‘Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God’ 04/2002
Personal Comments by James W. Thompson
Let me begin by stating that I am not a Hebrew Scholar, nor am I a student of Greek, in fact, both of these ancient languages are Greek to me. I do however, believe in a Supreme, Divine Personage, a Holy God, and I do believe that this book we call the Bible is His Holy Word. I believe He caused the very words to be penned and preserved for you and me, to reveal Himself and His will for us and to us. Since I do know nothing about Hebrew, the original Language of the Old Testament was written in, and do not understand Greek, the Language of the New Testament, how can I be sure that this book, the Bible, is God’s Word?
Let’s begin with Jesus. He is the center of the whole book, from Genesis 3:15, the first promise of His coming, to Revelation 22:20-21, the promise of His coming again and Grace to all of us. If we remove Jesus from the Bible, we have no Bible. Who then is Jesus?
According to John 3:16, He’s the only begotten Son of GOD.
According to John 5:18, The Jews understood Him to claim equality with GOD.
According to Isaiah 44:6, 45:5-7, 46:9, 48:12; John 1:1,14;
Revelation 1:11,17-18 He was (is) God in Flesh.
JESUS WAS GOD INCARNATE WALKING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
Now at the time Jesus walked on the face of this earth, in the land of Israel, the Old Testament, ALL the books from Genesis to Malachi had been written. Not only written unto scrolls and preserved by the Jews, but assembled into one book and translated into Greek about 2808 BC and it was called the SEPTUAGINT LXX. (The Old Testament in your Bible is the English Translation.) Given that Jesus was God in Flesh, He was the God of the Old Testament who inspired each of these 39 books to be written (and preserved and compiled into one book). Now, let me ask you, if a book was missing, or if a book was untrue, or if a book contained error, or if a book were not the VERY WORD of GOD, that He inspired, wouldn’t He have corrected it then and there? Remember, the Temple was His and He scourged it (Matthew 21:12-13). The Scribes and Pharisees were the Jewish Religious Leaders and He called them Hypocrites (Matthew 23:13. But the written WORD, He confirmed (Matthew 24:35, John 14:24) He sealed (Matthew 5:18, John 17:8), He quoted, (Matthew 4:4,7,10; Luke 4:4,8,12,17-21). Adam and Eve a myth – NAY (Matthew 19:4-6). Noah’s flood a Fable – NAY (Matthew 24:37-39). Jonah and the Great Fish a Fairy Tale – NAY (Matthew 12:39-41). Daniel’s Vision a trip on drugs – NAY (Matthew 24:15). As you can plainly see, if there were anything amiss with the Old Testament, Jesus (God in Flesh) could have, would have corrected it then and there. Therefore, I have no doubt about the books of the Genesis to Malachi, all 39 of them, just as they are, as I hold them in my hand, the Bible, the Word of God. They are the VERY WORD of GOD, from GOD, given for our ensample, written for our admonition, given by inspiration of GOD, profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness. To be trusted, obeyed, and lived. AMEN
Now, what about the 27 books that we call the New Testament? These were all written after Jesus died, in fact, after He had risen from the dead and ascended back into Heaven. How do we know these books are the word of God? Let’s review them book by book, Matthew though Revelation.
MATTHEW – Here is a disciple (an Apostle) chosen by Jesus Himself. Matthew talked, walked and served with the Lord. He simply wrote about what he heard, saw and experienced in his relationship with the Lord. Most all we know about the genealogy, birth, life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection of Christ Jesus was given to us by Matthew. He was an eyewitness to almost everything he wrote. TRULY we can, no, must believe Matthew’s account. AMEN
JOHN, (The Gospel According to) – Here again is a chosen disciple (an Apostle), an eyewitness to all the events in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. A close family friend, when Jesus hung on the Cross, He charged John to care for his mother. The disciple whom Jesus loved. Yea, here is a witness we can trust, one who could be used of God to write His Holy Word. Believing his book about the Gospel, then allows us to accept his epistles: I John, II John, and III John, as he authored these letters to the Church for doctrine about God. Before we leave John, on whom God could use to pen His Word, we need to read Revelation 1:1-2. Yes, this same John authored Revelation, according to the Word of God. Now we see that we can trust John’s Gospel, I, II, and III John, and Revelation as GOD’S WORD, AMEN.
JAMES, – Here was a pillar of the first church (Galatians 2:9) an Apostle, Elder according to Acts 15:4,13, 21:18 and most of all he is the half brother of the Lord Jesus according to Matthew 13:55 and Gal 1:19. Of all the people we should trust to report the Word of God concerning the Lord Jesus, we should trust James. AMEN
PETER, an Apostle. – After reading Matthew’s account of the Lord’s 3 year ministry on earth, who could doubt that Peter would record anything BUT the Word of GOD. We can trust I,II Peter to only be the true Word of God. AMEN.
