Why is the Bible, and Not Other Religious Books, the Word of God?
The Christian Bible is a history book and many other history books exist. The Bible comments on a belief system which promises the practitioner peace and a better life. From Confucius to Mohammed, Tony Robbins to L. Ron Hubbard, myriads of books set forth similar claims. So what sets the Bible apart from this mountain of literature? Can I be sure that this book is different than the rest?
One aspect differentiating the Bible from other religious, historical or inspirational works is this: throughout the Bible, future events are predicted with verifiable accuracy. If the Bible predicted the future (what biblical writers call prophecy) to the extent that it cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence, then the source of this book can only be an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God who chose to speak his word through individuals for his purposes and design. Let’s consider the evidence.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote to the Israelites at the time Israel was conquered by the Babylonian empire. His writings, recorded between approximately 629 BC and the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, record geo-political events that we can verify via secular historical works. However, in the 25th chapter of (Jeremiah, he foretells that the Israelites will be held captive in Babylonian lands for 70 years, at the end of which they would be released when Babylon was in turn conquered by another nation. Can we verify this prediction?
Nearly a century later, a captive Israelite named Daniel is serving as a mid-level manager in the Medes kingdom of Ahasuerus. As recorded in Daniel’s own book, chapter 9, he reads the words penned by Jeremiah. His prayers ask his God to keep his promise, and release the Israelites to return home. Just like the chiming of an eternal clock, these events occur as prophesied by Jeremiah. These events are all included in the Bible, and are verifiable through secular history as well.
The more you investigate the historical record within the Bible, the more you can find events such as these. Occurring repeatedly, the only way for writers to accurately predict the future is with the input of the One outside these space time events.
[At the Bible’s epicenter is Jesus Christ, who fulfills more prophetic proclamations than any other person. During his lifetime, Jesus fulfilled close to 300 prophetic forecasts, many of which were written hundreds of years before his birth. Mathematically, this is a statistical impossibility. The odds of Jesus completing these prophetic promises during his lifetime are the same as successfully completing the following task.
I am going to build a fence around the perimeter of Texas, and cover the entire state with silver dollars to a depth of two feet. I will pick one of those coins, paint it red, and drop the coin somewhere in Texas, mixing it into the silver expanse. Your task is to fly in a helicopter over the state and pick up my coin. The entire state is yours, and you can take as much time as you like, but you must select my coin the first time you reach down into the silver expanse. And by the way, you will be blindfolded.
Now, back to our point - what does this have to do with the Bible being the only word of God? Do other religious works include the same prophetic content? The answer is no. The writings from the Far East, the teachings of Confucius, Buddhism and Hinduism do not even make a claim to be God’s word. They present to their followers a path to a simpler, more satisfactory life. The Muslim Koran makes no claims to being words from Allah. Rather it is the writing of Mohammed, a religious leader, his record of history as well as his desire for the future. But has any prophecy in the Koran come to pass? Only the Christian Bible claims to be God’s very word to man and only the Bible contains the verifiable track record of prophetic fulfillment as evidence of its claims. Biblical prophecies are batting 1000. No other religious group or religious writings can make the same claim. (Bible references related to this article: Jeremiah 25.11, Daniel 9.1-5, John 1.1-5)