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What Does the Bible Say about Itself?

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I don't like it when people put words in my mouth. I have strong opinions about different subjects, and I prefer to be represented accurately whenever people talk about those opinions. That's one of the reasons I appreciate having the chance to write on a regular basis \-- it allows me to organize my thoughts and solidify what I believe on different topics. Now, given that I don't like people putting words in my mouth, I try to avoid putting words in other people's mouths, as well. If I'm going to quote someone, I try my best to do it accurately and exactly. Therefore, the last thing I ever want to do is put words in God's mouth, or to make promises about the Bible that the Bible doesn't even make about itself. That would be a horrible idea. With that in mind, let's explore three important claims the Bible makes about itself: 1) that the Scriptures are inspired by God, 2) that the Bible is true, and 3) that God's Word is relevant and useful in the world today. ### The Bible Claims to Be God's Word The very first thing we need to understand about the Bible is that it definitively claims to have its source in God. Meaning, the Bible proclaims itself to be divinely inspired by God. Look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17, for example: > _All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work._ Just as God breathed life into Adam (see Gen 2:7) to create a living being, He also breathed life into the Scriptures. While it's true that a number of people were responsible for recording the words of the Bible over the course of thousands of years, God was the source of those words. God was the One who brought them to life. The apostle Paul -- who wrote several books in the New Testament -- clarified this point in 1 Thessalonians 2:13: > _And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe._ The apostle Peter -- another biblical author -- also identified God as the ultimate Creator of the Scriptures: > _Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21)._ So, God is the ultimate source of the concepts and claims recorded in the Bible, even though He used a number of human beings to do the physical recording with ink, scrolls, and so on. That's what the Bible claims. ### The Bible Claims to Be True _Inerrant_ and _infallible_ are two theological words often applied to the Bible. We'll need another article to explain the different shades of meaning connected with those words, but they both boil down to a similar idea: that everything contained in the Bible is true. There are many Scripture passages that affirm the essential truth of God's Word, but these words from David are the most poetic: > _The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous (Psalm 19:7-9)._ Jesus also proclaimed that the Bible is true: > _Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17)._ Finally, the concept of God's Word being true points back to the idea that the Bible is, well, _God's_ Word. In other words, because the Bible comes from God, we can have confidence that it communicates truth. God isn't lying to us. > _Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:17-19)._ ### The Bible Claims to Be Relevant So, the Bible claims to come directly from God, and the Bible claims to be true in everything it says. But those two claims by themselves wouldn't necessarily make the Scriptures something on which we all should base our lives. After all, if God were to inspire an extremely accurate dictionary, it probably wouldn't change much for most people. That's why it's vitally important that the Bible claims to be relevant for the major issues we face as individuals and as a culture. Look at these words from the apostle Paul, for example: > _All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17)._ Jesus Himself claimed that the Bible is as necessary to a healthy life as food and nutrition: > _Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4)._ We don't have space to explore all of the themes covered by God's Word, but rest assured the Bible has a lot to say about the practical side of concepts such as money, sexuality, the family, the role of government, taxes, war, peace, and so on. Let me end by saying this: I'm sure there are many people reading this article who are feeling irritated or even downright angry right now. They're thinking: _Just because the Bible claims to be true or relevant doesn't mean I have to accept it or believe it in any way! Where's the proof?_ And I understand that argument. I really do. But the point of this article is not to gather outside evidence for the inspiration, truth, or relevance of God's Word. Rather, I simply want to show that the Bible does explicitly claim to come from God, to be completely true, and to be relevant in the world today. When it's all said and done, the best way to evaluate those claims is to read God's Word for yourself. Originally posted here:http://bible.about.com/od/Biblicalprinciples/a/What- Does-The-Bible-Say-About-Itself.htm

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1 Sarah R = "The Bible has as many as forty different authors from all walks of life and was written over a period of 1500 years, it is remarkable how well the Bible flows together. There is one message scrawled across all 66 books of the Bible: the Creator God loves and seeks His people. The only way the whole Bible could be in such sync is if there was One Author behind it. "
2 Sarah R = "As simply put as possible:Inerrant = without error (as to content, text)Infallible = reliable, trustworthy (as to message)For more on the reliability of the Bible, see these articles:Should we trust the Bible?Archaeological Support for the BibleThe Historical Reliability of the Gospel"
3 Sarah R = "We should also note that John declared Jesus is the Word of God (see John 1). The Bible therefore is a spiritual book. For that reason we need the Holy Spirit to help us understand the meaning and message of God's word to us."