How can we know the Bible is the word of God? I’ve been working on a systematic theology, and I wanted to nail this down in a way that is both easy to understand, and that truly does answer the question. To give you a summary of where I’m going, I first reflected on all of the aspects of the Bible that are God truly speaking. We have things like the Ten Commandments where God thundered from the heavens, we have times where God speaks directly to angels, or where angels are sent as messengers from God, and we even have times where God speaks oracles through prophets. Yet, this still causes us to ask about the other 2/3 of the Bible…
It is from here that we can see that God speaks through visions and dreams as well, which might make our 2/3 into about 1/2 of the Bible unaccounted for. Often, we can give the history sections as God’s word, because it is history from God’s perspective. Yet, even here we’re left with prayers, songs, and letters written that don’t have an account. How do I know that the words of Paul to Timothy, telling Timothy to bring his coat and the parchments, is truly the word of God? And, honestly, even if I were to give you reason that this could be called the word of God, and I went through all of these kinds of verses, that still doesn’t answer the underlying question. How do I know that any of this is truly, and actually, the word of God?
The wisdom of God is relationship, and therefore God created. His creating all things stems directly from the very core of who He is. It isn’t a matter of debating whether He was lonely, or whether He wanted to see what would happen. God created because it is the precise logic of God’s character. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, and from the overflow of who you are, you do. Your actions speak of the core of your being. It is not any other way with God.
Because God’s wisdom is relationship, He communicates. Because communication is a part of relationships – and not merely speaking – God communicates to His creation, through various means, and even communicates through His creation, so that, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Here we find that it isn’t only that God communicates to His creation, but that God finds ways of expression through all things. He has prepared vessels by which He communicates, and we mustn’t expect that it always be a thundering from the heavens, or a prophetic oracle, or an angelic visitation in order for it to be God speaking. Apostles and prophets have always seen the message of God streamed through history, and have spoken the word of God accordingly to the people of God.
If this be true, then we have ample reason to believe that God has communicated to us through all aspects of the Bible, not simply because He says so, but because He communicates through all. This communication, through a prepared vessel, whether an apostle, prophet, an angel, or the heavens themselves, is indeed the perfect communication of God. Therefore, we can conclude that even the Scriptures in the Bible that seem to have nothing to do with us are ipso facto prevalent to our own lives, because in them we have the eternal being communicated through the words on the page – even in the life and requests of certain men.
The final nail in the coffin for me is when we add the communication of God to us. We have the Holy Spirit within us who testifies of these truths, who bears witness to us when we read the Bible. There is an external account, and not simply our own, that breathes an “amen” from every page and every passage. How can we know the Bible is truly the word of God? Because God has communicated, and does communicate, with us.