The Case for Scripture: Lecture 4
“The Bible is not such a book a man would
write if he could, or could write if he
would.”
~ Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer
The Reliability of the Bible

I.
Scripture Says of Itself

II.
Scripture’s Uniqueness (external)
I.
A.
Scripture Says of Itself
Scriptures Themselves:





B.
C.
D.
E.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Peter 1:19-21
John 10:34-35
Matthew 5:17-18
2 Peter 3:15-16
Scripture Says…God Says
Extent of Biblical Authority
Testimony of Jesus Christ
Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy
2 Tim. 3:16-17:
“all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.”
“all” = “every” or “all.” Canon of O.T.
2.
“Scripture” (graphe) = Written documents.
3.
“inspired” = (theopneustos) = v. adjective;
“pronounced: theh·op·nyoo·stos”
“breathed out”. “All Scripture is inspired of God”
4. “Profitable” (predicate) = because they are inspired.
1.
2 Tim. 3:16:
“all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.”
4 Implications of 2 Timothy 3:16:
1. Inspiration is with reference to the objective text of Scripture;
2. The doctrine of Scripture applied to all or every Scripture, i.e.,
the Bible in part or in whole is the Word of God;
3. Scriptures are the very words of God (form and content).
4. Because the Scripture is God-breathed, they are useful for the
work of ministry, not the reverse (vs. 17).
2 Tim. 3:16:
“all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.”
Additional comment regarding the term, “ever Scripture”:
“If Paul means ‘every Scripture,’ he is looking at the various parts of the
Bible, that is, he is considering Scripture distributively. He is then saying
that whatever Scripture we consider, it is inspired of God. On the other
hand, if he means ‘all Scripture,” it is clear that his reference is to the
Scripture in its entirety. In either case he is saying that whatever may be
called ‘scripture’ is inspired of God.”
~ E.J. Young, Thy Word is Truth, 19.
2 Tim. 3:16:
“all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in
righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work.”
Additional comment regarding God-breathed being as designated
Scripture.
Paul Enns contends, “While the designation ‘Scripture’ in v. 16 is sometimes
understood to refer only to the Old Testament, it can be argued that Paul was using
the designation ‘Scripture not only for the Old Testament but also for the portions of
the New Testament that had been written by that time (e.g., Paul must have
considered the gospel of Luke canonical [1 Tim. 5:18]), and perhaps even the entire
New Testament, some of which would be written in the future.” See also H. Wayne
House, “Biblical Inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 137 (JanuaryMarch 1980): 56-57. Moody Handbook of Theology, 165.
2 Peter 1:20-21
“20knowing this first, that no prophecy is of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21for prophecy never
came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Peter explains how God produced the Scriptures. This was
accomplished through the instrumentality of men who “spoke
from God.”

1. prophecy “came” & “spoke” (“to bear”; ”convey”; “utter a divine
proclamation”; “to bring forth”). The tense of the verb (aorist) indicates a
completed action in “came” and “spoke” is a present passive participle plural.
2. “moved” (“to be carried, to be borne along”) is present passive participle
describes the action as it was in progress. The word was used of a ship
carried along by the wind (cf. Acts 27:15,17). The metaphor here is of
prophets raising their sails, the Holy Spirit filling them and carrying their craft
along in the direction He wished.
John 10:34-36:
“34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35If He called them gods,
to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 but do you say of Him whom the
Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”
This passage is important because in it Jesus uses the
expressions “Scriptures,” “Torah” (Law), “it is
written,” word of God,” and “cannot be broken”
interchangeably.
1. Jesus affirmed that the O.T. Scriptures are the unbreakable law
and Word of God.
2. The phrase “cannot be broken” (outhenai) means cannot be
destroyed, abolished, or done away with (cf. John 7:23).
3. Therefore, the Scriptures are viewed by Jesus Christ as the
indestructible Word of God.
2 Peter 3:15-16:
“16 and consider that 
the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has
written to you, 
16
as also in all his z 
epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught
and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the all the 
rest of the Scriptures.
This passage is important because Peter
refers to Paul’s writings and indicates
that the false teachers distort Paul’s
writings as they do the rest of the
Scriptures.
1. In this unique statement Peter places Paul’s
writings on a par with the Old Testament
Scriptures (all the rest of the Scriptures).
What Bible Says…God Says: A Comparison
I.
