The hungry, curious and critical mind needs solid evidence to draw valid and sound conclusions. In a world with so many different religions, drawing a conclusion that the Bible is Divine can be done with careful thought and consideration. The critics and objectors often reject this conclusion, but we want to carefully listen to their criticism and consider the objections. The Bible is true and shines against the unrelenting criticism. Watching the Bible stand against criticism can strengthen one's faith.
For some the Bible dies on the death bed of a thousand qualifications. If one thousand qualifications were met, some critics would want one thousand and one qualifications met. In the study of logic there is a fallacy (a false belief) known as “death by a thousand qualifications.” This is observed “when a term is used to define something but then there are so many qualifications to the definition as to render the original term meaningless.” For some the Bible is rejected because so many criticisms are hurled at it and people don’t honestly consider answers to the criticism. When the criticism is answered, the answer is often thought not good enough.
The Bible states that there are those who are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). This text shows the knowledge-heart-will connection in the Bible. For some people the evidence for the Bible will never be sufficient. Why? For them the Bible dies on a death of a thousand qualifications. For these, if multiple witnesses confirm the same account they might want one more witness.
This insatiable skeptical attitude was apparent when Jesus was crucified.
39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.’” (emphasis mine, Matthew 27:39-42).
For these individuals to be satisfied with Jesus being the Son of God he should have subjected himself to their notion that he come down from the cross. For them the countless healings, miracles, virtuous teachings, making and fulfilling multiples prophecies was not enough. In their estimation and judgment Jesus should have done precisely what they expected. To do less, in their minds, was evident that Jesus was not the Son of God.
Do you see the problem? The problem was not evidence or the lack of available information and subsequently being informed. Rather the problem was heart disease and a human will that derided an innocent God dying precisely for them. God help them in their unbelief!
The availability of evidence or the amount of evidence or the multiple lines of evidence or all the various categories of evidence contained in the Bible will not necessarily make a person care about the gospel. The heart must listen and care about what it hears (Rom. 10:17).
So, what Biblical evidence would convince you that God’s word is literally breathed out by God and profitable for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16)? Some will never concede to this conclusion. Others, like Thomas set the bar high. Thomas would never believe unless he placed his finger into the mark of the nails and into Jesus’s side (John 20:25). Jesus consented and urged him “Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas responded “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus replied “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
The words of the Bible are written so that all will believe (John 20:31). Some will never believe because God to them must meet seemingly a thousand qualifications (cf. Acts 28:28). Some when confronted with Divine evidence will be like Abraham who was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:19). Some will have the boldness of Peter who confidently affirmed to the Gentiles that Jesus’s life of miracles and good works showed that God was with him (Acts 10:38). Some will be like Nicodemus who recognized that no one could do miraculous signs unless God was with him (John 3:1-2ff). Some will understand that to deny a Divine inference (conclusion) is most unreasonable (John 9:31-32).
One can be a thoughtful, curious, inquisitive, and hungry student of the Bible. One can weigh the evidence and arrive at Divine conclusion for the Bible. It is a book beyond mere human invention for so many reasons. May we be like the Jews who marveled at Christ’s words and be sincere enough to thank God for having revealed himself to us through his word (John 7:15-18).