The Bible: Inspired or Fabricated.
Only one of the two can be true!
It can be demonstrated that the Bible is inspired by discussing two of it's astonishing features which conclusively verify it's inspiration. The first is prophecies which have been fulfilled and the second is scientific foreknowledge. First, let's consider the most common objections to these evidences. The number of evidences at my disposal are tremendous -- about 2,000 prophecies in the Old Testament, of which Jesus Christ fulfilled 365 by himself. 465 characteristics of the messiah are given in the Old Testament, and Jesus had them all. In his talk, "Are these the Right Words", Dr. Dan Olinger has stated,
"Fulfilled prophecy is an objective demonstration that scripture has a supernatural source. ... These prophecies are so accurate that even unbelievers, even what we would call today liberal scholars, don't dispute that the prophecies are accurate. They have to hold to the fact that the prophecies were written after the fact, because that's how accurate they are, and they have no other evidence than simply that the accuracy of the prophecy exists, and that it couldn't have been done because supernatural things don't happen. By the way there are a number of terms you could apply to that way of thinking, but science is not one of them."
There are also quite a few examples of scientific foreknowledge in the Old Testament which man in ancient times could not have understood because the technology to discover them was not available for many centuries. We'll discuss that subject in more depth in another article.
When debating the inspiration of the Bible, atheist laypersons often resort to a couple of hand-waving tactics in an attempt to dismiss the evidence forthright. The first of these is to appeal upon secular historical timelines, which are based upon the assumptions of a uniformitarian view of the evolution of human society shortly after the end of the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. The most common timelines atheists appeal to are the Sumerian Kings List, which states that Sumeri8an kings have ruled Mesopotamia for tens of thousands of years and therefore do not align with the atheist's uniformitarianism, and the Egyptian King's List, which has been demonstrated erroneous by Christian scholars. It is interesting to note that atheists seem to have no problem adjusting the Sumerian King's List by removing tens of thousands of years from it so that it conforms to their views, while they are unwilling to accept the evidence that the Egyptian King's List has a over 1,000 years of false time within it. With atheists, all things must be adjusted to fit the assumptions built into their paradigm of the uniformitarian history of man's cultural development.
Obviously, both of these secular timelines contradict the scriptures. The atheist's attempt is to show that the Bible is not historically correct so as to supposedly show that biblical events could not have happened, and therefore the Bible cannot be inspired, since if God existed, he would certainly know true history. Regarding prophecies, all that I must do to demonstrate that the Bible is in fact inspired is to show that passages from the Old Testament refer to events described in the New.
The second hand-waving tactic atheists employ when debating prophecies is one commuted almost exclusively by atheists laypersons, but not atheist academics. They often resort to falsely claiming that the prophecy does not say what it clearly does. They will even go so far as to say that certain words in the passages do not mean what they clearly do, all in an effort to dismiss the prophecy. This tactic is easily demonstrated to be false by simply providing the passages themselves, since their words stand on their own for any rational reader.
The before mentioned statement by Dr. Olinger's explains why atheist academics and scholars don't resort to the hand-waving tactic employed by atheist laypersons. This is because the passages stand on their own. It is only atheist laypersons which resort to saying that prophetic passages do not say what they do say, and their words do not mean what they do mean. The majority of atheist academics do not resorting to this tactic because it would reveal that they are not being intellectually honest.
Some atheists have actually resorted to claiming that the prophecies are fabricated, but this is easily shown to be completely illogical and astonishingly implausible for a number of reasons. Firstly, there would be no motivation for anyone in Israel, either layperson or one who is among the religious elite, to fabricate so many fulfilled prophecies. There would simply be nothing to gain from it, and it would only ostracize them from Israeli society and set themselves at odds with the occupying Roman leadership because it would create a rise in dissent. Any theory that the Romans would do this fails because the dissent it would create would not be beneficial. Dissent would disrupt the peaceful relationship which the Romans had with the Jews, which profited Rome financially. The Romans would not cut off the profits they reaped from taxing the Jews by creating havoc. A peaceful relationship with the Jews was what they sought and desperately needed in Israel. Likewise, the Jews needed a peaceful relationship with Rome in order to conduct their daily lives, which ruins any motivation on the behalf of an Israelite to fabricate so many prophecies.
In order to accomplish a fabrication of so many fulfilled prophecies, it would be necessary for the the New Testament writers to possess a copy of at all of the books of the Old Testament, with the exception of the Book of Ruth. This is implausible because it took about eight months for a scribe to carefully copy the texts. Anyone seeking to fabricate fulfilled prophecies would have to either pay a scribes salary for eight months to have them make the copy or they would have to devote eight months of their life to making it themselves. Only scribes would be allowed to handle the texts to make a copy. Therefore it is implausible that a tax collector, physician, or fishermen would be able to obtain a copy of the scriptures for their personal possession. One must ask also how many copies of the Old Testament scriptures they possessed. Did each one of them have their opwn copies to work from, or did they have one copy between them all and secretly meet eachnight after work to study it together and make their copious notes? One can only wonder at the miracle required for such as thing to be true.
