Sabbath, march 7th

The Extraordinary Quality of Bible Inspiration

By Septimiu D. Mureșan

In today’s busy world, very little time is spent in searching the inspired word of God. Yet, many take great pride in their investment in acquiring knowledge for this world but not for the world to come. Many are completely drawn to the wonders of this world at an enormous sacrifice, their salvation. 

However, there are those that work diligently to find a balance between the sacred and the common. Their investments are not in vain, especially, considering that God is omniscient.

The youth of today are to search the Bible voraciously. As they compare the sacred to the secular, they can boldly declare that the God they serve is the God of all wisdom and knowledge. “In what sense are all the researches of human science comparable in sublimity and mystery with the science of the Bible? Where is anything that will so call out the strength of the intellect in deep and earnest thought?”1 The sacred pages of the Bible contain answers to all of life’s most important questions.

Let us consider some fascinating biblical discoveries and affirmations.   

  • The Bible tell us that the Earth is Round

Anciently, many cultures accepted the notion that the earth was flat. In fact, very few entertained the possibility of a round earth. Isaiah 40:22 states, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…” The word “circle” is also translated as compass, spherical, rounded, or arched. It is not something flat or square. The book of Isaiah was written around 740 B.C. About 300 years later, Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, theorized the earth was round by watching ships lowering over the horizon and from studies of the moon during an eclipse. He noted that the shadow of the earth on the moon revealed that the earth was curved.  2,000 years later at a time when many in science believed that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed around the world.2

  • The Bible and Oceanography

There are many Bible verses relating to the great bodies of water. One is Psalm 8:8, “… and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” Although God has given man dominion over the earth, man has yet to uncover a fraction of the vast terrestrial beauty of the waters. Nevertheless, we can appreciate the work of ocean scientists and their many remarkable discoveries. Matthew Maury is considered the father of oceanography. He noticed the expression “the paths of the sea” written 2,800 years ago. He said, “if God said there are paths in the sea, I’m going to find them.” He took God at His Word and went looking for these paths and we are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents. His book on oceanography remains a basic text on the subject and is still used in universities.3

  • The Bible and Quarantine

The Bible speaks about quarantine long before medical science discovered the importance of isolating those with infectious diseases. In Leviticus 13:46, we read, “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” In God’s mercies, He gave the people laws and statutes to prevent disease. It was not until about 1500 B.C., that we find instructions on what to do if someone has leprosy. Laws of quarantine were not instituted by modern man until the 17th century. The devasting black death of the 14th century took an estimated 17 million lives. This was because they failed to separate the sick from the healthy.4 Even today, great attention is given to health promotion and disease prevention by the healthcare profession. Fortunately, the Bible has the answers to the many questions of disease etiology and prevention.

  • Wash under Running Water

Leviticus 15:13 “And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.”

Encyclopedia Britannica shows that in 1845, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals in Vienna. About 30% died after child birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the patients who died, then without washing their hands they would go straight to examine expecting mothers. He insisted that doctors wash their hands before each examination. When they did that, the death rate dropped down to 2%.5

  • Life is in the Blood 

Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood…”  All though many researches have been done on the blood, it was not until the 1900s that substantial evidence on blood screening was attained. Since its discovery, there have been many advances in blood conditions and screenings of other diseases and conditions. Up until 120 years ago, people bled to death because of unsanitary practices concerning the collection of blood and body fluids. Blood screenings can now evaluate the health of our kidneys, liver, thyroid, heart, etc. When George Washington became deadly ill, doctors thought that blood-letting would help him. Nowadays, we know that sick people need blood, so we give them transfusions.

“Open the Bible to our youth, draw their attention to its hidden treasures, teach them to search for its jewels of truth, and they will gain a strength of intellect such as the study of all that philosophy embraces could not impart.”7

The danger of doubt and criticism  

When there is so much weight of evidence why is there so much confusion when people talk about the Bible?

“In our day, as of old, the vital truths of God’s word are set aside for human theories and speculations. Many professed ministers of the gospel do not accept the whole Bible as the inspired word. One wise man rejects one portion; another questions another part. They set up their judgment as superior to the Word; and the Scripture which they do teach rests upon their own authority. Its divine authenticity is destroyed. Thus, the seeds of infidelity are sown broadcast; for the people become confused, and know not what to believe.”8

When confusion takes place, it’s followed by another reaction – criticism. 

“Men arise who think they find something to criticize in God’s Word. […] These men are, many of them, smart men, learned men, they have eloquence and talent, the whole lifework [of whom] is to unsettle minds in regard to the inspiration of the Scriptures.”9

“When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.

“Brethren, let not a mind or hand be engaged in criticizing the Bible. It is a work that Satan delights to have any of you do, but it is not a work the Lord has pointed out for you to do.”10

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” 2 Timothy 3:16. “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5.

