"COME, NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER, SAYS THE LORD" (ISAIAH 1.18)
—"The one reading, be understanding!" (Mk. 13.14; Mt. 24.15)
Brief studies and devotionals designed to elucidate the meaning of Scripture, increase our faith, and enable us to draw closer to God. To learn more about this column, see: "01—The Bible Was Written To Be Understood."
Citing Isaiah 7.14, which details the virgin birth and deity of Christ, Matthew insists that this prophecy was “spoken by the Lord through the prophet” (Mt. 1.22; cf. 2.15). This statement is significant, for it affirms: 1) that God himself is the author of the text, not man; 2) that Isaiah and his writing utensil were merely the means by which the Lord spoke (through the prophet); and 3) that a seven-hundred year old prediction has, with precision, finally come to pass, thereby proving the divine authorship of the passage.
Yet, many assume the reverse — that Isaiah spoke through the Lord; that the Bible claims human authorship, with God (or the idea of God) serving merely as a generic influence—an approximate guide. This is erroneous.
The Bible frequently insists that God is the author of “all scripture” (2 Tim. 3.16; “inspiration,” here, literally denotes, “God-breathed” or “God spoken”). The expression, “thus says the Lord,” is employed more than 400 times in scripture (cf. Isa. 44.6; Zech. 1.3-4; etc.)—“God said,” some 50 times (cf. 2 Cor. 6.16)—“God spoke,” more than 10 times (cf. Mt. 22.31; Mk. 12.26)—plus scores of variations involving divine announcements (cf. 2 Sam. 23.2; 1 Kngs. 22.24; Acts 1.16; 3.18; 4.24-25; etc.). Jesus himself referred to the scriptures as “thewordofGod” (Mt. 15.6; Mk. 7.13; Jn. 10.35).
If the Bible as a whole is not the word of God, then these claims are false. Thus, we must either accept the divine authorship of the Bible intotality (as claimed), or reject it all as a fraud of the most infamous kind (condemning Jesus and the prophets as either liars or bonkers). It cannot be part-human, part-divine in origin, for the biblical-record requires us to make an all-or-nothing choice, one way or the other (cf. 1 Thess. 2.13-14; 2 Cor. 5.20; 2 Pt. 1.19-21).