(6/29/2020) by Aaron
Burden on Unsplash.
Free to use under the Unsplash
The above photograph,
selected for this topic question, is fitting – except that the path
should be straight. The Bible is the only book, inspired by God, that
guides us along the straight path, to the Light. Imagine that the
photograph looks east, to the rising sun.
Greetings, for the sixth
time, to this series on Christian Evidences (Apologetics), dear
reader and student. I trust that you are well. My wife and I are
doing well enough, by God's grace, in this new year. Thank you for
your continued interest in this vitally important series. This
article is dedicated to my late maternal grandfather, as the
conclusion will state.
The introduction to this
series was on 10/28/2022.
The undeniable truth that God exists was established by the articles
The article of 12/9/2022
discussed what is known about God's character from natural
revelation. That article also discussed the so-called “problem of
evil” and the concept of hell.
The writing of sixteen articles, since
12/9/2022, and other interests and obligations have delayed the
publication of this article until now. The occasional research and
writing had continued, since last November. Sifting through volumes
of information, to select specific sources, for inclusion in this
relatively brief article, has taken time also.
This article will begin to answer
the third topic question in this Christian Evidences series: is the
Bible the solely-inspired written word of God?
“Bible” is transliterated from the Greek, βίβλος, which
means “Book.” The Bible, thus, is the Book.
First, however, certain important
preliminary points need to be made. Then, this third topic question
will begin to be answered. The preliminaries include the concept
of inspiration, the Canon of Scripture, and the art and
science of textual criticism.
be aware that the preliminaries do not get “the cart before the
horse.” The reasoning will not be circular (i.e., by the
logical fallacy of stating that the Bible is inspired by God, because
it says so). The preliminaries include website references to
scholarly articles, for further personal study.
The Concept of
The Bible defines the concept of its
inspiration. In his second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote:
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, NIV)
“God-breathed” is translated from
the Greek, θεόπνευστος, which means, literally as
translated, “God-breathed.” The King James Version translates the
Greek word, also correctly, as “is given by inspiration of God.”
During His 40 days and nights of
temptation by the devil, Jesus replied to the devil:
It is written: ‘Man shall not live on
bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
(Matthew 4:4, NIV)
Jesus quoted exactly from Deuteronomy
8:3. To read the Bible, thus, is to read God's breathed words,
through His inspired writers. Every written word is from God.
During the Passover meal, Jesus
comforted His disciples by stating:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will
remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26,
he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and
he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13,
Regarding the prophets, the apostle
Peter stated that they “. . . spoke from God as they were
carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21, NIV). See
also 1 Peter 1:12. God the Father, by God the Holy Spirit, spoke His
word to the biblical writers, who wrote the very words of God.
The concept of inspiration,
therefore, is that God inspired, completely, each and every word
written by the authors of the Bible.
This is often called verbal plenary inspiration. The concept of
“dynamic equivalent” or “thought” inspiration, as it is
called, therefore, is incorrect, according to scripture. That false
concept states that God inspired the “thoughts” of the authors,
not their words. Of course, that concept fails to understand that
thoughts consist of mental images and words.
Inspiration, however, was not by
divine dictation that excluded the personalities and writing styles
of the inspired authors. Those
characteristics are distinct and noticeable. Also, grammatical
mistakes, such as the one that I am making now, does [sic]
not disprove inspiration or indicate divine mistakes. They are only
grammatical mistakes. (I should have written, “Grammatical
mistakes . . . do not . . . .”) The
inspired authors wrote in various languages and writing styles, which
include grammatical mistakes.
Inspiration applies to the original
manuscripts (autographs), which no longer exist. Thousands of
early manuscript copies, however, exist and have undergone scholarly
study. The study of those copies (textual criticism) confirms, by
abundant and convincing evidence, that the Canon of Scripture has
been transmitted accurately through the centuries. (See the
section, below, on The Art and
Science of Textual Criticism.)
Translations – of the Hebrew,
Aramaic, and Koine Greek into other languages, such as English –
are not inspired. Accurate translations, however, exist and convey
the exact words and meaning of the original languages. For
example, consider John 3:16. The meaning in either language is the
Greek: Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς
τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ
ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν
μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλὰ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
(Source: SBL NT.)