In order to fabricate the New Testament, the forgers would have to be a leader of an early church or scribe of the temple. The fabricators would have to devote a tremendous portion of their life to studying the texts. They would have to become experts on the texts and make a great volume of personal notes so as to be able to fabricate stories that fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. It is completely unrealistic to believe that an Israeli layperson would have the time and resources to devote to such a daunting task. Perhaps a wealthy Israelite would have such resources, but to fabricate such lies would only create dissent among their peers, the religious leadership of Israel, the general public, and most importantly, the Roman occupiers, who were intolerant of those social troublemakers. The Romans lined the Appian Way with crucifictions to make clear their brutal intolerance of law-breakers and troublemakers. The message was clear: "You are entering Rome. Obey the law and be peaceful, else you will be like one of these." Fabricating the New Testament for the purpose of fulfilling prophecies would threaten the forger's wealth and well-being, which would be dependent upon peaceful relations with Jewish authorities and the Roman occupiers. One cannot even imagine a benefit of such an arduous, time-consuming, costly, and dangerous venture. How would they benefit from fabricating such tall tales? There simply isn't a plausible motive.
Because of these facts, we can see that the wealthy of Israel would have no motivation for fabricating so many prophecies, and the layperson would not have the resources to do so in their work-a-day lives. Therefore, it is simply utterly implausible that anyone could have fabricated the many fulfilled prophecies in scriptures. The best explanation is simply that the many fulfilled prophecies are inherent to the texts as they were provided by God's inspiration.
Moreover, the New Testament era Jews did not have a belief in a dying and rising messiah. To fabricate such a messiah would be impossible, since they would have to have also added to the Old Testament texts all of the allusions to Christ's death and resurrection, such as Isaiah 53, in order to make their New Testament fabrications work. But this cannot be true since scholarship verifies that the Old Testament was written before Christ over a period of many centuries dating back to approximately 1,450 B.C.
When it comes to the scientific foreknowledge in the scriptures, the only tactic an atheist is able to employ is to say that the words of the passages do not say what they are said to say, or that their words do not mean what they are said to mean - a tactic I have already explained is employed by atheist laypersons relating to prophecy. Once more, all that must be done to discredit this tactic is to provide the passage and a simple explanation of what they say so as to show that the argument against them is without merit.
From these facts we can see that no fabrication theory is plausible. The texts simply are what they are, and no work has been done to fabricate fulfilled prophecies or scientific foreknowledge. The passages are part of the inspired texts and nobody has fabricated them either before the fact or after it in order to create the impression of inspiration, either in the Old Testament or the New Testament. These facts verify that the scriptures are in fact the inspired Word of God because they require unfathomable supernatural power over human actions and history from someone who exists outside of time.
Here I will provide evidence of inspiration for the scriptures from the Heptadic Structure of the genealogy of Jesus in the Book of Matthew. It is comprised of numerous layers of complexity, all relating to the number 7, which God uses throughout the Old and New Testaments in relation to Himself. These numerous layers make it clear that man could never have formulated the genealogy of Christ, even by employing the world's best code writers and a computer to assist them. To fabricate this genealogy would require the writers of the entire Old Testament to work together in collusion for the purpose of fabricating this genealogy before the fact, each producing a portion of it towards the goal of creating the whole. This is completely irrational since the authors of the Old Testament books lived in different centuries and most of them could not have known one another, and because some of the persons in this genealogy are historically verified persons, and others are paramount to the events in the books of the Old Testament. Any collusion theory for the fabrication of this genealogy before the fact is therefore irrational and utterly implausible, and any theory that it was produced after the fact by New Testament authors would be disproved by their inability of them to have produced the Old Testament.
In the genealogy of Jesus Christ in the Book of Matthew,
The number of words which are nouns is 56, or 7 x 8.
The Greek word "the" occurs 56 times, or 7 x 8.
The number of different forms in which the article "the" occurs is 7.
There are two main sections in the passages: verse 1-11 and 12-17. In the first main section, the number of Greek vocabulary words used is 49, or 7 x 7.
Of these 49 words, the number of them beginning with a vowel is 28, or 7 x 4.
The number of words beginning with a consonant is 21, or 7 x 3.
The total number of letters in these 49 words is exactly 266, or 7 x 38-exactly.
The numbers of vowels among these 266 letters is 140, or 7 x 20.
The number of consonants is 126, or 7 x 18-exactly.
Of these 49 words, the number of words which occur more than once is 35, or 7 x 5.
The number of words occurring only once is 14, or 7 x 2.
The number of words which occur in only one form is exactly 42, or 7 x 6.
The number of words appearing in more than one form is also 7.
The number of 49 Greek vocabulary words which are nouns is 42, or 7 x 6.
The number of words which are not nouns is 7.
Of the nouns, 35 are proper names, or 7 x 5.
These 35 nouns are used 63 times, or 7 x 9.
The number of male names is 28, or 7 x 4.
These male names occur 56 times or 7 x 8.
The number which are not male names is 7.
Three women are mentioned -- Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth. The number of Greek letters in these three names is 14, or 7 x 2.
The number of compound nouns is 7.
The number of Greek letters in these 7 nouns is 49, or 7 x 7.
Only one city is named in this passage, Babylon, which in Greek contains exactly 7 letters.
The 72 vocabulary words add up to a grammatical value of 42,364, or 7 x 6,052.
The 72 words appear in 90 forms-some appear in more than one form. The numeric value of the 90 forms is 54,075, or 7 x 7,725. Exactly.
The genealogy of Jesus in the Book of Matthew is astonishing verification that God inspired the texts because he has power over the actions of human beings and historical events. Human engineering cannot account for it. It requires someone of supernatural authority over people, events, and time.