Is the Bible Divinely Inspired?

Part 1 – It claims to be – Internal Evidence


Dr. John Hoole – June 3, 2018




We have all heard people quarreling.  Sometimes it sounds funny – and sometimes it is merely unpleasant.  I am sure that each of us have heard such statements as:


1.  “That was my seat; I was there first.”


2.  “How’d you like it if someone did that to you?”


3.  “Come on – you promised.”


4.  “Give me a bite of your candy bar – I gave you a bit of mine.”


People say things like these every day – Educated people as well as the uneducated;  Grown-ups as well as children.


If you are not personally involved with these verbal jabs, only listening to others, it may be possible for you and I to stand back and observe some interesting thoughts about such quarrelsome remarks and debate.  The person who makes such statements is not merely saying the other person’s behavior does not happen to please him.         He is appealing to some sort of standard of behavior which he expects the other person to know about.  There would be no sense in trying to convince a person they had done something wrong, unless the two of them had some sort of agreement as to what wrong and right are.  That is just like there would be no sense in saying to a basketball player that he had committed a foul which required a penalty, unless there was an agreement about the rules of basketball.


The laws of human nature are as much a law as the law of gravity or laws of chemistry or heredity.  And the laws of human nature are just as universal as well.  All people, the world over, have an innate sense of the law of Right and Wrong.


C.S, Lewis  (page 18, Mere Christianity)


“Each man is at every moment subjected to several sets of laws, but there is only one of these which he is free to disobey.  As a body, he is subjected to gravitation and cannot disobey it; if you leave him unsupported in mid-air, he has no more choice about falling than a stone has.  As an organism, he is subjected to various biological laws which he cannot disobey any more than any animal can.  That is, he cannot disobey those laws which he shares with other things;  but the law which is peculiar to his human nature, the law he does not share with animals or vegetables or inorganic things, is the one he can disobey if he chooses.”


In other words, man can disobey moral or ethical laws.  He does not share these laws with any inorganic objects or even the animals.  But it must be added quickly: Even though one has the prerogative to disobey moral laws of right and wrong, he must also experience the consequence of such a choice, whichever way he chooses.  In other words, while a person has the right to choose his/her actions, they do not have the right to choose the consequence of such action.  These are predetermined.


Now, back to the question of a universal sense of right and wrong.  I have taken courses in sociology and know there are those who object to my saying that the laws of human behavior is universal.  They point out a few civilizations at various time in history which have had quite different moralities.  While I will concede that there have been some differences in moralities, I would have to add that they have never amounted to anything like a total difference.


If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teachings of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans.  What will strike them is how very much alike they are to each other and to our own standard of morality.  Whenever you find a person who says that everything is relative, that there are no absolutes – who does not believe there is a real right and wrong, that person will be the first to complain – or holler foul – if his pocket is picked, or his child mistreated.  He will, most assuredly, say the other person is wrong or unfair.  But, if there is no real right or wrong, what is the difference between what is unfair and what is fair?


Now, I have certainly not answered all the questions that may be raised by those who do not believe in any absolutes.  Neither have I given an exhaustive dissertation for it.  But, possibly, I have set the stage or foundation for us to believe that we not only need absolutes, but that they do exist.


One area that, in the last 20-30 years, has been hit hard by the proponents of the “everything-is-relative” philosophy has been the questions: “How do you know what is true or what is false?”  Is it possible for something to be true for one situation and not be true for another?


MY QUESTION NOW FOR YOU IS: “What is truth?”


I would like to propose that TRUTH is synonymous with the thoughts that fill the mind of God.  And the words that proceed from God’s mouth are the expression of his mind.


Matthew 4:4 NKJV


4       But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" 


I also would like to submit that the Bible is the expression of the mind of God – thus it is TRUTH.  I would also add that there is no truth apart from God.  He is its source.


John 17:17 NKJV


17     Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.


Psalms 119:151 NKJV


151    You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth.


Last week we examined Psalm 119, which has a central theme, “The importance of the Word of God.”  As we learned last week, Psalm 119 is so full of many aspects of the Word of God, that what we covered last week might be likened unto our having taken just one step through the entrance of a beautiful mansion.  And as you stand in the entrance, you may see the brilliance of:


         •  the massive chandelier,

         •  the winding staircase to a balcony leading to the second floor,

         •  the beautiful inlaid woodwork in the walls,

         •  the lofty ceilings,

         •  with possibly some stonework mixed in to enhance it.