“We cannot grasp it, so what man is there that dares to take that Bible and say this part is inspired and that part is not inspired? I would have both my arms taken off at my shoulders before I would ever make the statement or set my judgment upon the Word of God as to what is inspired and what is not inspired.”11

“Brethren, cling to your Bible, as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost.”12

Limitations and attitudes

“It takes all of eternity to unfold the glories and bring out the precious treasures of the Word of God. Do not let any living man come to you and begin to dissect God’s Word, telling what is revelation, what is inspiration and what is not, without a rebuke. Tell all such they simply do not know. They simply are not able to comprehend the things of the mystery of God.”13

  • When understanding is lacking, pride takes its place…

“Because they cannot fathom all its mysteries, the skeptic and the infidel reject God’s word; and not all who profess to believe the Bible are free from danger on this point. The apostle says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12. It is right to study closely the teachings of the Bible and to search into “the deep things of God” so far as they are revealed in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 2:10. While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us.” Deuteronomy 29:29. 

A certain pride is mingled with the consideration of Bible truth, so that men feel impatient and defeated if they cannot explain every portion of Scripture to their satisfaction. It is too humiliating to them to acknowledge that they do not understand the inspired words.14

“The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith.”15

How was the Bible given?

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21.

“The Creator of all ideas may impress different minds with the same thought, but each may express it in a different way, yet without contradiction.”16

“In our Bible, we might ask, why need Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Gospels, why need the Acts of the Apostles, and the variety of writers in the Epistles, go over the same thing?

The Lord gave His word in just the way He wanted it to come. He gave it through different writers, each having his own individuality, though going over the same history. Their testimonies are brought together in one Book, and are like the testimonies in a social meeting. They do not represent things in just the same style. Each has an experience of his own, and this diversity broadens and deepens the knowledge that is brought out to meet the necessities of varied minds.”17

  • Not the Words Inspired but the Men 

“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words and thoughts receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus, the utterances of the man are the word of God.18

  • Inspired Ideas Expressed in Human Language

“The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves.19

Your Choice, Your Destiny

“If we will let it speak to us, the Bible will teach us what nothing else can teach. But alas! everything else is dwelt upon except the Word of God. Worthless literature, fictitious stories, are greedily devoured, while the Bible, with all its treasures of sacred truth, lies neglected upon our tables. The Sacred Word, if made the rule of life, will refine, elevate, and sanctify. It is the voice of God to man. Will we heed it?” 20

  • Great Speakers, Great Speeches and No Inspiration

“To many of our youth there is great danger in listening to the discourses that are given by those who in the world are called great men. These discourses are often of a highly intellectual nature, and prevailing errors of science falsely so-called and of popular religious doctrine are mingled with wise sayings and observations, but they undermine the statements of the Bible and give the impression that there is reason for questioning the truth of the inspired Word.”21

  • Study the Bible for Yourself

“Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is sufficient for those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it from them as authority.”22

Conclusion

“The Bible is its own interpreter. With beautiful simplicity one portion connects itself with the truth of another portion, until the whole Bible is blended in one harmonious whole. Light flashes forth from one text to illuminate some portion of the Word that has seemed more obscure.”23  

“The disciples traveling to Emmaus needed to be disentangled in their interpretation of the Scriptures. Jesus walked with them disguised, and as a man He talked with them. Beginning at Moses and the prophets He taught them in all things concerning Himself, that His life, His mission, His sufferings, His death were just as the Word of God had foretold. He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. How quickly He straightened out the tangled ends and showed the unity and divine verity of the Scriptures. How much men in these times need their understanding opened?”24

“As an educator, the Holy Scriptures are without a rival. The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the Fountain of eternal truth; and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity. […] In God’s Word only do we behold the power that laid the foundations of the earth, and that stretched out the heavens.”25 

Even more than the precious information we are privileged to have a tender and pure love-based relation with the Author! “O search the Bible with a heart hungry for spiritual food! Dig into the Word as a miner digs into the earth to find the veins of gold. Do not give up your search till you have learned your relation to God and His will concerning you.”26

  1. Messages to Young People, p. 257.1.
  2. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160126-how-we-know-earth-is-round
  3. “A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury” by Diana Fontaine Maury Corbin. 1888, p. 175; also inhttps://www.bible.ca/tracks/matthew-fontaine-maury-pathfinder-of-sea-ps8.htm
  4. https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/35/9/1071/330421 also in (The History of Medicine in Context) Maritime Quarantine: The British Experience, c.1650–1900 by John Booker.
  5. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ignaz-Semmelweis
  6. https://www.historytoday.com/archive/death-george-washington also https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/blood-test-can-detect-every-virus-youve-ever-had
  7. Messages to Young People, p. 254.2.
  8. Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 39.
  9. Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 17.3.
  10. Ibid.
  11. The SDA Bible Commentary, [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 919.5.
  12. Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 18.1.
  13. The SDA Bible Commentary, [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 919.9.
  14. Steps to Christ, p. 108.2.
  15. The Great Controversy, p. 582, 583.
  16. Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 22.1.
  17. Ibid., p. 21.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid., p. 19.
  20. Messages to Young People, p. 257.2.
  21. Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 232.3.
  22. Messages to Young People, p. 258.1.
  23. Our High Calling, p. 207.5.
  24. Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 20.4.
  25. Messages to Young People, p. 263.1.
  26. The Youth’s Instructor, July 24, 1902.