What God Says…………….the Bible Says:
Genesis 12:3
Exodus 9:16
Gal. 3:8
Rom. 9:17
II. What the Bible Says………God Says:
Genesis 2:24
Matthew 9:4-5
Psalm 2:1
Acts 4:24-25
Isaiah 55:3
Acts 13:34
Psalm 16:10
Acts 13:35
Psalm 2:7
Heb. 1:5
Psalm 97:7
Heb. 3:7
Psalm 104:4
Heb. 3:7
Psalm 95:7
Heb. 3:7
The Extent of Biblical Authority
1.
2.
All that is written - 2 Timothy 3:16’;
Even the very words - Matt. 22:43; 1 Cor. 2:13;
whereby Jesus rested his entire argument of the Messiah by the precise words “my
Lord.”
3.
Tense of Verb – Matt. 22:32; Gal. 3:16.
In defending the doctrine of resurrection to the Sadducees, Jesus quoted
from Exodus 3:6 (significant because the Sadducees held only to the
Pentateuch), “I am the God of Abraham.” In this response Jesus’ entire
argument hinged on the words “I am.” In fact, Jesus’ argument hinges on
the present tense of the statement. Because it was written in Exodus 3:6, “I
am…the doctrine of the resurrection could be affirmed; God is the God of
the living patriarchs.
4.
Smallest parts of words – Matt. 5:17-18.
The Extent of Biblical Authority
1.
Smallest parts of words – Matt. 5:17-18.
This section presents the heart of Jesus’ message, for it demonstrates His relationship to the Law of God.
Jesus was not presenting a rival system to the Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets, but a true
fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets —in contrast with the Pharisees’ traditions. “The Law and the
Prophets” refer to the entire Old Testament ( cf. 7:12 ; 11:13 ; 22:40 ; Luke 16:16 ; Acts 13:15 ; 24:14 ; 28:23 ;
Rom. 3:21 ). I tell you the truth is literally, “Surely (or Verily, kjv ) I say to you.” “Surely” renders the word
“Amen” ( Gr. amēn, transliterated from the Heb. ’āman, “to be firm, true”). This expression, “I tell you the
truth,” points to a solemn declaration that the hearers should note. It occurs 31 times in Matthew alone. (In
the Gospel of John this Gr. word always occurs twice: “Amen, Amen.” Cf. comments on John 1:51 .)
Jesus’ fulfillment would extend to the smallest Hebrew letter, the “jot” ( lit. , yôd ), and even to the smallest
stroke of a Hebrew letter, the “tittle.” In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and
look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small
angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words
and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. Jesus said He would fulfill the Law
by obeying it perfectly and would fulfill the prophets’ predictions of the Messiah and His kingdom. But the
responsibility of the people was made clear. The righteousness they were currently seeking— that of the
Pharisees and the teachers of the Law —was insufficient for entrance into the kingdom Jesus was offering.
The righteousness He demanded was not merely external; it was a true inner righteousness based on faith in
God’s Word (Rom. 3:21-22 ). This is clear from what follows.
Authority of Jesus Confirms the Authority of the Bible:
I.
Testimony of Jesus Christ:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
Divine authority - Matt. 4:4, 7, 10
Indestructibility - Matt. 5:17-18
Unbreakability - John 10:35
Ultimate Supremacy - Matt. 15:3,6
Factual Inerrancy – Matt. 22:29; John 17:17
Historical Reliability – Matt. 12:40, 24:37-38
Scientific Accuracy – Matt. 19:4-6; John 3:12.
If Jesus is God, then the Bible is the Word of God. Only if one rejects the divine authority
of Christ can he consistently reject the divine authority of the Scriptures. If Jesus was
telling the truth, then it is true that the Bible is God’s Word.
Jesus Affirms the Bible
B.
Jesus Affirms New Testament:
1.
Jesus guaranteed the same inspiration for the New Testament by His
promise of the Holy Spirit. He looked ahead and assured the writers of the
New Testament of that same divine superintendence of the Holy Spirit,
thus guaranteeing inspiration and inerrancy to the Scripture they would
write:
a. John 14:26: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your
remembrance all things that I said to you.”
b. John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you
from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
He will testify of Me.
2.
The teaching & guiding ministry of the Holy Spirit as promised by
Christ is given by the N.T. writers themselves (1 Cor. 2:9-12; Rev. 1:1-2).
John R. W. Stott believes that one’s view of the Bible
depends on his or her loyalty to Christ.
The Authority of the Bible (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1976), 16-17.
“How then can we, the disciples of Jesus, possibly have a lower view of Scripture than our
Teacher himself had?...
