© Colin W. Mitchell, Ph. D.
Binfield, England


The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments claim divine inspiration throughout but contain two distinct types of message. The first type is those messages which claim to be the direct utterances of God. This includes the Decalogue and over 2,000 statements introduced by such phrases as 'the word of the LORD came to . . .' or 'thus saith the LORD'. The actual words of Christ in the New Testament belong to this category. Although their arrangement in the text may be due to the author, the message is directly from God.

The second type of message consists of narratives, teachings, and poetry composed by the human writers themselves, but which are arrangements of Scripture quotations, historical records, oral accounts, or personal observations. The Pauline epistles and the book of Acts are examples of this method. Rice1 has defined the first type as 'prophetic' and the second as 'Lucan', choosing these terms because the prophets frequently spoke words given them directly by God, whereas Luke selected and arranged a number of sources.

The Bible authors wrote mainly in Hebrew and Greek although Aramaic is occasionally used.2 Translations can be valid only to the extent that they reproduce the true sense of the original. As the different writers present a subject under different aspects and relations, there may appear to be discrepancies and contradictions, but reverent study, with clearer insight, shows the underlying harmony.

There area number of lines of evidence that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.


The internal claim to divine authority is so frequent that to quote all the passages would require a book. It is both directly stated and implicitly assumed in both Old and New Testaments. Direct statements are made by David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Luke, and Paul.3 Peter goes so far as to state that the Scriptures are surer than the evidence of the senses.4

Scriptural authority is also assumed in many passages where there is no direct statement. Both Moses and John warn against adding or subtracting from it.5 David refers to the law as everlasting,6 and Amos says that God will reveal all His works through His prophets.7

The outstanding testimony comes from our Lord. He clearly supports the authority and everlasting nature of every word,8 refers to Old Testament passages as authoritative both before and after the Resurrection,9 and equates God with the authorship of the first two chapters of Genesis.10 He settles a dispute by taking two words from a psalm, calling them the Law and saying that it cannot be broken.11 He even makes the exact moment of His own death depend upon the fulfilment of one verse,12 and continues to quote the Scriptures even after the Resurrection.13


About forty writers, widely differing in occupation and experience, scattered from Egypt to Babylon, and from Rome to Midian, wrote over a span of 1,500 years. Yet when brought together the writings show one Author and one theme


The Bible claims that its words will last forever.14 Despite frequent attempts over 2 millenia to destroy, ban, or restrict its circulation, it remains the world's best seller. Opposition has tended to increase, rather than decrease, its popularity.


Although the Bible is not a textbook on science, except the science of salvation, every statement shows a knowledge which can only have come from a deep creative intelligence. Although man's discoveries do not all apparently agree with it, the trend has always been for advancing science to confirm it. This is evidence that the Creator must be its author. It contains statements about the nature of the universe and such details as health laws, unknown when it was written, which were only discovered much later by human science and partly through following its guidance.

The Bible's understanding of cosmology can be seen not only in direct statements about Creation and the Flood but also in many intimations which show that the authors, even if they did not always understand all they wrote, were in fact inspired by a source of knowledge which can only have come from the Creator. A number of examples of this can be quoted.

Hipparchus in the second century BC believed that the number of stars in the sky was less than 3,000, and Ptolemy m the second century AD counted 1,056. However, 400 years earlier Jeremiah had stated that the stars were innumerable.15 This was repeated by the author of Hebrews in the first century AD,16 and finally confirmed by modern telescopes.

The Bible states that the Earth is spherical,17 that it hangs unsupported in space,18 and that the atmosphere, has the character of a tent with wind and water vapour in a circulating cycle.19 0nly since the Renaissance have these facts been appreciated.

