INTERNAL EVIDENCES OF THE BIBLE
"THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE"
1. 1 Pet. 3:15 - Give an answer (defense) consisting of reasons (words, evidence) which supports your hope.
2. The Bible reflects the hand of inspiration which gave it (2 Tim. 3:16).
3. If God inspired the Scriptures they should manifest unity & harmony (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 14:33) -- Not disjointed collection of writings made & gathered by men. If Bible not inspired, lack of unity will be evident.
I. THE MARVEL OF THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE.
-(66 books - But one book!)
A. Striking Differences, Yet Profound Unity Seen In It.
1. About 40 different men -- Different centuries (1500 yrs.), backgrounds, places -- One unified book.
2. Different backgrounds: Moses (Acts 7:22, wisdom of Egypt), Joshua (military leader), Solomon (king); Amos (herdsman), Isaiah (statesman), Nehemiah (cupbearer), Matthew (tax collector), Luke (doctor), Peter (fisherman), Paul (tent-maker / scholar).
3. Different places: From Italy to Mesopotamia / 3 continents / Wilderness, prisons & palaces.
4. Different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek.
B. The Harmony We Shall Consider Defies Human Origin As An Explanation for Its Existence! -All from One, Eternal God!
II. ITS STRUCTURAL & ORGANIC UNITY (Psa. 119:160; cf. 2 Pet. 3:1-2, 16).
A. Structurally United.
1. OT & NT built on same general plan.
a. Each in 3 parts: Historical, didactic (teaching) & prophetic.
b. Dispensational structure linked throughout.
2. cf. Symphony: Sub-themes which combine to make one sound.
B. The Bible Is An Organic Whole.
1. cf. Lk. 24:44 - All parts combine to form the whole.
2. Has a definite beginning & end -- Not fragmented.
3. Begins at creation -- Ends with consummation in heaven. (Heavens & earth, Gen. 1:1 / New, Rev. 21:1; Tree of life denied, Gen. 3:22 / Access freely, Rev. 22:12].
III. ITS UNITY OF PURPOSE (Theme).
A. From Start To Finish - Theme Of Redemption Present (God redeems man from sin).
1. Redemption needed - Gen. 3.
2. Promised & prepared by God - Gen. 12:2-3 (Gal. 3:8, 16); OT
3. Provided in Christ Jesus (birth, life, teachings, death, resurrection, ascension) - Gospel preserve this information for all men!
4. Proclaimed - Acts; Explained - Epistles.
5. Ultimately realized - Revelation.
B. Bible's Unifying Theme Demonstrates Its Divine Origin.
1. cf. Differences, yet this thread runs throughout!
2. No Internet, no printing press, no telephones, telegraphs, etc.
3. Beyond man's capabilities!
IV. ITS UNITY OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.
-cf. Differences already discussed. Add to this the limitations of time, travel and communication, the prevalence of idolatry & immorality, & the obvious difficulty of men arriving at agreement on their religious doctrines & practices Yet, Consistency, Harmony & Unity exist throughout the Bible!! - Rom. 3:4
1. Doctrine of God: Mono, eternal & self-evident, omnipotent, holy & unchangeable, (Acts 17:22-23; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Jno. 1:1-3).
2. Doctrine of Man: Moral creature w/ volition, responsibility, fallen & in need of spiritual redemption (Psa. 8:3-9).
3. Moral Standard: Righteousness is defined & commanded. Rewarded &/or punished (cf. Gen. 6:5-8).
4. Doctrine of Salvation: From Gen. 3:15 to Heb. 2:14-15 -- Man in sin cannot save himself (Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23) - God provides salvation & calls man to obey & receive it (Heb. 5:8-9). Never forced to comply.
B. If Such Unity Exists, Then Why Is There So Much Division Among Professed Believers? (Religious division used to discredit the Bible.)
1. General answer: Sin (men sin) - 2 Cor. 4:4; Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 3:23.
2. Specific causes include:
a. Traditions of men - Mk. 7:6-9, 13.
b. Ignorance of scriptures - 2 Pet. 3:15-16.
c. Rebellion against what God has said - Rom. 1:18-23.
d. Lack of love for God, truth & men - Jno. 14:15; Matt. 22:37-39.
e. Mishandling of the scriptures - 2 Tim. 2:15.
* 3. Bible is not the reason for men's failures!
1. The unity of the Bible in its (1) Structure & composition, (2) theme, & (3) doctrines provides an important line of evidence to support its claim that it is the word of God.
2. What is more reasonable: That human genius created 66 books which gel into one Bible, or that the Bible is of divine authorship, the handiwork of the eternal God?!