Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
It has been shown that the nature of man as a dying creature, possessing the love of life and the dread of death, requires the revelation of his destiny; and as a worshipping being, possessing the innate desire to worship, his very nature requires that the object of worship must of necessity be revealed. The Bible is that revelation. Its character and contents prove it to be the Word of the All-Wise God. There are innumerable evidences of divine inspiration as the subject is further pursued.
I. The Agreement Of The Writers
The consistent harmony in the contents of the old and the new testaments is an element of inspiration which critics cannot discount.
(1) The agreement of the Old Testament prophets. The prophets of the Old Testament did not understand what they prophesied, but they all spoke and wrote in agreement, without discrepancy in the facts of the life, of the death and of the reign of the Messiah to come. “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what time and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow” (1 Pet. 1: 10-12). This fact is unaccountable if the prophets did not speak by verbal inspiration. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21).
(2) The agreement of the New Testament writers on what the Old Testament meant. The Old Testament is understood in the light of the New Testament. There is never the slightest disagreement among the writers of the New Testament in reference to the meaning or the application of an Old Testament prophecy or statement. Compare this fact with the interpretations of men who disregard the New Testament in dealing with Old Testament prophecies. “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5). This agreement cannot be human, and is unmistakable evidence of the superhuman character of the Bible.
(3) The agreement of New Testament writers on the things of the future. On the subjects of infinity, the second coming of Christ, the future judgment, the resurrection of the dead, reward and punishment, there is never a difference in the teaching of the New Testament writers, not the slightest discrepancy. “Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all of his epistles speaking in them of these things” (2 Pet. 3: 15-16). In the teaching of the New Testament there is never a disagreement or discrepancy in the epistles of these apostles.
(4) The agreement of the apostles on the meaning and the application of Old Testament types and symbols. On the types of the tabernacle and the temple,offerings and sacrifices, Passover, atonement, feasts and festivals, the legal and regal line of David in Christ—and a legion more—the New Testament writers are in unaccountable agreement. The 8th to the 13th chapters of Hebrews furnish abundant proof of this, and the words of James in Acts 15: 13-18 are the capstone to this argument, and his conclusion seals it off: “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”
II. The Accuracy Of The Writers
There is an unexpected, and seemingly unnecessary, accuracy of the writers of the Bible in incidental statements, furnishing evidence in things incidental of the inspiration of their words.
(1) In geography and topography. The historian of the book of Acts is always correct in such expressions as “down to Samaria” (Acts 8) from Jerusalem to Gaza; and “up to Jerusalem” (Gal. 1) from Paul’s location in Damascus. These are only examples of many such references, all exact to minute detail.
(2) In the details of prophetic statements. In the four records of the life of Christ are given the details of the birth of Jesus, the flight into Egypt, the weeping mothers, the residence in Nazareth, the teaching in parables, the manner of death, the casting of lots, the parting of garments, the mocking of the soldiers, the entombment, the place of Judas, the descent of the Spirit, the beginning of the church and establishment of the kingdom, and the new name. All these are examples of the multitude of correct references in the New Testament to Old Testament details in prophecy. It constitutes the “this is that” as New Testament evidence of the inspiration of both testaments.
III. The Anticipations Of The Writers
An informed person would hardly dare to deny that there are numerous things contained in the writings of the men of the Bible that were wholly outside the realm of human information and the range of human knowledge at the time they were written.
(1) Moses said,“Let us make man” (Gen. 1:26). Here is the anticipation of a then unrevealed truth. “Let us make man”—us who? The fact of the Trinity was not revealed until 4,000 years after the thing to which Moses referred, and not until 1,500 years after Moses wrote it. Moses could not have written down that statement of fact into the record from his own knowledge and information. Mere man could not have used the plural “us” in that statement of Genesis, and never could have known its force. But in the light of Matt. 28: 19; John 1: l-3; and Heb. 1:2 the divine element of anticipation in the record of Moses is unmistakable, and it is unaccountable on any other ground.
(2) Jesus anticipated the rotundity of the earth (Luke 17: 31, 34). In the sayings of Jesus recorded by Luke the Lord represented his second coming to occur “in the day” and “in the night.” This could be true only on the basis of the earth’s rotundity—day on one side of the earth and night on the other side of it. He could not come “in the day” and “in the night” in one advent on any other supposition than the now known scientific fact of the earth’s shape—a fact that no man knew in that day. The Lord’s statement was therefore scientifically accurate, which mere man could not have made, and which his hearers could not at the time utilize. It proves the words of Jesus to be divine and proves that he was the Son of God.
(3) Anticipation on the life that is in the blood (Deut. 12: 23). The Old Testament lawgiver, Moses, declared that “the blood is the life,” a statement of scientific accuracy, the truth of which was reserved for modern scientific proof and demonstration. In Acts 17, the apostle Paul added to the anticipation of scientific information by declaring before the Athenian Areopagus that all men are of one blood, a fact unknown to Paul or any other man of that day, and which no man could have stated by human knowledge, or have proved if challenged. Only the modern instruments of science and invention could confirm the inspired statement, but it was true. There is no way to account for the accuracy of the scientific anticipations of the writers of the Bible if they were not inspired men.