us that various responses to that question have typically been given. And even within the responses, there are often times additional sub points and strata of reasonings. However, we will note that the responses can be reduced to three basic ones: the authoritative, the subjective, and what we will call, for purpose of clarification, the self-attesting. Let us give a brief review of each of these three responses. The first we have called the authoritative or the response from above. Most times this response comes from the church itself that make the pronouncement that the Bible is the Word of God. This response views the church as possessing power or authority over the Scriptures and is thus in the position of giving definitive pronouncements. The Roman Catholic Church considers herself to be God’s authoritative voice in settling any theological controversy and thus has been placed in the position of declaring the Bible to be the Word of God. However, the effect is to place the Church over the Bible so that the final authority is not the Scripture itself but the Church. To supplement this view of the Bible, the Roman Catholic Church has also declared that the church alone has the God-given authority to interpret the Bible through the Magisterium or official teaching office of the Church. The second we can call the subjective or the response from man himself. Because man is endowed with reasoning capability, he is qualified to gather and...

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