Russian: Ведь Бог так полюбил этот
мир, что отдал Своего единственного
Сына, чтобы каждый верующий в Него не
погиб, но имел вечную жизнь. (Source: New
Russian Translation, NRT.)
English: For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life. (Source: NIV.)
The Canon of Scripture
”Canon” is transliterated from the
Greek, κανών, and means, literally, reed, standard, or measuring
rod. It is a “measuring stick.” “Scripture” refers to the
God-breathed words in the Bible -- as validated by textual criticism,
accurate translation, and proper interpretation.
The specific Canon of Scripture,
in the Protestant Bible, is the sixty-six books, including
thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New
Testament. “Books,” as a general term, include history, law,
poetry, prophecy, gospels, letters (epistles), and apocalypse.
The Old Testament consists of five
books of law (the Pentateuch) from Genesis through Deuteronomy,
twelve books of history from Joshua through Esther, five books of
poetry from Job through the Song of Solomon, five major prophets from
Isaiah through Daniel, and twelve minor prophets from Hosea through
The New Testament consists of the four
gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Acts (on early Christian
history), thirteen letters (epistles) by the apostle Paul from Romans
through Philemon, eight other letters (epistles) from Hebrews through
Jude, and Revelation (the apocalyptic volume by the apostle John).
How was the Canon of Scripture
determined? What about the non-canonical books? The full
answers to those questions are outside the scope of this brief
article; however, the answers are found in the following five
scholarly sources. The reader is encouraged to study the sources
First, see The
Canon and Extra-Canonical Writings,
on Apologetics Press, by AP Staff, 12/31/2002.
Second and third, see The
Old Testament Canon,
on Evidence Unseen, by James M. Rochford (MA, Theological Studies),
undated and The
New Testament Canon,
on Evidence Unseen, by James M. Rochford (MA, Theological Studies),
Fourth, see The
Canon of Scripture,
Finally, see “Development
of the canon” on
(References to those sources accept the contents of those specific
sources. The references, however, do not imply the acceptance of
every article on each website.)
In summary of the five sources that
have been cited, God determined the Canon of Scripture, not man.
Scholarly study, however, has fully and accurately discovered what
God has established as the Canon of Scripture – His inspired word
The Art and Science of
is an art and science. It does not criticize the Bible, in a
negative sense. It is the accurate discovery of the original and
unavailable autographs, by the study of the manuscripts, including
translations, of those autographs.
Volumes of scholarly books, websites,
and articles exist on the subject of textual criticism, as it relates
to the Bible. It is beyond the scope of this article to delve more
deeply into the subject; however, five select sources are referenced,
for your further study.
first four sources are from Apologetics
series of three articles, by Justin
PhD, are: The
Birth of the Book (Part 1),
Birth of the Book (Part 2),
published 2/7/2022; and The
Integrity of the Biblical Text (Part 3): Text of the Old Testament,
The fourth article is: Has
the Bible Been Transmitted To Us Accurately?
By Dave Miller, PhD, published 10/6/2019. That article
also contrasts the quality of textual criticism for the Bible to the
inadequate textual criticism for the Koran – which, by the way,
refers to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as inspired. The
final source is New
Testament Textual Criticism on Theopedia.
noteworthy that New Testament manuscripts are far more (in number)
and earlier (in proximity to the first century AD) than
manuscripts for other ancient and unavailable autographs. The sources
cited previously unfold the evidence.
The review of those five sources
concludes that textual criticism is certain that the manuscripts
of the Bible are 99.9% accurate to the autographs. The 0.1%
variation does not affect any point of doctrine. The study of those
five select sources is highly recommended.
Why did God not ensure that the
original autographs were preserved? No one knows. A speculation is
that God did not want us to venerate (worship) the autographs, but to
Now that the preliminaries are out of
the way, let us begin to affirm that the Bible is the
solely-inspired written word of God. The general affirmative will
be stated, followed by the first of three lines of proof, which are
selected. Other lines of proof are available, but the select three
are necessary and sufficient.