Biblical health laws reveal a knowledge of the human body which implies the insight of a Creator. This is now being increasingly demonstrated from scientific evidence. The main causes of death in Western countries are atherosclerosis and cancer. They are almost always due to diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats, the former entirely, and the latter partly, from animal products. The Mosaic law forbade the human consumption of animal fat.21

Another example is the injunction about infant circumcision. Modern medical science has verified that the greatest risk of haemorrhage from incisions occurs between two and seven days of life. This is because at birth a baby's intestines contain no bacteria and these only proliferate in the 4th to 7th days. These bacteria ate needed to form the vitamin K which is important in forming clotting proteins in the liver. After the seventh day, the operation becomes increasingly traumatic as the child's consciousness of pain increases. It can only be because of prior knowledge of the human body that Scripture enjoins circumcision on the eighth day.22

TESTIMONY OF THE JEWS: Acts 7:36; Jeremiah 31:36, 37; Leviticus 26:32, 33; Numbers 23:9

The existence of the Jewish people is a standing testimony to the historicity of the Scriptures. Their observance of the Passover and the Mosaic law are perpetual reminders of their Egyptian bondage and of the Exodus. The Jewish diaspora among the nations is a reminder of Old Testament prophecies that they would be thus scattered.23 Their unchanging attachment to Jerusalem continually recalls the central place of its temple in worship. The Arch of Titus in Rome is a standing witness to the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. Its representation of the vessels of the Tabernacle links Gentile history incontestably to the religion given by God on Mount Sinai more than 3,000 years ago.


The antiquity and prophetic character of the Old Testament writings has always been accepted by the Jews. In recent years this has been strongly confirmed by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These were leather scrolls wrapped in linen cloth and placed in jars in numerous caves in the marly cliffs at Qumran, a mile or so west of the north-western corner of the Dead Sea. They date from the first century BC to the first century AD, thus antedating by centuries previously known texts, which they closely confirm.

The caves contained fragments of every Old Testament book except Esther. No fewer than twelve manuscripts of Isaiah and ten of the Psalms were found in a single cave. A significant find with bearings on the date and authorship of the book of Daniel was that fragments show the change from Hebrew to Aramaic in 2:4 and from Aramaic to Hebrew in 7:28-8:1, exactly as in our modern texts of Daniel.

a. BABYLON. Isaiah 13:19-22.

Isaiah prophesied between about 745 and 686BC. There is no manuscript or traditional evidence that his book is not a unity or that his book was written later than this time. Babylon rose to its zenith under Nebuchadnezzar between 606 and 561BC. Isaiah predicts that it would be destroyed, left desolate and uninhabited and that no Arab would pitch his tent or shepherd leave his sheep there.

The site of Babylon is still a desolation. The ground is infertile through impregnation with salt. The area is inhabited by wild creatures and is avoided by Arabs after dark for fear of evil spirits. This future was almost inconceivable when Isaiah wrote. The city fell in 536BC to Cyrus, king of Persia, after which it declined to obscurity.

b. NINEVEH. Zephaniah 2:13-15; Jonah 3:3.

Zephaniah probably wrote during the reign of Josiah (640-609BC). His allusions to Judah's low state of morality seem reasonably to place his book before the great reformation in 621BC. He .prophesied that Nineveh, called by Jonah a century earlier 'an exceedingly great city', would become desolate, parched, and inhabited by flocks and wild animals. It was completely destroyed by Babylon in about 607BC and the site was only with difficulty discovered in the nineteenth century. Thus the prophecy was exactly fulfilled although it would have appeared very unlikely when given.

c. EGYPT. Ezekiel 29:14, 15; 30:13-15.

Ezekiel wrote between 592 and 570BC around the time of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC. He was living in exile in Babylon over 1,000 kilometres from Egypt, which he had probably never seen. He states that four things will happen: the idols of Memphis will be destroyed, Thebes will be destroyed and fired, the multitude of Thebes will be cut off, and there will no longer be a native prince from Egypt.

Both Memphis and Thebes were then important cities. Herodotus tells us that Cambyses destroyed idols when he conquered Egypt in about 525BC. This destruction probably included Memphis because it was the Egyptian capital. Memphis ultimately was surpassed by nearby Cairo, so that by the beginning of the twentieth century AD the ruins of the city, including the great temple of Ptah and the dwelling of Apis, were traceable only by a few stones among the palm trees, fields and heaps of rubbish.24 Thebes was finally destroyed by Cornelius Gallus during the reign of Augustus and became a collection of villages, which it remained until modern times.

