MORE ABOUT THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE
by Wayne S. Walker
In our last article of this series, we began looking at the unity of the Bible. We noted that there is a unity of purpose and of theme. In addition, there is a unity of doctrine. Ferrell Jenkins wrote, "The conflict of doctrines in religious thought is well known. Even professing Christians hold to conflicting doctrines, which they claim, in most cases, to have derived from the Bible. How is it that the writers of the Bible in different centuries and with different educational attainments and different environments, have presented us with a book so consistent in doctrine?" (The Theme of the Bible; Cogdill Foundation; p. 2). When one writer affirms that God is Creator, no other writer denies it (Genesis 1.27, Hebrews 11.3). When one wrote of human responsibility before God, no one later challenged it (Genesis 2.15-17, John 14.15). Man is always presented as fallen and in need of redemption with no variation (Genesis 3.22-24, Romans 3.23).
Then there is a unity of facts which the Bible records and facts which can be ascertained from other sources. For example, because Jerusalem sits on fairly high mountains, the Bible always speaks of going down from and up to Jerusalem, regardless of the direction from which one might come (Acts 8.5, 12.5). At one time the Hittites mentioned in the Bible were thought to be non-existent figments of someone’s imagination, but we now know that they were one of the most far-flung of ancient empires as a result of the archaeological work of Hugo Winkler in 1906 and 1907 in the nation of Turkey (Genesis 15.18-20). Before A.D. 1543 most men believed that the earth rested on or was suspended from something, but the Bible said, probably 3,500 years before, that the earth hangs on nothing (Job 26.7).
Finally, there is a unity of thought that ties the various portions of the Bible together. Different authors, living centuries and miles apart, use the same kind of language, though there are no signs of collusion. The Bible begins with the creation of the heavens and earth and concludes with a new heavens and new earth (Genesis 1.1, Revelation 21.1). It opens with man having access to the tree of life in Eden and closes with the redeemed having access to the tree of life in heaven (Genesis 2.8-9, Revelation 22.1-2). It starts with man’s sentence of death and ends with there being no more death (Genesis 4.8, Revelation 21.4).
W. H. Griffith Thomas wrote, "All this inevitably compels the question as to how a unity of this kind is possible, and there is only one answer. Some years ago while a tunnel was being constructed in London, five shafts were sunk, and ten sets of men worked toward each other from opposite directions. Ultimately the sets met in the middle of the tunnel at the depth of one hundred feet. They were working practically in the dark, but they fitted so well together when the tunnels met each other that everyone could see there was a mastermind who had planned the whole thing. And so the various writers of the Old and New Testaments were working separately, as it were, in a tunnel in the dark, and that apostle Peter tells us they did not know exactly the meaning of their own words (1 Peter 1.11). But by and by they went, and now that we have the Bible complete, the writers are seen to have worked together and to have dovetailed into one another, thus showing the presence and power of a mastermind, which is none other than the Holy Spirit of God" (How We God Our Bible; Moody Press; p. 72).
In our next article, we shall begin looking at the evidence for the inspiration of the Bible from fulfilled prophecy. First, we shall look at the nature of prophecy. Then, we shall examine prophecies concerning Israel, concerning the nations, and concerning Christ. It is the author’s hompe that you will find these articles interesting, informative, and useful. (—Taken from With All Boldness; January, 1995; Vol. 5, No. 1; p. 6)