Biblical inspiration is established,
independently, by each line of proof. The illustration is the same
“bright street light, supported by three strong poles, not just
one,” as this
series article of 11/4/2022 mentioned, in relation proving
the existence of God.
The general affirmative is:
If the Bible has certain
(distinguishing traits, qualities, or properties) that human authors
could not have accomplished (achieved) alone (apart from God), then
the Bible is the inspired word of God. The
Bible has certain characteristics that human authors could not have
accomplished alone. Therefore, the Bible is the inspired word
Three certain characteristics
-- which human authors could not have accomplished alone --
are the historical accuracy of
the Bible (by archaeological evidence),
the unity of the Bible
(in theme, purpose, and doctrine),
and biblical prophecy.
Affirmative from the Characteristic of Historical Accuracy
This article presents the
characteristic of the historical accuracy of the Bible.
It begins with four important points. Future
articles, Lord willing, will present the unity of the Bible and
“Accuracy,” in general, means free
from mistake or error. It is the same as inerrancy (containing no
error). It affirms that the manuscripts of the Bible, which are
99.9% accurate to the autographs, contain no mistakes or errors,
aside from grammatical mistakes. The following are four important
points, which must be established, before the historical accuracy of
the Bible is presented.
Interpretation and Harmonization
interpretation and harmonization are essential, to affirm the general
and historical accuracies of the Bible.
Either by malevolent or benign intent, texts are misunderstood, taken
out of context, and cited as
Proper study, however, resolves the alleged errors.
one of many examples, a contradiction is alleged
between Matthew 27:5 (in which, Judas threw down the 30 silver pieces
in the temple and hanged himself) and Acts 1:18 (in which, Judas
purchased a field with the 30 silver pieces, fell, and burst open
gruesomely). A proper study of Matthew 27:3-10 and Acts 1:18-19,
however, reveals that the chief priests used the 30 silver pieces,
which Judas had thrown down, to buy the field on his behalf. The
texts state that Judas hanged himself, possibly to death. The texts
suggest that, when Judas was either dying or dead, the noose (or
device) dislodged his body, causing it to fall headlong and burst
open. His body fell from the noose (or device), either by slipping
free, by being cut down, or by decomposition. Everyone in Jerusalem
knew about it (Acts 1:19). (A good article that resolves this alleged
contradiction is: What
Is the Field of Blood in the Bible?
By G. Connor Salter, SEO Editor, on Christianity.com, 4/8/2022.)
The first century authors, Matthew and Luke, each wrote about Judas'
suicide and included certain details. They knew, but did not include,
every detail. We can deduce details from what they mentioned. By
deduction, the separate accounts do not contradict. A
credible contextual interpretation and harmonization are sufficient
to remove the alleged contradiction.
plan is to publish a separate article on alleged
discrepancies, in the future, Lord willing.)
accurate translation of the Bible is essential, in the affirmation of
biblical accuracy. Alleged
contradictions arise from inaccurate translations of certain texts.
The inaccurate translation of a particular text does not imply that
the entire translation is inaccurate, but only that certain texts
were not translated correctly.
As one example, an alleged error in Acts is cited, due to
inadequacies in the King James and New King James translations. Those
translations read that Saul's companions, at the same moment, heard
the voice (Acts 9:7) but did not hear the voice (Acts 22:9). The New
International Version, however, translates accurately that Saul's
companions “heard the sound” (Acts 9:7) but “did not
understand the voice” (Acts 22:9). The same Greek verb, ἀκούω
(to hear), is used in both verses. In Acts 9:7, the verb is in the
genitive, meaning to hear in general without necessarily
understanding (“heard the sound”). In Acts 22:9, the verb
is in the accusative, meaning to hear with understanding (heard but
“did not understand”). In English, this is similar to
“hear” (in general, as in hearing unclear words) and “listen”
(as in hearing and understanding words). The alleged contradiction is
resolved, by the study of the Greek text and by accurate translation.
Thirdly, logically, if a Christian
theist denies the inerrancy of the Bible, then he must affirm either
that God is not perfect or that the Bible is not His inspired word.