At the time the prophecy was written, Egypt was a world power ruled by the 26th dynasty, the last native Egyptian. After this, the country lost international influence and then for 2,000 years lacked a native ruling dynasty, and has never had a ruler who possessed the power of former kings. Ezekiel 26:3-14.

These verses were written before Ezekiel heard of the fall of Jerusalem, probably in early 585BC (Ezekiel 33:21). They contain six prophecies:

1. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:8).

2. Many nations will oppose Tyre (26:3).

3. She will be made a flat bare rock (26:4).

4. Her debris will be thrown into the water (26:12).

5. Fishermen will spread nets over the site (26:5).

6. She will never be rebuilt (26:14).

The fulfilment:

1. Nebuchadnezzar started a siege of Tyre in 585 BC and finally destroyed the mainland city in 573BC. When he broke the gates down he found the city almost empty. The majority of the people had moved by ship to an island about half a mile off the coast and fortified a city there.

2. Alexander the Great sacked Tyre in 332BC. During the wars of his successors it was captured from Antigonus by Ptolemy I, the ally of Seleucus in 312BC. It passed into the dominion of Seleucus in 287, and was again captured by Ptolemy II Philadelphus in 275. It was often contested during the Crusades and was in the hands of Europeans until AD 1291, when it was finally yielded to the Muslims.

3, 4. When Alexander attacked Tyre, the people retreated from the mainland site to the fortified offshore island. He scraped the old site clean, throwing the debris into the sea to make a causeway to the island, leaving it bare rock.

5. The old (deserted) site has long been used by fishermen to spread their nets.

6. That site has never been rebuilt to this day.


Much the greatest amount of fulfilled prophecy relates to the Messiah. There are two main reasons why this is especially strong evidence for Scriptural authority. First, the prophecies are both numerous and highly detailed, extending to some of the minutiae of Jesus' life on Earth. Secondly, the prophecies are incontestably earlier than their fulfilments. Even before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it was universally accepted that the Old Testament books in which they occur were in existence before our Lord's first coming.

