"I believe God exists, but how do I know that the Bible was inspired by God?" is a good question. It comes from a spiritually maturing mind that is seriously and sincerely seeking to know the answer. For such seekers, this Bible study guide outline was prepared.
John 17:17 "Your [God, the Father's] word is truth."
2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God ...."
1. If the Bible is the word of God, then its statements must be true. Do you agree?
2. If one can find a verse that is not true, then it must not be inspired by God. Do you agree?
1. When was the Bible written? Has scientific knowledge increased in the last century and proven false earlier theories and concepts? Find out when the following scriptures were written and when scientists came to the same conclusion.
a. The earth is round. Isaiah 40:22
b. The Water Cycle. Job 36:27-28; Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Ecclesiastes 11:3; Amos 9:6
c. There are warm and cold ocean currents. Psalm 8:8
d. The earth is held in place by an invisible force. Job 26:7
e. Human blood is the same among all races and nations. Acts 17:26
f. Quarantining patients with contagious disease is a vital practice. Leviticus 13:46
g. Sanitary disposal of human waste. Deuteronomy 23:12-13.
2. How do you explain that these Bible writers were able to record accurate scientific knowledge centuries before man discovered the facts for himself?
3. Do biblical statements conflict with known facts of science?
1. Has archaeology been successful for confirming the biblical record?
2. Other cultures have legends and historical records similar to the biblical account of stories concerning all mankind (for example, creation, Noachian flood, Tower of Babel). What does this fact imply about the Bible’s veracity?
2 Peter 1:21 ...for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
1. Do men make specific predictions about the future? How often has any man's prophecies been right? Is only God powerful enough to make His prophecies always come true?
2. Did the Bible prophesy events that have occurred? Was the prophecy written after the event, as some charge? Was the prophecy written shortly before the event showing that the writer may have only been making an educated guess about the future?
3. Compare the following prophecies with history:
a. Kingdom of Edom and its capitol, Petra -- Isaiah 34; Jeremiah 49; Ezekiel 25,35
b. Cities of Ashkelon and Gaza -- Jeremiah 47; Amos 1; Zephaniah 2; Zechariah 9
c. City of Samaria -- Hosea 13; Micah 1
What is the probability that each of these prophecies was fulfilled entirely by chance?
LUKE 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [Jesus] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
4. Did Jesus fulfill all the prophecies concerning the Messiah?
John 10:35 ... the Scripture cannot be broken
1. How many men were used to write the Bible? Over how many years were the books of the Bible written?
2. Are there supposed contradictions in the Bible? List some. Can they be explained reasonably?
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
1. How can one "test" the Bible?
2. Is this statement true or false: If the Bible is truly the words of God, then applying its commands and exhortations in one's life should prove wise. Compare with Proverbs 2:6. Read Psalm 19:6-11 and Psalm 119:1; Psalm 119:93; Psalm 119:98-100; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:129-130; Psalm 119:138; Psalm 119:165 and comment.
3. Are there plausible explanations for Biblical laws?
4. What have you experienced as a result of obedience to God's commands as recorded in the Bible?
1. What does God say about the Bible?
2. Does God claim to have inspired every word of it? Does God want us to try applying its teachings?
3. What do people in the world say about the Bible's veracity? Is there a consensus that it is the "Word of God"?
4. Do your peers think the stories of the Bible are myths? Do they think biblical commands are outdated?
5. What do you believe? Are you personally convicted that the Bible is the "Word of God"? Why or why not?