Christian theists, who affirm that God is perfect but that the Bible
contains errors, are not logical, since a perfect God would not
Instead, if God inspired the Bible, and
if He is perfect (making no mistakes or errors), then the Bible would
contain no mistakes or errors. The reasoning is valid, but is it
sound? It is, as will be elaborated. First, however, an important
consideration needs to be noted.
Finally, consider that the Old
Testament – in Hebrew and Aramaic, by about 31 authors – was
written from about 1400 BC (the Pentateuch) to about 400 BC
(Malachi). The New Testament – in Koine Greek, by nine authors –
was written from about 44 AD to about 95 AD.
The authors were from the Middle East,
Africa, and Europe. They lived in different historical periods and in
different cultures. The authors had varying personalities, writing
styles, educational levels, and positions. Some were kings,
fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and
doctors. (Sources: my college studies on Survey of the Old Testament
and Survey of the New Testament. Suggested sources for further study
Old Testament Survey,
on Bible.org, by the late J. Hampton Keathley III, ThM, 2/2/2009
New Testament Survey,
on Bible.org, by the late J. Hampton Keathley III, ThM, 2/2/2009.)
The Bible – the compilation of
sixty-six books, over more than a thousand years, by about forty
different authors, in three languages – does not contain historical
errors, as will be explained. Could one book – not a compilation of
books, written over only a century, by only a few different authors,
in only one language – be without error and need no revision? It is
doubted that such a book could be written – without God guiding the
authors. For example, the occasional work on this article started
last November. In the process, this sole writer has revised and
corrected the draft several times. Once published, the article may
need slight revision.
Argument from Historical Accuracy
of the Bible -- which human authors could not have accomplished alone
-- is now presented. The specific argument from
historical accuracy is:
If the Bible has the
characteristic of historical accuracy that human authors could not
have accomplished alone, then the Bible is the inspired word
of God. The Bible has historical
accuracy that human authors could not have accomplished alone.
Therefore, the Bible is the inspired word of God.
article affirms the selected point on historical
accuracy. Other selected points of biblical accuracy could be
affirmed. References to other scholarly sources will be listed, for
further personal study. Any reader, who is critical of this
affirmative and who challenges the forthcoming conclusion, is welcome
to argue a rebuttal in the comments section.
history books are usually accurate. Some are redacted and revised, to
correct mistakes. The Bible is not a history book, per
se, in a secular
sense. It does, however, contain historical narrative – such as in
the Pentateuch (Genesis - Deuteronomy), the twelve books of history
(Joshua - Esther), the four gospels, Acts, and historical references
in other books.
accuracy of the Bible is a necessary requirement for it to be
inspired -- meaning that the Bible, to be considered inspired, must
be accurate historically. If it is not historically accurate, then
the Bible could not be inspired, by a perfect God, who makes no
mistakes. (The Koran and the Book of Mormon, for example, contain
known historical errors; therefore, they cannot be inspired by God.
See, for example, The
Bible vs. other Holy Books,
on Biblical Science Institute, Jason Lisle, PhD, 9/21/2018.)
accuracy is also a sufficient requirement
that proves the inspiration of the Bible. The sufficiency is
established, in that the
historical accuracy of the Bible -- which is beyond the ability of
uninspired authors -- is proved by the discovery that its history is
exactly accurate. Archaeological discoveries corroborate the
historical narratives in the Bible.
Over a century
ago, skeptics stated that the Bible was merely a compilation of
folklore, legend, and myth and that it was not accurate historically.
Biblical history had not yet been corroborated by secular sources.
Thousands of archaeological discoveries, over the last century to
now, however, have corroborated the historical accuracy of the Bible.
Some former skeptics became believers, once the exactly accurate
history of the Bible was discovered.
Please note that
archaeology is not an exact science, such as mathematics. It is
evolving, with ongoing improvements in method. Discoveries can be
incomplete and subject to the opinions, interpretations, and
worldviews of the archaeologists.
therefore, that archaeology “proves” the Bible is incorrect. Such
a statement places archaeology above and in a position of alleged
authority over the Bible, which is incorrect thinking. Archaeology,
however, does corroborate (or support) the historical records in the
Bible. It does not do so, for other so-called inspired books,
such as the Book of Mormon, and so forth. In fact, archaeologists
use historical biblical records as a guide to their archaeological
References to the Proof
following is a select list of five scholarly and online sources,
of many such sources, that
present archaeological discoveries that corroborate biblical history.
