Why is the Bible alone is the Word of God and what is it that sets the Bible uniquely apart?
The Bible is actually a collection of books that have been compiled together, written by men of God, living at times relevant to that period. There is a lot of effort put in to preserve the accuracy of the Bible. The Bible consists of the Old Testament, which is of the time before Jesus came & the New Testament, which is the time of Jesus’ ministry and the early Church.
If you were to ask me what is so unique about the Bible, then I would like to tell you that even though the Bible has been collectively written by different authors at different times in history, the New Testament consist of the fulfillment of the Old Testament. The New Testament is the absolute completion of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus uniquely fulfilled prophesies of all the Old Testament prophets stated in their respective time. This is the uniqueness of the Bible compared to any book this world may refer to holy.
You may read some of the Old Testament prophesies which were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament. They are mentioned below with references.
Born of a virgin & called Immanuel (God is with us) (Isaiah 7:14) – fulfilled: Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 2:7
Born in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2) – fulfilled: Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6
Tenderness & compassion (Isaiah 40:11; 42:3) – fulfilled: Matthew 12:15,20; Hebrews 4:15
Without guile (meaning deceitful cunning ) (Isaiah 53:9) – fulfilled:1Peter 2:22
Preaching with parables (Psalms 78:2) – fulfilled: Matthew 13:34,35
Working miracles (Isaiah 35:5,6) – fulfilled: Matthew 11:4-6; John 11:47
Betrayed for thirty pieces silver (Zechariah 11:12) – fulfilled: Matthew 26:15
He would be crucified (Psalms 22:16) – fulfilled: John 20:25, 27
His body would be pierced (Zechariah 12:10) – fulfilled: John 19:34-35
None of His bones would be broken (Psalms 34:20) – fulfilled: John 19:32-36
People would cast lots for His clothing (Psalms 22:18) – fulfilled: John 19:23-24
He would pray for his executioners (Isaiah 53:12) – fulfilled: Luke 23:34
He would be executed with criminals (Isaiah 53:12) – fulfilled: Matthew 27:38
He would not retaliate (Isaiah 53:7) – fulfilled: Matthew 27:12
He would be forsaken by His followers (Zechariah 13:7) – fulfilled: Mark 14:50
He would be betrayed by a trusted friend (Psalm 41:9) – fulfilled: John 13:18, 26
He would be offered vinegar and gall (Psalms 69:21) – fulfilled: Matthew 27:34
He would die for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:12) fulfilled: Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28
Buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9) – fulfilled: Matthew 27:57-60
Flesh not seeing corruption (Psalms 16:10) – fulfilled: Acts 2:31
His resurrection (Psalms 16:10; Isaiah 26:19) – fulfilled: Luke 24:6,31,34
His ascension (Psalms 68:18) – fulfilled: Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9
If you think that the above is a little exhaustive then I would like to tell you that there are in total 360 prophesies about the Savior, of which 109 could be fulfilled by NO ONE other than Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all that was prophesized about the Savior (who saves people from their sins).
Another thing that makes the Bible stand out among other holy/religious books is that in the Bible, it is God Himself who is speaking.
Consider few pieces of scripture
Genesis 2:18 (Old Testament)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.”
Deuteronomy 5:6 (Old Testament)
‘I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves.
Jeremiah 1:8 (Old Testament)
Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Acts 9:5 (New Testament: Jesus talks to Apostle Paul before Paul’s conversion)
“Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said.
You will notice from the above scriptures that when God talks in the Bible he speaks in the first person. Notice the “I” when God is speaking. However if you were to consider other religious book and see as to how it is that the god of that book speaks then you will notice that, that god speaks in the third person. You will find stuff like “he is like this or like that”, notice the ” he and him” when that god speaks, indicating these are not the words of that god but the words of a religious leader speaking on his authority in the name of that god. As for the Word of God in the Bible, that Word comes straight from mouth of God. In 2 Timothy 3:16 Apostle Paul tell us that all Biblical scripture is “God Breathed”, he uses the Greek term “theo-pneustos” to describe Biblical scripture in the original Greek translation, “theo” meaning “God” and “pneustos” meaning “breathed”. “All scripture is God breathed”, meaning all Biblical scripture came directly from the mouth of God. Only in the Bible God speaks directly to us, using men of God who have been possessed by God’s Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible does away with in-betweens (angels or whatever) when it comes to God delivering His Word to man.
2 Peter 1:21
21 For no prophetic message ever came just from human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
If you were to ask, what is it that draws people to the Bible? Then I would like to explain it all just like this. I am sure we all love to go for the best deals in whatever we intend to keep for ourselves. When it comes to the Bible, the billboard message is “freedom from laws and also from sin – GRACE”. The message of the Bible is often referred to as Good News because according to the Bible, we are saved purely by grace.
I would like to further explain to you why the message of the Bible is known as Good News (Salvation by Grace).
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
The most common notion of God is that you do good, impress God and you are rewarded with eternal life. So man through out the ages man has tried everything he could imagine to please God. Man has tried offering sacrifices, praying as often and possible, charity, performing lengthy rituals, fasting, bringing pain in different sought of ways to oneself to show selflessness & devotion to God, making a personal sacrifice in one’s life to please God, making pilgrimages & the list goes on.
