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The Bible: An Introductory Lesson

by William W. Orr (1905-1992)

The Bible is the Word of God. Within its pages is the ever-insistent claim that God is its Author. Around the Bible is a wall of impregnable evidence substantiating this claim. Multiplied millions have staked their very lives on the veracity of the Bible's assertions.

By literally hundreds of passages the Bible declares itself to be exactly that which God spoke. While there are upwards of forty human authors of the Bible, still the testimony is that they spoke only the words which God inspired in them. Note the claims of Moses (Exodus 3:14); of Joshua (Joshua. 1:1); Samuel (I Samuel 3:11); Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8); Jeremiah (Jeremiah 16:1, 5, 9, 14).

On the pages of the New Testament the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles is said to be with authority. Without hesitation Christ speaks as God Himself (John 5:33-46; 8:51-58; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).

While the Bible's composition extended over a period of 1600 years, and while there were many authors who had no knowledge of each other, still the finished Book is an orderly whole with progression of thought, continuity of purpose, and attainment of result.

The method of God's inspiration was not always the same. With some He spoke face to face. With others He revealed His purposes by means of dreams and visions. Still others had God's truth impressed on their hearts. With some God's plans appeared as the handwriting on the wall. But whatever the method, the net result of the revelation was the Word of God (2 Peter 1:21).

One of the final tests of the inspiration of the Bible is the reading thereof. The Lord Jesus declared that His words were both spirit and life (John 6:63). In addition, the Bible declares itself that it is living and powerful, and able to do what nothing else can do, namely, discern the thoughts and intents of the heart of man (Hebrews 4:12).

Scriptures: Psalms 12:6; 93:5; Isaiah 55:10-11; Jeremiah 23:29; Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15.

The external evidence surrounding the Bible is nonetheless convincing. It is rightly stated that the Scriptures are a reasonable gift from God. We are His creatures; He has a plan for us, so what better way to reveal this plan, than by means of a Book?

The amazing composition of the Book is nothing short of a miracle. Everything about its compilation argues for disunity yet the Book is one, a complete, systematic, related, orderly whole.

Unique are the teachings of the Bible. Subjects are commonly discussed there which are to be found nowhere else in all literature. Themes such as God, eternity, heaven, hell, Satan, Angels, future events ... to mention but a few.

Nor should the Bible's unparalleled consistency of appeal go unnoticed. Here is a book with portions some three thousand years old. Yet it is not an "old" book. It has blessed the hearts of men of all ages. It still continues to be a best seller simply because it meets the need of today's hearts and lives.

This is an age of science. Manifestly, the ages in which the books of the Bible came to be written were unscientific ages. Yet there are no scientific errors in the Book. Rather, the Bible amazingly anticipated many of the discoveries of modern science.

One fourth of the Bible was prophetic when written. Not in a loose careless sense, but prophecies were given minutely naming times and places. Time moved on revealing the fulfillment of these prophecies ... fulfilled accurately, and to the very letter.

Perhaps the best proof of the authenticity and authority of the Word of God is its continual power to transform lives. Consonant with its teaching that men are born in sin, the Bible first speaks to hearts and then through the power of the gospel of Christ, transforms them into useful citizens and heaven-bound saints.

The Bible's claim for its inspiration includes its very words, not merely thoughts. For apart from the words, no precision could be expected such as that demanded by the Scriptures.

From Believer's First Bible Course by William W. Orr. Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, 1956.

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