These sources include citations to additional works. This select list
can be used as a qualitative and encyclopedic reference point, for
please read carefully the Answers
25: Does Archaeology Support the Bible?
By Dr. Clifford Wilson, published 1/24/2008, last featured 8/27/2014.
The article is included, as a chapter, in The
New Answers Book 1.
For all their free online books, see Answers
in Genesis: Online Books, which includes
The New Answers
(It is noteworthy to mention that the author of Chapter
Dr. Clifford Wilson, is deceased, according to Dr.
Clifford Wilson Passes Into Glory,
on ChrisFieldBlog.com, by Chris Field, 4/13/2012.
Dr. Wilson's written work, however, continues to live.)
in The New
Answers Book 1,
lists thirteen sections on biblical history. Each section includes
three major archaeological evidences, providing a total of
thirty-nine evidences. The thirteen sections are as follows:
Genesis 1 - 11, Genesis 11 - 36, Genesis 37 - 50, Exodus to Deuteronomy, Joshua to Saul, David to Solomon, the Assyrian Period, the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and the Medo-Persian Empire, Ezra and Nehemiah, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Person of Our Lord Jesus, and the New Testament and the Early Church.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Wilson stated:
Archaeology has done much to demonstrate that “the Bible was
right after all.” Its early records of creation, Eden, the Flood,
long-living men, and the dispersal of the nations are not mere
legends after all. Other tablets recording the same events have been
recovered, but they are often distorted and corrupted.
The Bible record is immensely superior, and quite credible. Those
early Bible records can no longer be written off as myth or legend.
After having studied the extensive article, which includes online
references to other sources, Dr. Wilson's conclusion is valid. In
fact, the Answers
in Genesis, section on Archaeology contains a wealth of
information that confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible, in
Old and New Testaments.
for an in-depth study of Christian apologetics, the Baker
Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by
the late [7/21/1932 - 7/1/2019] Dr. Norman L. Geisler, 1999 (Baker
Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) -- is an excellent source. The
establishment of a free account, on Internet
will allow a free 14-day loan, for online reading. The encyclopedia
is found at Baker
Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics,
on Internet Archive.
section on Archaeology, Old Testament
(pages 48-52), concludes:
In every period of Old Testament history, we find
that there is good evidence from archaeology that the Scriptures
speak the truth. In many instances, the Scriptures even reflect
firsthand knowledge of the times and customs it describes. While many
have doubted the accuracy of the Bible, time and continued research
have consistently demonstrated that the Word of God is better
informed than its critics.
In fact, while thousands of finds from the ancient
world support in broad outline and often in detail the biblical
picture, not one incontrovertible find has ever contradicted the
section on Archaeology, New Testament
(pages 46-48), begins by stating:
Archaeological evidence for the reliability of the
New Testament is overwhelming
(see New Testament, Dating of; New
Testament, Historicity of). This evidence will be summarized in three
parts: the historical accuracy of Luke, the testimony of secular
historians, and the physical evidence relating to Christ’s
crucifixion (see Christ, Death of).
section on Acts, Historicity of
(pages 4-8), concludes by stating, in part:
The historicity of the book of Acts is confirmed by
overwhelming evidence. Nothing like this amount of detailed
confirmation exists for another book from antiquity. This is not only
a direct confirmation of the earliest Christian belief in the death
and resurrection of Christ, but also, indirectly, of the Gospel
record, since the author of Acts (Luke) also wrote a detailed Gospel.
This Gospel directly parallels the other two Synoptic Gospels. The
best evidence is that this material was composed by a.d. 60, only
twenty-seven years after the death of Jesus. This places the writing
during the lifetime of eyewitnesses to the events recorded (cf. Luke
1:1-4). This does not allow time for an alleged mythological
development by persons living generations after the events.
Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics
is a classic work, which continues to live. The reader is encouraged
to access the complete work, by means of the website, mentioned
previously. Therein, the reasoning for each conclusion, which this
article has quoted, is given.
another excellent source, by the late Dr. Norman Geisler, is his
Apologetics, Second Edition,
2013 (Baker Book House, provided on Internet Archive).
(There are six original download options, which are provided freely.)
Dr. Geisler's book unfolds the complete reasoning behind Christian
apologetics in general. The complete reading of this excellent book,
once downloaded, is encouraged.
the purpose of this article, however, please refer to Chapter
18: The Historical Reliability of the New Testament
and the section Support
for the Credibility of the New Testament Writers from Numerous
Therein, the abundant archaeological corroboration, of the New
Testament historical record, is established.
In his Summary
and Conclusion, to Chapter 18, the late Dr. Geisler wrote:
. . . we can be assured that the New Testament documents are
historically reliable, for we have more, earlier, and better-copied
manuscripts for it than for any other book from antiquity. Further,
we posses more eyewitness and contemporary testimony in these
documents that is supported by archaeological, historical, and legal
sources than for any other book from that time.
Therefore, unless one is willing to wipe out all testimony from
the past -- including all of secular history and even science -- we
must conclude that not only do we have reliable copies of what Jesus
and his apostles said, but what they said is reliable. In short, when
the New Testament declares that Jesus said it, he actually said it.
And when it affirms that Jesus did it, he actually did it. The New
Testament is not just a good story; it is a true story!
bearing of recent discovery on the trustworthiness of the New
by Sir William Mitchell Ramsay [1851 - 1939], 1915 (Hodder and
Stoughton, London, available on Internet Archive).
(There are eleven original download options, which are provided
freely.) The downloading and reading of the complete book is
William Ramsay was a renowned scholar. He started, as was common in
his time, as a skeptic, regarding the historical authenticity of
Acts. His archaeological expedition in Asia Minor intending to
disprove the historical records in Acts. After years of research,
however, Sir Ramsay concluded that Acts was precise and accurate
PART II. THE LECTURES, under chapter III. The First Change
of Judgment, Sir Ramsay wrote,
on page 38:
But about 1880 to 1890 the book of the Acts was
regarded as the weakest part of the New Testament. No one that had
any regard for his [Luke's, MF]
reputation as a scholar cared to say a word in its defence. The most
conservative of theological scholars, as a rule, thought the wisest
plan of defence for the New Testament as a whole was to say as little
as possible about the Acts.
I began then to study the Acts in search of
geographical and antiquarian evidence, hardly expecting to find any,
but convinced that, if there were any, it would bear on the condition
of Asia Minor in the time when the writer lived.
however, in the same PART II, under chapter VI. General
Impression of Trustworthiness in the Acts, Sir Ramsay concluded,
on page 89:
The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts,
and the more I have learned year after year about Graeco-Roman
society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those
provinces, the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out
to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and
found it here [in Acts, MF].
You may press the words of Luke in a degree far beyond any other
historian's, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest
treatment, provided always that the critic knows the subject and does
not go beyond the limits of science and of justice.
Acts, Luke mentions thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, nine
Mediterranean islands, and ninety-five people (sixty-two of whom are
not named elsewhere in the New Testament). Luke's references, when
compared to external sources, are always exactly correct. Sir William
Ramsay's work established these facts, over a century ago.
one of the monumental works by John William (J. W.) McGarvey
(deceased, 3/1/1829 - 10/6/1911) is Lands
of the Bible: A Geographical and Topographical Description of
Palestine, with Letters of Travel in Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor and
B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, PA). The Restoration
property of Abilene
Christian University Library)
provides access to The
and the Table
without expense. The reading of the entire work is encouraged. Part
First: The Geography of Palestine
includes seven chapters. Part
Second: The Topography of Palestine
includes nine chapters. Part
Third: Letters of Travel
includes 22 letters.
reference, for this article, is Part
Second, Chapter IX, An Argument From The Land And The Book.
The late Dr. McGarvey's written word continues to speak. The
following quotation is from the sixth paragraph of that chapter. (The
emboldening of key sentences are by the author of this article, not
by Dr. McGarvey.)
