Some find it difficult to imagine a book written by forty authors, spanning 1,500 years, in three languages and in a variety of locales being seamless in its construction. Nevertheless, it resides in most of our homes. It is the Bible, the inspired word of God and it is something beyond the abilities of man. Lewis Chafer has written, “The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” /1
The Apostle Paul writes, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV).
Inspiration means, “God-breathed.” Although written down by fallible humans, the Bible comes from the mouth of the infallible God. The presence of God runs through Scripture like a golden thread tying everything together in perfect unity.
The Bible stands as the greatest story ever told. As John Milton eloquently said, it is a story of paradise lost and paradise regained. The Old Testament announces the future arrival of Jesus. The Gospels proclaim Jesus’ presence on earth. The remainder of the New Testament heralds the return of Jesus to receive his disciples and exact judgment on the rest of mankind (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
The golden thread interwoven within Scripture is evident throughout its pages. Faith allows us to see the Bible as true and to give Scripture the benefit of the doubt. The Bible should be judged on its own merits and not through the foggy glasses of skepticism.
Bernard Ramm wrote, “A thousand times over, the death knell of Scripture has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.” /2 As Stanley Crouch writes of jazz music, people have likewise sounded a “premature autopsy” on the Word of God. /3 The calls for the end of the Bible’s influence have faded into history as effortlessly as early morning dew.
We perceive the thread, for example, through the family of Christ. We see the plan to bring Jesus through the lineage of David threading through the entire Old Testament. Matthew opens his gospel with the culmination of this heavenly plan.
The tenets of the church today frequently reach back into the Law of Moses. The Lord’s Supper builds on the Passover. The plan of salvation looks back to the sacrificial system of the Levitical priesthood. The ark mirrors the New Testament church in its authority, singularity of focus, purity and final goal of salvation. The wanderings in the wilderness mirror the path from sin to the final gates of the promised land of heaven (Exodus). The sacred nature of worship reflects back on Nadad and Abihu’s cheapening of worship (Leviticus 10:1-3). The missionary zeal of the gospel call remembers the stubborn refusal of Jonah and the vigorous acceptance of Isaiah (Jonah 1:1-3; Isaiah 6:8).
The thread is interwoven with the miraculous hand of providence. God’s plan works through men to accomplish his goals and purposes. The book of Hebrews is a tapestry of providence in that God shows how the Law of Moses was instituted to give way to a “better covenant” built on “better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).
Fairy tales have frequently portrayed a golden road as leading to treasure and bliss. Childish fantasies become reality as the golden thread of Scripture leads to life everlasting within the bejeweled walls of heaven (Revelation 21). Grasp the golden thread and make the journey today.
1/ Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999, 13.
2/ Ibid, 11.
How is Inspiration Manifested in Scripture?