There are only two possible escape routes from this obligation. The first is to say that Jesus
did not know what he was talking about, that the incarnation imprisoned him in the limited
mentality of a first-century Palestinian Jew, and that consequently he believed the O.T. as
they did, but that he, like them, was mistaken. The second is to say that Jesus did know
what he was talking about, that he actually knew Scripture to be unreliable, but that he still
affirmed its reliability because his contemporaries did and he did not want to upset them.
According to the first explanation, Jesus’ erroneous teaching was involuntary (he could not
help it): according to the second it was deliberate. These theories portray Jesus as either
deceived or a deceiver. They discredit the incarnate Son of God. They are incompatible
both with his claims to speak what he knew (John3 :11), to bear witness to the truth and to
be the truth (John 18:37; 14:6), and with his known hatred of hypocrisy and deceit. They are
totally unacceptable to anybody who has been led by the Holy Spirit to say “Jesus is Lord”
(1 Cor. 12:3). Over against these slanderous speculations we must continue to affirm that
Jesus knew what he was teaching, that he meant it, and that what he taught and meant is true.”
Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy:
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The Bible is strongly predictive: 27% of Scripture is prophetic.
In the Old Testament 6,641 verses out of 23,210 (28.6 %) are predictive.
In the New Testament 1,711 out of 7,914 verses (21.6 %) are predictive.
In the entire Bible 8,352 verses out of 31,124 (27 %) are predictive.
Declaring what will happen in the future forms a major component of
biblical revelation. One cannot be a thorough student of the Bible and
avoid the study of eschatology. There are an estimated 737 prophetic
topics addressed in the Bible. The quantity of information argues for the
importance of eschatology and compels us to study the subject. But, it is
not quantity alone that justifies this study.

~ From J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide
to Scriptural Predictions and their Fulfillment, pp. 631-682
See John F. Walvoord’s, Prophecy Knowledge Handbook (Wheaton: Victor Press,
1990) for a reference tool regarding the timing of fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.
Conclusion to Internal Arguments:
A reasonable defense for verbal, plenary inspiration
of Scripture involves:
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The Claims of Scripture itself;
The testimony of Jesus Christ whereby He based arguments
on the precise wording of Scripture;
Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy;
Paul acknowledges that all Scripture is God-breathed;
Peter explains how the authors were inspired
Peter confirms Paul writings on par with O.T.
II.
The Uniqueness of Scripture
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
B.
C.
D.
Unique in its Continuity:
Unique in its Circulation:
Unique in its Translation:
Unique in its Survival:
Through Time
Through Persecution
Through Criticism
E.
Unique in its Teachings
Through Prophecy
History
Character
F.
G.
Unique in Its Influence on Literature
Unique in its Influence on Civilization
A. The Uniqueness in its Continuity
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
1.
2.
Written over approx. 1,500 year span.
Written by more than 40 authors from every walk of life:
- Moses: a political leader highly educated in Egypt; David: a king, poet,
musician, shepherd, & warrior; Amos: a herdsman; Joshua: a military general;
Nehemiah: a cupbearer to a pagan king; Daniel: a prime minister; Luke: a
physician & historian; Peter: a fisherman; Matthew: a tax collector; Paul: a
rabbi.
3.
Written in different places:
- Moses in the wilderness, Jeremiah in a dungeon, Daniel on a hillside and palace;
Paul inside prison walls; Luke while traveling; John exiled on the isle of Patmos.
4.
5.
6.
Written at different times (in times of war, sacrifice, peace, & prosperity)
Written during different moods (e.g., joy, despair, sorrow, doubt, bliss).
Written on three continents (Europe; Asia; Africa)
A. The Uniqueness in its Continuity
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
7.
8.
Written in three languages (Hebrew; Aramaic [e.g., Daniel 2-7]; Greek).
Written in a wide variety of literary styles (e.g. poetry, song, romance,
memoirs, satire, biography, prophecy, parable, historical narrative, allegory, didactic
treatise, etc.)
9.
10.
Addresses hundreds of controversial subjects…yet with
amazing harmony.
In spite of diversity, the Bible presents a single unfolding
story: God’s redemption of humanity.
“The uniqueness of the Bible as shown does not prove that it is inspired. It does,
however, challenge any person sincerely seeking truth to consider seriously
the unique quality in terms of its continuity.” ~ Josh McDowell, p. 7.
.
II.
The Uniqueness of Scripture
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
~ Professor M. Montiero Williams’ (former Boden professor of
Sanskrit) view after spending 42 years studying Eastern books,
compared them with the Bible and said:
“Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place
your own Holy Bible on the right side-all by itself, all aloneand with a wide gap between them. For… there is a gulf
between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which
severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and
forever…a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any
science of religious thought.”
