The Christian church has not invented the claim that the Bible is the Word of God…it is the claim of the Bible itself.
The Claim Of Scripture
We find in the Bible the claim that the words and deeds it records come from the living God. In hundreds of passages, in both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible plainly declares to be the very Word of the living God. Some thirty-eight hundred times the Bible declares, “God said,” or “Thus says YHWH.”
We will consider a few specific passages in both the Old and New Testament.
The Claims Found In The Old Testament
The Old Testament claims to record the words of God. We are told the biblical authors recorded the words of YHWH. Moses wrote:
And Aaron spoke all the words which YHWH had spoken to Moses (Exodus 4:30).
In the Book of Joshua we read:
Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of YHWH your God” (Joshua 3:9).
It is written in Second Kings:
YHWH warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets” (2 Kings 17:13).
The prophet Isaiah testified:
Look in the scroll of YHWH and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together (Isaiah 34:16).
The Word Of God Will Benefit Future Generations
The Old Testament was recorded for the benefit of future generations. YHWH said:
As for me, says YHWH, ‘This is my covenant with them: my Spirit who is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants . . . from this time and forevermore (Isaiah 59:21).
God’s Words Are Infallible
The words of God, as recorded in the Bible, are an infallible guide to humanity. Moses wrote:
YHWH is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken and will he not make it good (Numbers 23:19).
They Are Eternal And Unchanging
The Word of God is eternal and unchanging. Isaiah wrote:
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Elohim stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
The psalmist said:
Forever, O Adonai, your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
His Words Are Powerful
YHWH’s Word is powerful. Jeremiah recorded YHWH saying:
Is not my word like a fire says YHWH, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29).
God’s Words Are True
The Old Testament records things that are true. The psalmist wrote:
The law of YHWH is perfect, converting the soul (Psalm 19:7).
The psalmist also wrote:
Your law is truth (Psalm 119:142).
YHWH said through the prophet Isaiah:
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
YHWHs Words Are A Guide For Daily Living
The Old Testament is a guide for living a godly life. The psalmist proclaimed:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
In Proverbs we read:
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life (Proverbs 6:23).
We Are Not To Add Or Subtract To YHWH’s Word
Because the Old Testament is the Word of the Lord people were not to add or subtract from it. YHWH said:
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it (Deuteronomy 12:32).
From these statements contained in the Old Testament, we can see that it claims to record the words and deeds of YHWH. We also observe that the statements made about YHWH’s Word assure us that humanity can place their trust in His promises.
THE NEW TESTAMENT CLAIMS
YHWH’s revelation to humanity was not finished with the Old Testament. The New Testament says this about itself.
They Are The Words Of YHWH
The New Testament, like the Old Testament, claims to record the words of YHWH. In what was probably the earliest letter of the Apostle Paul to a church, he wrote:
We also constantly give thanks to YHWH for this, that when you received the word of YHWH that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, YHWH’s word, which is also at work in you believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
They Were Given Through Human Beings
As was true with the Old Testament, YHWH’s Word was conveyed through human instrumentation: Paul wrote:
And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13).
The Words Are Authoritative
The Word of YHWH is presented as the final authority on all matters, as Yahushua demonstrated in response to His temptation by the Devil:
Then Yeshua said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship YHWH your Elohim, and him only you shall serve'” (Matthew 4:10).
Yahushua’s Words Are Eternal
Yahushua said His words were everlasting:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35).
His Words Were Given By God The Father
When Yahushua prayed to God the Father, He said that His words were the words that God the Father had given Him.
For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me (John 17:8).
His Words Were True
Yahushua also affirmed that YHWH’s Word is true in all that it says. He prayed to God the Father.
Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17).
His Words Are Expected To Be Obeyed
When certain people spoke the words of YHWH, the Scripture tells us that the people were expected to obey their words. The words in which they spoke were ultimately YHWH’s Words – He was the source of what they said.
The Claim Clarified
When we say that Bible is the Word of God it does not mean that YHWH spoke everything that is recorded in its pages. The Bible contains the words of hundreds of different men and women. What the Bible claims for itself is that it is a true account of what these people said. Furthermore, those people who were speaking for YHWH have YHWH’s Spirit-inspired, authority behind their words.
It is clear that the Scriptures, by their direct statements, testify to their own divine origin and unique authority. In both “testaments” the Bible claims to be YHWH’s revealed Word to humanity. Scripture itself claims the following things:
- it is a record of YHWH speaking
- it is infallible
- it was written to benefit future generations
- it is eternal and unchanging
- it is powerful
- a guide for daily living
- and the Word of YHWH.
Thus it is the assertion of Scripture itself that it is more than a mere human book…it is the very Word of YHWH.
These claims must be taken seriously.
However not every word in the Bible was spoken from God and written to man as He did with Moses. Scripture is also a record of the speech of many different people. Some of them spoke for God, as in the Prophets, and some of them wrote as the Spirit inspired them to remember all of their accounts. The context must determine whether something in Scripture is a Word from YHWH or the Spirit-inspired Word to men.