JUDE, – Here is the brother of James (Jude 1:1) and thus the younger half brother of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:55). Can we agree that Jude would record properly the Word of God? AMEN
Epistles of ROMANS, CORINTHIANS, GALATIONS, EPHESIANS, PHILIPPANS, COLOSSIANS, THESSALONIANS, TIMOTHY, TITUS, and PHILEMONS, these were all written by Paul. Paul is the Apostle, born out of due time (I Corinthians 15:8-9), to the Jew and to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15, Rom 11:13), and Paul believed the Old Testament (Acts 24:14). Peter validates Paul’s writings as the Word of God (2 Peter 3:15) Do we need any other validation that Paul was used of God to record His Word for the Church? AMEN.
Epistle of HEBREWS I believe was written by PAUL(10:34, 13:19,23). I would further suggest that it is a transitional Book, directed mostly to the Jew, from the Church age to the Tribulation. I would suggest that Revelation is also a transitional book moving swiftly from the Church Age into the TRIBULATION and then ushering in the Millennium Age. The Revelation, along with Hebrews, will be the most referenced books by the 144,000 during the Great Tribulation.
MARK, – His name was John Mark (Acts 12:12). Mark was a Jew, nephew and follower of Peter (1 pet 5:13), and a member of the believer’s who knew and followed Christ. He traveled with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5,13) on their Missionary Journey. He wrote of things he had seen, and been taught by the Apostles. Since we can compare his words with those of others, and do not find discrepancies, we can trust his Gospel account as the word of God. AMEN
LUKE, – He was a (Jewish) Physician. He probably knew the Lord Jesus when the Lord was on the earth. Luke traveled with Paul on his missionary journeys(Acts 13:1, 20:6, 27:1). He was a faithful witness writing about all he saw and experienced. He knew all the Apostles and interacted with them. Which leaves us with the Book of ACTS (called THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES) which Luke wrote. Yes, Luke wrote more words in the New Testament than any other writer. He was used of God to record His Word at the beginning of the new Church Age.
Truly we can trust the New Testament, all 27 books to be the Word of God.
What I believe about the Writers.
Matthew, John, and Peter were of the original twelve called by the Lord Jesus to serve with Him during His earthly ministry. All three were Jews.
Matthew was probably the most educated as he was a tax collector. His Gospel was written to his fellow Jews, to present Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God who came to bring the Kingdom of God to them. His gospel is of course Jewish flavored.
John the youngest of the twelve, his gospel is written to the world, to show Jesus as more than the Messiah, to show Jesus as GOD, in flesh, savior of the world. John also wrote the 3 epistles bearing his name, and he wrote these to the (Jewish) church. And the Doctrine contained is for the Church today. He also was used of God to author the REVELATION. I believe, to be a transitional book to be greatly used by the 144,000 during the GREAT TRIBULATION. And to give the Church a picture of the events to come.
Peter is a very transitional person. A Jew with strong Jewish belief’s. After the birth of the church, God has to drag Peter into dealing with the Gentiles. His epistles are to the Jewish church, including the gentile members, and the words are flavored with old testament wording.
Mark was a Jew, a “SON” of Peter. He was greatly influenced by Peter and his conversion from Judaism to Christianity. He was also a nephew of Barnabas. No doubt the teaching of the twelve greatly influenced his becoming a believer and he desire to be a missionary with Barnabas and Paul. His Jewish background probably had a lot to do with his leaving Barnabas and Paul on the first missionary trip. But later we hear from Paul that Mark had come to be “profitable to me for the ministry”. Mark was a disciple of Paul’s and his Gospel, was written to present Jesus the Christ and His ministry to the Romans (Church).
Luke the Jewish Physician was no doubt drawn to the Apostles (and possible to the Lord Himself) because of the miraclous healings that were taken place. He gravitated to Paul and later wrote of his missionary travels. His book, The Acts of the Apostles, is a transitional book from the Birth of the first (Jewish) Church to the true Church (which includes Jew and Gentile with no difference). He covers the ACTS of the twelve and then shifts to the ACTS of Paul and missions. If he were to write a book today, it would no doubt be entitled the ACTS of the CHURCH. His Gospel was written for the intellect, the Greeks, to present the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He presents the humanity of the Lord Jesus.
Paul, a Jew among Jews, uniquely called by God to go to the Gentiles to preach the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ.