The following is adapted from Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s Guidelines for the Understanding of the Scriptures (Thru The Bible Radio Ministries).
The Bible is Both Human and Divine
The Bible is a most unique Book, providing the best explanation for God, mankind, and the world God created for man. The Bible has a dual authorship – God is the Author of the Bible, but in another sense man is the author of the Bible.
The Bible is a Human Book
The Bible consists of 66 individual books written by about forty authors over a period of approximately fifteen hundred years. Some of these men never even heard of the others, and there was no collusion among the forty. Two or three of them could have gotten together, but the others could not have known each other. And yet they have presented a Book that has the most marvelous continuity of any book that has ever been written.
Whence but from Heaven, could men unskilled in arts,
In several ages born, in several parts,
Weave such agreeing truths, or how, or why,
Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie?
Unasked their pains, ungrateful their advice,
Starving their gain, and martyrdom their price.
But though it is a human book, the Bible is without error. Each author expressed his own feelings in his own generation. Each had his limitations, and made his mistakes—poor old Moses made mistakes, but when he was writing the Pentateuch, somehow or other no mistakes got in there. You see, it is a human Book and yet it is a God-Book.
The Bible is a Divine Book
How do you know the Bible is the Word of God? This is a good question, and it should be asked and answered. In our initial studies on Guidelines for Bible Study, we will look at:
1. Preservation — One of the objective proofs, one of the external proofs, has been the marvelous preservation of the Bible.
2. Archaeology — Another way in which we can know the Bible is the Word of God is through archaeology. The spade of the archaeologist has turned up many things that have proven that it is the Word of God.
3. Fulfilled Prophecy — If I were asked today if I had just one thing to suggest that would be a conclusive proof that the Bible is the Word of God, do you know what I would suggest? I would suggest fulfilled prophecy. Fulfilled prophecy is the one proof that you can’t escape, you can’t get around. And the Bible is filled with fulfilled prophecy. One-fourth of the Scripture,when it was written, was prophetic; that is, it announced things that were to take place in the future. A great deal of that—in fact, a great deal more than people imagine—has already been fulfilled. We could turn to many places where prophecy has been fulfilled exactly.
4. Transformed Lives — I offer two final reasons as proof that the Bible is the Word of God. One is the transformed lives of believers today. I have seen what the Word of God can do in the lives of men and women.
5. Spirit of God Made it Real — I have reached the place today where I not only believe that the Bible is the Word of God, I know it’s the Word of God. And I know it’s the Word of God because the Spirit of God has made it real to my own heart and my own life. That is the thing that Paul talked to the Colossians about. He prayed that they “might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” I also want this, because I found out that the Spirit of God can confirm these things to your heart and that you don’t need archaeology or anything else to prove that the Bible is God’s Word.
So the Bible is both divine and human. In a way it is like my Lord who walked down here and grew weary and sat down at a well. Although He was God, He was man. He talked with people down here and communicated with them. This is a Book that communicates. It speaks to mankind today. The Bible is for men as they are.