II.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Circulation
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
The number of Bibles sold reaches into the billions.
B.
“According to the United Bible Societies’ 1998 Scripture Distribution
Report, in that year alone member organizations were responsible for
distributing 20.8 million complete Bibles and another 20.1 million
testaments. When portions of Scripture (i.e., complete books of the Bible)
and selections (short extracts on particular themes) are also included, the
total distribution of copies of the Bible or portions thereof in 1998 reaches
a staggering 585 million-and these numbers only include Bibles distributed
by the United Bible Societies” (p. 8).
C.
“If you lines up all the people who received Bibles or Scripture selections
last year, and handed a Bible to one of them every five seconds, it would
take more than ninety-two years to do what just the United Bible Societies
accomplished last year alone (ibid).”
III.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Translation
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
According to the United Bible Societies the Bible (or portions of it), has
been translated into more than 2,200 languages. Although this is only
about one-third of the world’s 6,500 known languages, these languages
represent the primary vehicle of communication for well over 90 percent of
the world’s population.
B.
Wycliffe Bible Translators have over 6,000 people working with more than
850 different languages in 50 countries to produce or revised versions of
the Scriptures. Of these, 468 languages are being translated for the first
time.
C.
According to Ted Bergman at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, if rate is
consistent, the Bible should be available to almost all language groups
between the years of 2007 and 2022. This may mean that we are less than
a generation away from witnessing the world’s first universally translated
book.
IV.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival:
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
Through Time:
1. Though written on perishable materials, and had to be copied and
recopied for hundreds of years before the printing press, the Scriptures
have never diminished in style, correctness, or ever faced extinction.
Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript
evidence to support it than any ten pieces of classical literature combined.
“To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow
all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no other documents of
the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New
Testament.” ~ John Warwick Montgomery.
“Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. With
their massora (parva, magna, and finalis) they kept tabs on every letter,
syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within
their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents
with perfect fidelity-scribes, lawyers, massoretes. Who ever counted the
letters and syllables an d words of Plato or Aristotle? Cicero or Seneca?”
~ Bernard Ramm.
IV.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival :
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
Through Persecution:
1. The Bible’s enemies come and go, but the Bible remains. As Jesus said,
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass
away” (Mark 13:31).
2. The Bible has withstood attacks by burning it, outlawing it, and
discrediting it.
B.
Through Criticism:
1. The Bible is unique in its ability to stand up to critics, whether skeptics,
liberal scholars, or intellectual movements.
IV.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival :
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
“Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and
overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a
rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and
cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all
their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a
man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt.
When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the
Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to
him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out
many hammers.” So the hammers of infidels have been pecking
away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and
the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of
God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and
popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have tried their hand
at it; they die and the book still lives.”
~ H. L. Hastings.
IV.
The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival:
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
“A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded,
the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the
tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never
stays put.
No other book has been so chopped, knived, sifted, scrutinized, and
vilified. What books on philosophy or religion or psychology or
belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to
such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and
skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon ever
chapter, line, and tenet?
The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by
millions.”
~ Bernard Ramm.
V.
The Uniqueness of the Bible:
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
A.
Uniqueness of the Bible in its Teaching
1.
2.
3.
Predictive Prophecy
Factual History
Character (reports the sins of its characters, even when those sins
reflect poorly on God’s chosen people, leaders, and the biblical
writers themselves.
B.
Uniqueness of the Bible in its Influence on Literature (No other book has
inspired the writing of so many other books as the Bible).
C.
Uniqueness of the Bible in its Influence on Civilization:
V.
The Uniqueness of the Bible:
~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson, 1999), 4-16.
“The influence of the Bible and its teachings in the Western world is
clear for all who study history. And the influential role of the
West in the course of world events is equally clear. Civilization
has been influenced more by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures than
by any other book or series of books in the world. Indeed, no
great moral or religious work in the world exceeds the depth of
morality in the principle of Christian love, and none has a more
lofty spiritual concept than the biblical view of God. The Bible
presents the highest ideals known to men, ideals that have
molded civilization.”
~ Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. William Nix.
Why Believe the Bible?
The Bible is a reliable collection of historical
documents written by eyewitnesses, during the
lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report
supernatural events that took place in
fulfillment of specific prophecy, and claim to be
divine rather than human in origin.
~ Voddie T. Baucham, Jr.
The Ever-Loving Truth
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2 Tim. 3:16-17: “all Scripture is inspired by God and