One of the things that is so difficult for humans to accept, as educated and packed full of knowledge as we can become, is that we really know very little and understand even less when viewing the full scope of life and what our universe is all about. It is even more difficult for us to admit that we are not in control. We, as a fallen race, show another fatal flaw: we do not like to be told what to do! This becomes apparent almost from our entrance to the world from the womb. How old does a child need to be before they respond to a parent’s correction with defiance?
As silly as this seems, besides being obvious, it is useful for today’s subject matter as we continue this series of articles on the “Infallible Word of God.” People too easily give in to skeptics who tell us that the Bible cannot really be proven to be infallible. I strongly disagree! If we look only at the limited details shown in the past three articles, the argument against the infallibility of God’s Word becomes quite weak. I would like to add some facts in part 4 that make it even harder to dismiss the Bible as just “another book.” In this article, I would like to point out some things about how the Word of God was put together which defy all laws of probabilities and mathematics.
I have studied the Word of God in earnest for over half a century and am more convinced of the supernatural hand of God in the text of the Scriptures today than ever. In sharing some of the facts below, I want to give credit to the research of Dr. Chuck Missler and the Koinonia House, without whose research I would not be able to share many of the incredible facts below.
A question that must be asked is this: Is it possible for the Bible to have been written, totally by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, and still be genuinely written by the hand of individual people, using their own personal expressions, colloquialisms, and favorite terminology? Most would say, absolutely not, but I intend to show that that is exactly what God did.
Of all of the languages on our planet, there are two that have unique characteristics like none other. These two languages are Greek and Hebrew. Both of these languages are very descriptive in their terminology, but what makes them particularly unique is that each letter is given a mathematical value. People often refer to God as the Great Mathematician, but do not often realize how much God used mathematics to offer proof of Himself for those who need this form of proof.
A challenge presented by Dr. Missler, given as an assignment to a classroom of students, goes something like this: The assignment is to construct a genealogy, creating a list that is divisible by the number of seven, with no remainder. It doesn’t seem that difficult. Another condition to be added is that the total number of letters used in this genealogy must also be divisible by seven. This makes it a bit more difficult, but yet, it is humanly doable. Let’s now add a couple more conditions. The number of vowels used, as well as the number of consonants used, must also be divisible by the number seven. Now let’s add some more conditions. The words that begin with a vowel need to be divisible by seven, and the number of words that begin with a consonant have to be divisible by seven also! Now the number of words that appear more than once need to be divisible by the number seven, and the words that appear in more than one form have to be divisible by the number seven. Then, the words that appear in only one form must be divisible by seven! How many of us would be able to create such a list?
Now, just in case it’s not complicated enough yet, let’s make it even more difficult by adding some more qualifications to this special genealogy. The number of nouns used must also be divisible by the number of seven, and only seven words cannot be nouns. An additional condition that we will add is that the number of names must also be divisible by the number of seven. Also, only seven other nouns are allowed in this genealogy. Is there a human alive that could accomplish this so far? Let’s add that the number of male names must be divisible by seven, and the number of generations must be divisible by seven!
Why would I go to this length with these mathematical gymnastics? This sounds like craziness, but…this is a description of the genealogy of Jesus Christ as it is found in Matthew 1: 1-11!
What we have here is something that cannot even be duplicated with a computer today. How could anyone manufacture anything like this? How could anyone fake it? What is even more striking is the fact that this small example of the integrity and design built into the Bible is barely the beginning! Quite a number of other conditions can be spelled out that God imbedded into the text; so many of them in fact, that it is absolutely impossible for anyone to have assembled such a text…yet, it was written by one man; the man Matthew, a hated tax collector who became one of Jesus’ disciples!
There are those of you who may need to see the mathematical impossibility of something like this. So, for those who might not understand statistical mathematics, this is how it works: One condition based on the number seven required of the text gives you one chance in seven to get it right. This would be the rule of sevens. Two conditions gives you one chance in 49. Three conditions, is one chance in 343 attempts! By the time you put nine conditions on the text, you have one mathematical chance in 40,353,607 to get it right! By the time you add another 25 requirements to the text (and these are true conditions that exist in the Greek New Testament), there is one chance in 54,116,956,037,952,111,668,950,660,849 (written out that is: 54 octillion, 116 septillion, 956 sextillion, 037 quintillion, 952 quadrillion, 111 trillion, 668 billion, 950 million, 660 thousand and 849). This is of course a number that means nothing to any of us. You might ask why I even put all these numbers into this article, but it is so that we realize how statistically impossible it is that the Bible, the one true Word of God, is just a random collection of writings by ancient religious people. For whatever it is worth, I personally worked the math represented here, and the math is correct. My intent though was only to show how God, the ALMIGHTY GOD (and there is only ONE), is the only One who could have put such a message together for His much loved human race. Once the improbability of it happening by accident is recognized, the only option left, is Divine Design. Psalm 14:1 tells us: “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.” The Almighty God who was behind the writing of the Bible, also saw to it that the original was perfect…so perfect that only He could have accomplished it!
