In a past issue of the United Church Observer, one of the church’s ministers put forth the proposition that the Bible was a human construct. This is not the first attack on the inspiration of the Scriptures and it will not be the last. I find it amusing but distressing that human beings wish to take credit for the masterwork of the Creator! There are many ways of defending the inspiration of the Scriptures but in this essay, I would like to consider some prophecies.
Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” The point of prophecies is simply that when the events foretold occur, then we know it is from the Lord. It verifies that the words of the prophecy are the Lord’s, not the prophet that wrote them for Him. Of course, events foretold that do not occur come from the false prophet. This principle is well defined in the Bible.
One of my favorite prophecies is one of the oldest because it is found in the book of Job. Usually, at Easter we hear his words set to heavenly music by George Fredrick Handel. This year I did not hear, “I know my Redeemer liveth”, and I left the Easter Sunday service feeling a little flat. The beautiful words are found in Job 19:25-26, “I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” There, hundreds of years before Christ, Job was describing the resurrection at the last day, the foundation stone of our Christian religion! This was a human construct?
Then there is the wonderful prophecy of the greatly beloved prophet, Daniel, who described the famous seventy weeks which described the life span of the Jewish Nation and the sacrifice of the Messiah, cut off after 62 weeks. The prophecy is found in Daniel 9:24-27. I will not reproduce it here, but some of the points made were; first, He shall confirm the covenant for one week; second, He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease; third, and for the overspreading of the abominations He shall make it desolate; and finally, and the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. We know now that Daniel was perfectly accurate! This was a human construct?
Regarding the crucifixion, there were many prophecies, all filled to the letter. This should not be surprising because Christ said that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets. Psalm 22, written by David, contains some of the details of the crucifixion; such as, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” or “All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, He trusted on the Lord that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him seeing that He delighteth in Him.” or “For dogs have compassed Me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me; they pierced my hands and my feet.” or “They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.” We also find in Isaiah 53: 3,”He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not” or “Surely He hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.” I could go on; the whole chapter is worthy because it describes the human attitudes towards the crucifixion and the reasons that Christ laid down His life. Since this was written about six hundred years before Christ, where did Isaiah get the knowledge? This was a human construct?
Following the crucifixion, on the third day, Mary Magdalene, Peter and John went to the empty tomb. When the disciples left, Mary lingered, distressed and crying. Although she had been told at the raising of Lazarus, that Jesus was the resurrection, she had not put it all together and failed to recognize Jesus, mistaking Him for the gardener. After asking her why she was weeping, and hearing her answer, He said, “Mary.” (This seems to me to be the very climax of the Bible story!) Then Mary responded, “Master.” Then Jesus said, John 20 : 17, “Touch Me not for I am not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your Father; and to My God and your God.” So, Jesus had to present Himself to the Father an unblemished sacrifice, a living sacrifice, perfect in every way.
Do we know what occurred when He ascended to the father? Yes, because the greatly beloved prophet Daniel was shown the heavenly scene. It is found in Daniel 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, languages, and nations should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” This marvellous prophecy of events occurring in heaven is a human construct?
In the evening of the same day that Jesus saw Mary, He presented himself to the assembled disciples who were behind a locked door for fear of the Jews. Jesus said unto them, John 20:19-20, “Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. In verse 27, He says to Thomas, who had not been present in the first meeting, Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless but believing.” From this we know Jesus had presented Himself to the Father, in that He allowed Thomas to handle His body. So, Daniel’s vision was realized. This was a human construct?
Jesus explained many times that His miracles could not be performed without the Father. He begged His adversaries to believe Him only because of the miracles, a testimony that He was sent by God. Although they knew His testimony was true, (as confessed by Nicodemus), they still wanted Him destroyed for preservation of their power. Isn’t it ironic that Jesus informed His disciples that All power had been given to Him in heaven and earth?!? This is the man that inspired the Bible, the written word; and in our pride, we call this a human construct?