That there is a general
agreement between the Bible and the geography of Palestine is a
well-known fact. Its plains, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes,
cities, and deserts are in all parts of the Bible correctly named and
correctly located. The political divisions known to exist are
invariably recognized, as are also all the changes of government
through which the country passed in the course of its long and varied
history. In not
a single known instance, from the beginning to the end of the book,
is there a failure in any one of these particulars. This would be
beyond precedent, even if the entire Bible had been written at one
time by a single author; but when we remember that its various books
were composed by more than thirty different authors, who lived in
different ages, extending over a period of 1500 years, we can but be
astonished at the result.
But the ground for astonishment is not fully realized until we
remember that all other historical writings that have come down to us
from antiquity are notoriously erroneous. As modern
research into ancient history has been prosecuted, errors in all the
particulars mentioned above have been detected in ancient writers,
and even among modern writers themselves the chief task of those of
later date is to correct the errors of their predecessors. . . . But
no one has ever yet found cause to publish a corrected edition of
Bible history, nor have the researches of modern antiquaries had any
other effect than to confirm and illustrate its local allusions and
its historical statements. On this fact alone we might
base our argument for the entire credibility of the Bible writers;
but this is only the beginning of the story.
five sources, as referenced, have not been refuted and continue to
stand the test of time. The citations of those sources, in this brief
article, simply present the proof that previous scholarship has
already established. The proof does not need to be re-established,
since it continues to stand as established.
The specific argument from
historical accuracy is:
If the Bible has the characteristic of historical accuracy that
human authors could not have accomplished alone, then the Bible is
the inspired word of God. The Bible has historical accuracy that
human authors could not have accomplished alone. Therefore, the Bible
is the inspired word of God.
The Bible – the compilation of sixty-six books, over more
than a thousand years, by about forty different authors, in three
languages – does not contain historical errors. This
article affirms that such an accomplishment would have been beyond
the ability of uninspired authors.
conclusion, therefore, is valid. The Bible is the inspired word of
God. The reader of this article
is encouraged to read the entirety of the works, which have been
Secular history books are revised and have later editions, to update
and correct previous editions. Where are the revised, corrected,
and later editions of the Bible? There are none.
Beza (1519 - 1605), the 16th century Swiss theologian, is attributed,
incorrectly, to have stated that the Bible is an anvil that
has worn out many hammers. Beza, instead, spoke of the church as “.
. . an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” (Source: Theodore
Beza: The Counsellor of the French Reformation,
by Henry Martyn Baird (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, The
Knickerbocker Press, 1899) marked
up by Lance George Marshall, on Monergism.
See especially Chapter
statement, however, rings true of the Bible also.
The conclusion of the apostle Peter's
introductory chapter to the Christians at Pontus, Galatia,
Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia quotes from Isaiah 40:6-8 and states:
For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the
flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the
word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25, NIV)
This article cannot improve on the
apostle Peter's inspired statement. As the introduction to this
article has stated, “The Bible is the only book, inspired by
God, that guides us along the straight path, to the Light.”
I trust, dear reader, that you are
following the biblical path to the Light. If you are not, then please
use the Contact Form, if you wish personal communication. If you are,
then may this article assist you, in the bringing of many to the
As a personal
note, this article is published on the date, in 1983, when my
maternal grandfather, Aby William Wood (9/4/1901 – 3/14/1983) went
to his heavenly home. I wear his middle name with honor. Before
he passed and while in the hospital bed, enduring physical suffering,
Papaw Wood raised both arms to heaven, looked upward, and prayed,
“Please take me now, Lord. I'm ready to come home.”
Papaw Wood was ready to see his Lord, whom he had served and in whom
he had believed, as a Christian, for many decades. This
article is dedicated to the faith of my beloved maternal grandfather,
whom I will see again, once I join so many others and him up there.
This is the evidence-based hope of faith. It is not blind hope. It is
hope, as inspired by faith, which is based on evidence. I
still have Papaw Wood's Bible.
I can see where he underlined and made notes around several biblical
texts. Papaw's Bible
guided him along the straight path to the Light.