Standing there, you notice there are several large doors that must lead to other rooms, each having their specific purpose.  Rooms that will have their own radiant splendor and beauty, but as yet, not discovered by you.


That is the 119th Psalm.  It is like a book of Psalms within a Book of Psalms.  And we have hardly come through the door, not to mention the many doors, one of which we must choose to open first.


That was last week – the Word of God is truly magnificent.  But how do we know that the Bible is divinely inspired of God?  And how would you prove it?  What makes the Bible different from, and superior to, all the other holy books in the world?


One of the most conclusive direct claims for inspiration comes from the pen of the apostle Paul.


2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV


16     All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17     that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


These verses tell us that if we want to be fully equipped for every good work, the source to prepare you for those good works is the Bible.  Verse 16 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God.  The Greek word used for "inspiration" is Theopneustos, which is a compound word, that comes from two other Greek words:


                   •  Theos = God


                   •  Pnein = Breath


Therefore, the word, inspiration, in this verse, means "God Breathed."  All Scripture required the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The Scriptures are the product of God’s creative breath.


The emphasis here is not on inspired writers as much as it is on inspired Scripture.  This is not to suggest that the Holy Spirit did not move on the writers themselves, but that the writers produced a product, which, while it was their own, was also the Word of the Living God.


What is the extent of the inspiration?  ALL Scripture.  God has directed the inspiration so that all the words that were used were equally inspired by God.  And I want to make a strong statement.  The Bible doesn’t just contain the Word, or is only the word when it speaks to you.  It is entirely the Word of God in all ways and at any time.


Another Passage that attests to Biblical inspiration is found in the writings of the apostle Peter.


2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV


20     Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.

21     For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


What is interesting here is that Peter claims that the prophetic word did not come from human impulse.  It came from God Himself.  And it was the Holy Spirit who moved on the hearts and minds of men to accomplish this purpose.  God used human instruments to accomplish the divine purpose.




For the rest of our lesson today, we are going to look at the internal evidence for the inspiration of the Word of God.  What does it say about itself?


Some might object to using the words of the Bible itself as evidence for its authenticity.  They would ask, “Isn’t this a circular kind of argument, using the Bible to establish or substantiate the validity of the Bible?”


The fact that the Bible claims to be the Word of God is not enough to authenticate the claim.  Any book can make such a claim.  But the fact that the claim is made is still significant indeed.


Even in a court of law, a defendant can take the stand on his or her own behalf.  The accused can defend themselves as a witness in the courtroom.  And if it cannot be shown that their testimony is false or that they have perjured themselves, their words are used as evidence in the minds of the jury as much as any other.  The same is true when the Bible provides evidence in its own defense.


The Bible consistently affirms that it is the Word of God.  The phrase, “God said,” is found over 2,700 times in the Bible.  The phrase, “Thus saith the Lord,” is found 1,904 times.


The Bible testifies to its own integrity – in that it claims to be:


         •  the Word of Life – Philippians 2:16


         •  the Word of Truth – Ephesians 1:13


         •  the Word of Salvation – Acts 13:26


         •  the Word of Reconciliation – 2 Corinthians 5:19


Many times in Scripture, we find one Book referring to the writing of another Book as being the Word of God.  Take Daniel 9:1-2 (NKJV) as an example:


1       In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) — 

2       in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.


                            Daniel refers to the prophecy of Jeremiah as “the Word of the Lord.”


In Revelation 1:1, the apostle John says what he writes is, the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.


Over and over again the writers made it perfectly clear that they were speaking on behalf of God, who gave them what to say.  And repeatedly, writers of Scripture accepted the parts of the Bible they had as being the Word of the Lord.


The apostle Paul recognized that the things he was writing were the Lord’s commandments.


1 Corinthians 14:37 NKJV


37     If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.


The believers recognized Paul’s sermons were coming from God.