Here is another fact for any mathematical geniuses to contemplate: If a person were to have access and use of one million supercomputers, with the intention of assembling the genealogy of Jesus Christ as it is in the Matthew text; even if he were to use all one million computers with a capacity to make 400 million tries per second, it would still take about four million, three hundred thousand years to exhaust all of the wrong probabilities until the right text is put together to matches what the Almighty had the former tax collector Matthew write in the first 11 verses of the first chapter of the book of Matthew! This obviously didn’t come about randomly!
For those who do not like mathematics, this might be tedious or dull. I happen to like mathematics and was moved by these unbelievable statistics. It could only have been accomplished by God being involved in the writing of His unique message to humanity. This may be even more staggering in its implications than the example already given above.
Now, since we have already gone past man’s ability to fabricate the first 11 verses of the book of Matthew, let’s go further yet. If one were to take all of the vocabulary in the book of Matthew that is unique to the book when compared to the other books of the New Testament, it would be found that there are 42 such unique words. That is also a multiple of seven. The total letters in these words is 126, which is also a multiple of seven!
The natural question to ask is: How could Matthew have arranged to pull something like this off? There are only two ways. Either Matthew made an agreement with the other authors having to do with the vocabulary in his gospel, or he had to have written his book last. Here’s the problem. If we go through the same process with the book of Mark in the New Testament, we find the same properties! In fact, the same thing has been found with the book of Luke, and then also the book of John! So, you can see the problem for the person trying to argue against the divine inspiration of the Bible. But, the miraculous nature of the authorship and recording of the Bible is even more stunning. We can take the writings of James, Peter, Jude, and Paul, adding them to the works of authors of the four New Testament gospels and we find the same properties for the works of all eight of these New Testament writers! People say that no one can prove that the Bible is supernaturally inspired, but it is actually easy to prove that the Bible is the Word of God…the ONLY inspired Word of God.
There is no other book like the Bible, no matter that some claim “holy” inspiration. They come from the imaginations of men, or what is worse, they have a demonic origin. The Bible warns us that men would be led astray by doctrines of devils. That has never been more obvious than in our day and time. Note the three passages below that make reference to this:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
Early in this article I proposed that God had seen to the absolute and accurate inspiration of the Word of God, even using the individual author’s style of writing, including figures of speech, puns, etc. As we see, the deeper we go in our examination of the Scriptural text, this is exactly what God did. And, He is the only One who could do so. God even tells us in Hosea 12:10 that He has given symbols for the prophets to use. The Bible actually contains over 200 different types of figures of speech; including puns, metaphors, types or analogies. God was so in tune with each author, that His Spirit fully guided the writing process, even through the use of the writer’s own style and vocabulary.
Many times throughout the writing of the Scriptures we find the statement, “Thus saith the Lord”, in fact, over 3,000 times. The words that follow this phrase are always direct quotes from the Almighty. The Bible, of all the “holy” books, is the only one that makes the claim that its words are the actual words of God. This means that it has to prove itself absolutely accurate and flawless. This it has done. Many skeptics have come along and tried to claim that the Bible has inconsistencies or contradictions. Many of these skeptics have never studied the Bible or even read it for themselves. Others have done so but have been unable to provide evidence of any inconsistencies or contradictions. After all the thousands of years that have gone by, both the Old and New Testaments still stand!
Is the Bible historically accurate? Absolutely, and again, it is the only “holy” book that can claim 100% historical accuracy. There are numerous secular historians who wrote about the events of the New Testament at the same time the Bible was being written. Josephus is the most well-known of these. He was a Jewish historian. Tacitus was a Roman historian who would have no benefit from not telling the truth. Both these men, as well as many others, can be used to back up the historical accuracy of the Bible.
The Holy Bible has also proven to be accurate archaeologically. This is not something that can be claimed by the Book of Mormon or other supposed “holy” books. Old Testament archaeology has rediscovered whole nations and important peoples, and in a most surprising manner filled some historical gaps. It’s an amazing Book!
There are approximately 6,300 or more prophecies in the Bible. At least half of them have been completed, all with stunning accuracy. The last 3,000 or so yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled in a much shorter time period than those that have already been fulfilled. It has been said that more is prophesied about the period of time that mankind is being ushered into than currently than was said about the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
We can be confident that these final prophecies will be fulfilled with the same precision as the first 3000+. We have His Word on that!
The Word of God is absolutely infallible!