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Scripture Writers Present the Words of God

By Gary F. Zeolla

For Volume I of the Second Edition of my Scripture Workbook, I expand many of the sections from the first edition. But that I mean I added many more Scripture references and additional details. But for some reason, I didn’t expand the very first section of Chapter One. That chapter is titled “Authority of the Scriptures.” That first section is very important as it established the claim of the Bible being the Word of God that the rest of the book is based on. I guess I didn’t think of expanding that section as I wasn’t sure what I was doing yet for the revision.

In any case, it has been bugging me that I hadn’t expanded that section, so I went ahead and did so. It is not possible to update the published versions of the Workbook, but below is the updated section. With publishing it in this format rather than in book form, I am able to utilize expanded formatting, along with some color.


We Believe:

The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, the complete revelation of His will for our salvation and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life (Article #1 on Darkness to Light’s Confession of Faith).

 

1) The Scripture writers claim to be presenting the very Words of God:

In the Old Testament:

In the Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy):

Genesis 1:3-31; 2:16-18; 3:9-22; 6:7-21; 7:1-4; 8:21f; 9:1-17; 11:6f; 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-22; 18:1-33; 21:12-18; 22:1f,11-18; 24:51; 25:23; 26:1-5,24; 32:22-29; 41:25.

Exodus 3:2-22; 4:2-30; 6:1-13,28-30; 7:1-19; 8:1-5,16-23; 9:1-5-22; 10:1f,12,21; 11:1-9; 12:1-20,43-49; 13:1; 14:1-4,15-18; 16:4f,11f; 17:5f,14; 19:3-24; 20:1-17-26; 21:1–31:17; 32:7-10; 33:1-3,14-23; 34:1-27; 35:1-19; 40:1-15.

Leviticus 1:1–8:3; 10:3-15; 11:1–27:34.

Numbers 1:1-15,47-53; 2:1-31; 3:5–4:33; 5:1–6:27; 7:4f; 8:1–9:14; 10:1-10,29; 11:16-23; 12:6-8; 13:1f; 14:11f,20-35; 15:1-41; 16:36-38; 17:1-5; 18:1–19:22; 20:7f; 22:32-35; 25:4,10-18; 26:1-4,52-56,65; 27:6-21; 28:1–31:30; 33:50–35:34; 36:1-9.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8,34-42; 2:2-9; 3:2; 5:5-22; 6:1–8:20; 10:1f; 31:14-21; 32:48-52.

In the Historical Books (Joshua to Esther):

Joshua 1:1-9; 4:1-3; 5:13-15; 6:2-5; 7:10-15; 8:1f; 13:1-7; 20:1-6; 24:2-13.

Judges 1:2; 2:1-4,20-22; 6:11-27; 7:2-11; 10:11-14; 13:3-18; 20:18-28.

1Samuel 3:1-14; 8:6-10,22; 9:17; 10:17-19; 15:1-3,10f,18; 16:1-12; 23:2,10-12; 24:4; 28:17 (cp. 15:18).

2Samuel 2:1; 3:18; 5:2,19; 7:4-16; 12:11f; 23:2-4; 24:11f.

1Kings 3:5-14; 6:11-13; 8:12,17-19; 9:3-9; 11:2,11-13; 12:24; 13:1-3,9,17-22; 14:5-18; 16:1-4; 17:2-4,8-12,24; 18:1,31; 19:9-18; 21:17-19,28f; 22:17-23; 22:38.

2Kings 1:3f,15; 7:1,16; 9:26,36; 10:10,30; 14:25-27; 15:12; 19:21-34; 20:4-6,16-18; 21:4,7f; 23:16,27; 24:2.

1Chronicles 10:13; 11:1-3,10; 12:23; 14:10,14f; 15:15; 17:3-14; 21:11f; 22:6-10; 28:3.

2Chronicles 1:7-12; 6:8f; 11:2-4; 12:7f; 18:16-22,27; 34:23-28; 35:6; 36:20-23.

Ezra 1:1.

In the Poetic Books (Job to Song of Solomon): 

Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; 38:1–42:8.

Psalm 60:6-8; 61:11; 68:22f; 108:7-9; 110:1.

In the Prophets (Isaiah to Malachi):

14 of the 17 prophetic books consist almost entirely of discourses and visions from the LORD. The exceptions are Daniel and Jonah, which also have narrative, and Lamentations, which is Jeremiah’s lamination over the fall of Jerusalem.



In the New Testament:

Only references to the words of God the Father are listed, not those of Jesus. But since Jesus is God, all of His words in the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation are also the words of God. These are printed in red in some Bibles. Not included are words of the LORD quoted from the OT.

The Gospels and Acts:

Matthew 3:17; 17:5.

Mark 1:11; 9:7.

Luke 3:22.

John 12:27f; 16:4,13; 17:14-19.

Acts 1:8; 3:21; 4:31.

The Epistles and The Revelation:

1Corinthians 7:40.

1Thesssalonians 2:13; 4:8.

2Timothy 3:16f.

Hebrews 1:1f.

1Peter 1:25.

2Peter 1:17-21; 3:14-16.

Revelation 1:1-3.
 


Statistics (number of occurrences in entire Bible):

854 – “says the LORD”
10 – “the LORD says”
234 – “the LORD said”
138 – “the LORD spoke”
28 – “the LORD has spoken”
262 – “word of the LORD”
4 – “says God”
6 – “God says”
44 – “God said”
13 – “God spoke”
5 – “God has spoken”
48 – “word of God”
(based on the NKJV).

 

Discussion:

That’s a total of 1,646 times the Scripture writers are claiming to be speaking for God. There are 31,102 verses in the Bible, so that is on average about once every 19 verses. It is true this does not prove that they were in fact doing so. However, if someone claims to be speaking for God, or even more so if they claim they have heard the voice of God or seen a vision, then there are only three possibilities: The person is telling the truth; the person is lying, or the person is hallucinating and thus is mentally disturbed.

For example, when Isaiah records his vision of the LORD in the sixth chapter of his book, either that event happened, or he made it up, or he was hallucinating. So a decision must be made: do the writings of Isaiah read like those of an honest person, a liar, or a lunatic?

The point is, either the Bible is what it claims to be, the very Word of God, or it is a complete fraud. There is no middle ground. It cannot be said the Bible is a “good book” but not the Word of God.

It should also be noted, the NT writers attribute OT words to God even if they are not specifically ascribed to God in the OT. This shows that all of Scripture is the Word of God:

OT words ascribed to God:

Matt 19:4-6 quoting Gen 1:27; 2:24/ Acts 4:24-26 quoting Psalm 21:1f/ Acts 13:35 quoting Psalm 16:10/ Heb 1:6 quoting Deut 32:43 and Psalm 97:7 (both from the LXX)/ Heb 1:7 quoting Psalm 104:4.

 

Final Note:

For many more such detailed studies of the Scriptures, see the new edition of my Scripture Workbook. It is the first of what will be two volumes. The first volume covers the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. It is these doctrines that separate the true Christian faith from cultic and other deviations. Included are studies on such essential doctrines as the authority and reliability of the Scriptures, the attributes of God, the Trinity, and forgiveness and salvation.

 

The above article was first published in the free Darkness to Light newsletter.
It was posted on this Web site January 1, 2009.

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