So you see when God was preached to people, the most common thing that occurred to people was will I ever be worthy to set foot in heaven. People who did all of the above, still felt unsure of heaven, many did the above mentioned, out of fear of punishment or hell. All who wanted heaven did all the good possible with the purpose of going to heaven but with all that they did, they could not keep sin out of their lives.
Now when the Bible/Gospel was preached, it was preached that God was an unconditional lover. A God who loves us so much that he does not keep track of wrongs.
1 John 4:16
16 .God is love,
5 .; love does not keep a record of wrongs;
You all would know that God is just & knowing this you may ask me, how can the Bible says that God does not keep track of wrongs when he is just? Well the very same just God, also happens to love us unconditionally and it is this love for us, that made God Himself pay the price of all sin, which was death.
So you see when the Bible was preached, the people were told that the Kingdom of heaven was now at hand because there was no question of sin for those who believed what Jesus had done for them. Let me give you some scriptural support.
7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As you can see from Romans 6:23; God gave us the eternal life for FREE in union with Christ. The FREE means it does not require work from the believer, for his salvation. Here is some more support from scripture.
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
So you see eternal life was at hand just by believing & putting trust in Jesus because when you trust in Jesus you are sure that your sins had all been paid for on that cross. So for every believer it was “Heaven here I come”. Here is some supporting scripture.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
So this is what the Good News (Gospel) was all about, salvation is yours all for free in Jesus without you requiring any obligation. Now I know you may ask me, is not God pleased when you do good? Well my answer is yes, He is, but I don’t feel God or take for matter anybody would be impressed if someone were to do good, either out of obligation or with the intention of getting a certain job done (going to heaven), this kind of good would be more like bribing your way to heaven.
The good the Bible talks about comes this way,
you may be a wretch,
you come to know Jesus,
you repent for your sins,
you trust Jesus & you are saved.
You then come to understand God’s love & you accept it because it is so irresistible.
You then start loving God, God’s Spirit then begins to dwell in you & this help you to do the good that pleases Him .
It is because of this love relationship that you develop with God, that you then start enjoying worshiping God because you know you are already saved in Christ & your worship is through no obligation at all but out of pure joy for what God has done for you. That is why all the Churches include singing in their worship & many even dance.
I don’t know how many of you will agree with me but when there is a love relationship between ..let us take an example of a good & bad person, then even the wretch begins to change because they both love each other. The good person understand the bad person’s shortcomings and the bad person begins to change to become more like the good person & that is exactly what happens between Jesus and you / me. God saves us and then changes us by the power of His Spirit, into good people, all through love. Here is some support.
Colossians 1:28 (Him refers to Jesus and we refers to the disciples)
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
It is after we are saved that we are called into mission to help fellow men, physically as well as spiritually (telling them of the salvation that is in Christ).
If you oppress poor people, you insult the God who made them; but kindness shown to the poor in as act of worship.
As for prayer, the prayer the Bible talks about is one where you come to know God & learn of His sacrifice, which was just to save you. You are swiped off your feet & fall in love with God because he loved you first (1John 4:19). It is with this love that you enjoy talking with God, sharing your joys and your troubles. As you may already know, talking with God is prayer. So prayer according to the Bible is said, not because you have to, not because you are bound to or even forced to but it is said because you love to. Don’t we all enjoy talking to someone we love?
We love because God first loved us.
Remember, the good works the Bible teaches (prayer, fasting, preaching and reaching out to the unfortunate) is not done with the idea of finding favour with God so that you can go to heaven. The good works the Bible teaches is what God (Holy Spirit) enables you to do with great zeal and joy (Psalm 35:9) after you have found that your Salvation (ticket to heaven) by trusting in Jesus (John 3:18). The Bible does not teach that you work to be saved (going to heaven), it teaches that God is pleased by “work” that is done by people who are already saved by their faith in Jesus (Hebrews 11:6).
Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son.
No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
Then I will be glad because of the Lord; I will be happy because he saved me.
Another thing is that this Good News was preached by the disciples without using any force of any kind. The only thing they had as back up was the authority of God that was with them to work miracles of healing and to cast out demons, all in Jesus’ name.
Mark 6:7 (He refers to Jesus)
He called the twelve disciples together and sent them out two by two. He gave them authority over the evil spirits
It was all these miracles that convinced people that God was with the disciples & this is what made the people put their trust in Christ. Also Consider
Matthew 28:18-19 (Jesus send his disciples on a mission, after his resurrection)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
You will notice in verse 19 it mentions, making disciples of the nations. It is easy to interpret that every culture, people and language was included in God’s saving plan through Christ.
I would also like to say that it is for this very reason the Bible is the most widely read book in the whole world, having being translated in so many languages. According to the Bible there is no one holy language because all things seen and unseen including people, cultures & languages are from God himself.
This is the Good News & uniqueness of the Bible, Salvation for any man, for free, in union with Christ.