It was extremely disappointing and most unfortunate indeed that an Anglican Priest Clifford Hall was heard referring to the Bible, God’s Word, as “some silly words written in a book thousands of years ago” while he was addressing the Gay Pride Parade, held in Bridgetown, on July 22.
I think this was a blatant affront to God and the Christian faith and was blasphemous in nature. The irony about this ridiculous, irresponsible utterance is that the priest had a Bible (the book with silly words) in his hand while addressing the gay parade gathering. In a Muslim nation such words could not have been uttered about the Koran and left without being addressed in one way or another. One gets the impression that this cleric has rejected the Word of God. I am therefore attempting to bring some clarity as to the authenticity of the Bible – God’s inspired revelation to man; especially since I know of some who were confused by the unwarranted blasphemous utterance of the Anglican Priest.
When I think of the Bible, qualities such as infallibility, inerrancy, indestructability, credibility, reliability and authenticity come to mind. The Bible is undoubtedly the Word of God – God’s inspired revelation to man.
The Bible is no ordinary book in the true sense of the word. It is a collection of 66 God inspired books, all remarkably preserved and authenticated, and now translated, in whole or in part into more than 2,700 languages.
It consists of two major parts: The Old Testament comprising 39 books and the New Testament comprising of 27 books, bringing it to a total of 66 books.
Who Wrote the Bible?
The Bible was written by about 40 different people, working independently of each other. They came from different geographical areas, different political systems and different social and economic situations. They were different in occupation – such as king, farmer, shepherd, doctor, fisherman, priest, philosopher and even a tax collector. They were the educated and uneducated, the rich and the poor. They lived on three different continents, spanning a period of more than 1,500 years.
In the Christian faith we believe God chose, inspired and directed the writers of the Holy Scriptures, and that’s why, when all these various writings are put together, they read as a single coordinated volume. This very Bible has been the subject of much scrutiny, being rigorously challenged and investigated regarding its archaeology, bibliography, historical accuracy, fulfilled prophecy, its internal unity, miraculous preservation and life-transforming power. This is evident by many infallible proofs from events recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
No group of ordinary writers, working together as a team at the same time and in the same place could have ever produced a book that would survive such intense scrutiny over the past several hundred years. The Bible throughout the years has survived the severe test of time and is still number one – among the world’s most read book.
The Psalmist David asked a very important question in Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?” The psalmist may have been thinking about the attitude or response of the believers when the foundations in society are being eroded. Righteousness, truth, justice, law and order, strong families, all form the basis of a nation’s social fabric. But when these pillars in society are tumbling when – for example, righteousness is being perverted, society is corrupt, attempts are made to degrade family life and marriage from its biblical concept, Christians are despised, crime and violence on the increase, what is the Body of Christ – the Church to do? Though they in themselves may not be able to halt the decline and perversion of morals, yet they can trust in the sovereign God through prayer, fasting and intercession to heal the land and correct the spiritual, social and moral decline in the nation (2Chronicles 7:14).
For centuries other foundations have been destroyed. Many have tried to break down the pillars of truth, and the fundamentals of the Christian faith are still viciously attacked in some circles; and this is considered irrelevant (out of course) in our modern society.
Psalms 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
What are the righteous to do? The Christian in his faith has a deep conviction about the infallibility, indestructability, inerrancy, credibility, and trustworthiness of the Bible. Modernists and Liberals will take swipes at the Bible in an attempt to destroy the foundation of the Christian faith, but the Word of God stands sure.
2Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his…”
But in spite of all the efforts to discredit the Bible, as God’s Word, all 66 books seem to be echoing the words of the Apostle Paul while in the Roman prison cell, “Do yourself no harm we are all here.” The Holy Scriptures cannot be destroyed or broken. They are forever settled in heaven.
I think of Voltaire, the articulate French atheist who promised, “Fifty years from now the world will hear no more of the Bible.” But instead, on the fiftieth anniversary of Voltaire’s death, the Geneva Bible Society was using Voltaire’s house as a printing shop to produce more Bibles. How ironic! No one can fight against God and win. The words of the wise teacher of the law, Gamaliel, in Acts 5:38-39 come to mind when he said,
V: 38 “And now I say to you, Withdraw from these men and let them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will come to nothing.
V: 39 But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God.”
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. The word inspiration is found twice in Scripture:
Job 32:8 “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” Here the word signifies ‘breath’ showing that God is the author of man’s intelligence.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The particular word used by Paul means “God breathed” that is, God Himself or through His Holy Spirit, told the writers of the Bible just the things to write.
Thomas Horne defines inspiration as “the imparting of such a degree of divine influence, assistance, or guidance as to enable the authors of several books of Scripture to communicate religious knowledge to others, without error or mistake.”
True born-again Christians hold to the view that all Scripture are inspired by God and constitute positive teachings for our spiritual growth, maturity and development. To those believers, the Scriptures are not an ancient literary work, but the revelation of God Himself to the mind of man, and the study of the Bible confirms that unless a person is indwelt by the Spirit of God who made the revelation possible, its contents cannot be discerned or understood.
1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Jesus also said, “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
As stated above in God’s Word, the natural man is not indwelt by the Spirit of God and therefore cannot understand spiritual things because they are spiritually discerned and are foolishness unto him or just “some silly words written in a book thousands of years ago” (Anglican Priest Clifford Hall).
It is the height of ignominy, folly and irreverence to reject or try to discard the fact that “holy men of god spake as they were moved by the holy ghost” (2 peter 1:21).
To many people the Bible is a strange mysterious book, simply because they do not have the Spirit of God and have not discovered the keys to unlock the precious truth contained in the pages of Scripture. Therefore, the wonderful treasures of the divine purpose remain sealed or hidden in mystery. A very startling word was told to Ephraim in Hosea 8:12
“I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. “
No wonder unbelievers find nothing to instruct them in the Bible and discard the Word of God “as a strange thing” Why? They are spiritually blind (2Corinthians 4:4), and therefore cannot behold the beauty or light there is in God’s Word. You continue to hear ridiculous remarks like, “the bible was written by white people to keep the blacks in bondage” and a host of others. Nothing could be further from the truth.
On a sad note, there are many professing Christians or simply religious individuals masquerading under the cloak of Christianity, who also see God’s Word “as a strange thing” just like Ephraim. May God open our spiritual eyes and minds to understand His truth. Blessings. Humbly submitted.
Rev Dr David Durant, J.P.
Restoration Ministries Int’l.