1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV


13     For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.


Peter proclaimed the certainty of the Scriptures and the necessity of heeding the unalterable and certain Word of God


2 Peter 1:16-19 NKJV


16     For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

17     For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

18     And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19     And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;


The apostle John also recognized that what he spoke was from God, and that to reject his teaching was to reject God.


1 John 4:6 NKJV


6       We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.


Those who would use the “circular reasoning” argument should note that the writers who made these claims for the Scriptures, were trustworthy men who defended the integrity of the Scripture at great personal sacrifice.


Jeremiah 11:1-3 NKJV


1.      The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2       "Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

3       and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God of Israel: "Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant


And yet, because of his defense of the Scriptures, some attempted to kill him.


Jeremiah 11:21 NKJV


21     "Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying,’ Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand' — 


The Bible’s claims should not be understood as arguing in a circle or by circular reasoning.  The testimony of reliable witnesses – particularly of Jesus, but also of others such as Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, and Nehemiah.


The ever present assumption of the writers of the Bible is that the Bible is the God-breathed Word of God.  A good illustration of this is seen in Psalm 19.


Psalms 19:7-11 NKJV


7       The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

8       The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9       The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10     More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11     Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.


The Old Testament writers often noted that what they wrote or said was the Word of God.  Moses wrote, in Exodus:


Exodus 4:30 NKJV


30.    And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people.


In the book of Joshua we read what he said to the Israelites:


Joshua 3:9 NKJV


9       So Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God."


                   The words Joshua spoke was the word of the Lord.


A warning from God to Israel is found in  2 Kings;


2 Kings 17:13 NKJV


13     Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets."


                   Here we are told the prophets of God spoke the commands, the word, of God.


Both the Old Testament and New Testament writers understood what they spoke and wrote were the words of God.


4.      The Claims of Jesus


Perhaps the most sweeping endorsement of all of the Old Testament comes from Christ Himself.


Luke 24:44 NKJV


44     Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 


There is no finer teacher on whether Jesus is to be found in the pages of the Old Testament than the teaching of our Lord Jesus himself.


John 5:37-39 NKJV


37     And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

38     But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

39     You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.


                   The Scriptures they had at that time was the Tanakh – our Old Testament.


In addition of the pages of the Old Testament speaking about Christ, there are some 300 Old Testament prophesies foretelling the first coming of Christ.  The Bible and my Lord stand or fall together.  If the Bible is not the Word of God, then Christ is not the Son of God.  To all Christians, Jesus Christ is God and the final and supreme authority in all things.  If Jesus is God – and I believe that He is, then His opinion with regard to the inerrancy of Scripture must be accounted as truth.






Jesus believed and taught that the Hebrew Bible was inerrant, not only in matters of faith and practice, but in its prophetic, historical, geographical and scientific data as well.  He stated emphatically, “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18).


He quoted Scripture as final authority, often introducing the statement with the phrase, “It is written,” such as when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  At other times he spoke of himself and of events surrounding his life as being the fulfillments of the Scripture (Matthew 26:54, 56).


Perhaps His most sweeping endorsement and acceptance of the Old Testament was when he declared with finality, Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).


If, then, we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, it would be a contradiction of terms, and strangely inconsistent, if we rejected the Scriptures as the Word of God.  We would be in disagreement with the very One whom we acknowledge to be the eternal God, the Creator of the universe and all in it.  If the church submits to the authority of Christ, then it must regard His view of Scripture as being authoritative as well.


One additional statement concerning Christ’s endorsement of Scripture must be made.  In John 16, Jesus also predicted the writing of the New Testament under the power of the Holy Spirit, therefore, putting a stamp-of-approval on its inerrancy even before it was penned.


What I have presented thus far is only the beginning of showing the Bible is inspired by God.  There are many other avenues showing the Bible is God’s Word.  We have today addressed but one of the Internal Evidences for its inspiration.  There are other internal evidences, as well as evidences outside the Bible.


Here are a few of those areas that I believe indicate the divine inspiration of the Bible.


1.      The Bible’s unity

2.      It contains predictive Prophecy

3.      It contains knowledge beyond human origin

4.      Its preservation through the ages

5.      Its inerrancy

6.      Its historical accuracy

7.      Its influence

8.      How it meets human need

9.      Archeology