A. Prophecies concerning Jesus' birth



1 Born of the seed of woman

Gen. 3:15

Gal. 4:4

2 Born of a virgin

Isa. 7:14

Matt. 1:18, 24, 25

3 Son of God

Ps. 2:7

Matt. 3:17

4 Seed of Abraham

Gen. 22:18

Gal. 3:16

5 Son of Isaac

Gen. 21:12

Luke 3:34

6 Son of Jacob

Num. 24:17

Luke 3:34

7 Tribe of Judah

Gen. 49:10

Luke 3:23, 33

8 Family line of Jesse

Isa. 11:1

Luke 3:23, 32

9 House of David

Jer. 23:5

Luke 2:4

10 Born at Bethlehem

Mic. 5:2

Matt. 2:1

11 Presented with gifts

Ps. 72:10

Matt. 2:1, 11

12 Herod kills children

Jer. 31:15

Matt. 2:16

B. Prophecies concerning Jesus' ministry



1 Preceded by a messenger

Isa. 40:3

Matt. 3:1, 2

2 Year Christ begins ministry

Dan. 9:25

Matt. 4:16-20

Isa. 61:1, 2

3 Ministry to begin in Galilee

Isa. 9:1

Matt. 4:12-17

4 Will perform miracles

Isa. 35:5, 6

Matt. 9:35

5 Teaching in parables

Ps. 78:2

Matt. 13:34

6 Enters Jerusalem on a donkey

Zech. 9:9

Matt. 21:7-10

C. Prophecies of Jesus' last days



I Betrayed by a friend

Ps. 41:9

Matt. 10:4

2 Sold for 30 pieces of silver, which was thrown down in God's house and used to buy a potter's field

Zech. 11:12, 13

Matt. 27:3-7

3 Forsaken by disciples

Zech. 13:7

Mark 14:50

4 Accused by false witnesses

Ps. 35:11

Matt. 26:59, 60

5 Dumb before accusers

Isa. 53:7

Matt. 27:12

6 Wounded and bruised

Isa. 53:5

Matt. 27:26

7 Smitten and spat upon

Isa. 50:6

Matt. 26:67

8 Mocked

Ps. 22:7, 8

Matt. 27:31

9 Hands and feet pierced

Ps. 22:16

John 20:25-27

10 Crucified with thieves

Isa. 53:12

Matt. 27:38

11 Made intercession for persecutors

Isa. 53:12

Luke 23:34

12 Rejected by His own people

Isa. 53:3

John 7:5, 48

13 Friends stood afar off

Ps. 38:11

Luke 23:49

14 People shook their heads

Ps. 109:25

Matt. 27:39

15 Stared upon

Ps. 22:17

Luke 23:35

16 Garments parted and lots cast

Ps. 22:18

John 19:23, 24

17 Suffered thirst

Ps. 69:21

John 19:28

18 Gall and vinegar offered Him

Ps. 69:21

Matt. 27:34

19 Made forsaken cry

Ps. 22:1

Matt. 27:46

20 Committed Himself to God

Ps. 31:5

Luke 23:46

21 Bones not broken

Ps. 34:20

John 19:33

22 Heart broken

Ps. 22:14

John 19:34

23 His side pierced

Zech. 12:10

John 19:34

24 Darkness over the land

Amos 8:9

Matt. 27:45

25 Buried in rich man's tomb

Isa. 53:9

Matt. 27:57-60

D Prophecies after Jesus' death



1 Resurrection

Ps. 16:10

Acts 2:31

2 Ascension

Ps. 68:18

Acts 1:9

Such a wealth of detailed foresight is virtually inconceivable unless inspired by an Author who knew the future.

TESTIMONY OF BIBLE'S POWER TO TRANSFORM CHARACTER: 1 Peter 1:23; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:11

The Scriptures claim an ability to transform character, and by common consent this is true. It has inspired most of the world's material and moral improvements and has enobled individuals and societies which have followed it.


There are many lines of evidence not only for the authority, but also for the infallibility, of the Scriptures. They make these claims for themselves in both Old and New Testaments, sometimes by statement, but more often by assumption. They have a remarkable unity, despite the variety of authors and the 1,500 years they span. They have endured despite continuous opposition. They show inerrant scientific insights, although written at a time when modern science was unknown. The existence of the Jewish people is a continuing testimony to the accuracy of their history as given in the Old Testament.

The capacity of the Scriptures to foretell the future has often been verified, notably about the fate of nations, and above all, about the Messiah. Finally, the Bible has demonstrated a unique ability to transform character and lives.

*This material is taken from Chapter 12 of The Case for Creationism by Dr. Colin Mitchell


11983, page 16. 2e.g. in Daniel 2:4-7:28c.32 Samuel 23:1, 2; Jeremiah 1:4-9; Ezekiel 2:7; Luke 1:70; 2 Timothy 3:16. 42 Peter 1:20, 21. 5Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18, 19. 6Psalm 119:152. 7Amos 3:7. 8Matthew 5:18. 9e.g. Matthew 24:15; Luke 16:31; 24:27. 10Matthew 19:4, 5. 11John 10:34, 35. 12Psalm 69:21. 13Luke 24:25-27. 14psalm 12:7; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; I Peter 1:23-25. 15 Jeremiah 33:22. 16Hebrews 11:12. 17Isaiah 40:22. 18 Job 26:7. 191saiah 40:22, Ecclesiastes 1:6, 7. 20 Job 38:6. 21Leviticus 3:17. 22Genesis 17:12; McMi!len 1970, pages 91, 92.23 Leviticus 26:33; Psalm 44:11; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 12:15. 24Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911, article on Egypt.