The Bible—Written by Men but Still God’s Message
1. From a human standpoint, what kind of men were the Bible writers?
THE Bible was written by about forty men during a period spanning some sixteen centuries. These men were imperfect, subject to weaknesses and error. As humans, they did not differ from other people. One of them, Paul, told men who were wrongly viewing him and his missionary companion Barnabas as gods: “We also are humans having the same infirmities as you do.” (Acts 14:15) From a human standpoint, many of the Bible writers were not men of exceptional learning and abilities. Among them were very ordinary men, men pursuing such occupations as herdsman and fisherman.
2. How was it possible for imperfect men to produce a record that is in reality God’s “word”?
2 How, then, was it possible for these imperfect men to produce a record that is actually God’s message? They did not write of their own impulse, but were inspired by God. “All Scripture is inspired of God,” said the apostle Paul regarding the portion of the Sacred Scriptures available in his time.—2 Tim. 3:16.
3, 4. Why are doubts about the inspiration of the Bible potentially dangerous?
3 You may accept the Bible as being God’s inspired Word. But how strong is your acceptance? Would it hold up under test? The prophet Jeremiah said: “The word of Jehovah became for me a cause for reproach and for jeering all day long.” (Jer. 20:8) Would you be willing to suffer verbal abuse, physical mistreatment and even death for it? Under the pressure of suffering and opposition, even slight doubts about the inspiration of God’s Word can give rise to greater doubts, undermining faith and weakening a person’s resistance to temptation. (Jas. 1:6) However, if you are truly convinced that the Bible is God’s Word and that living by it is the only right thing to do, you will be in a far better position to withstand pressure and to resist following a course of expediency.
4 The person who reasons that the Bible may—in part at least—be simply the product of human thinking may try to justify his disregard for what it says in an attempt to escape trouble. Yet in doing so, he may actually be sacrificing the prospect of eternal life. Said Jesus Christ: “Whoever seeks to keep his soul safe for himself will lose it, but whoever loses it will preserve it alive.” (Luke 17:33) It is, therefore, of far more than passing interest to consider how the Bible, a book written by men, is truly God’s Word. Our very life is involved.
HOW THE BIBLE WRITERS RECEIVED THEIR INFORMATION
5. What part did direct dictation play in producing the Bible record?
5 Among the “many ways” used to convey God’s message to men on earth was direct dictation. (Heb. 1:1, 2) The dictated parts of the Bible include the Ten Commandments (also supplied in written form on two tablets of stone) and all the other laws and regulations in God’s covenant with the Israelites. Jehovah God transmitted this Law covenant through angels. (Acts 7:53) Thereafter Moses was instructed: “Write down for yourself these words.” (Ex. 34:27) Prophets besides Moses also received specific messages and these were later committed to writing. (For examples, see 2 Samuel 7:5-16; Isaiah 7:3-9 and Jeremiah 7:1-34.) These specific messages were usually spoken by God’s representative angel.—Gen. 31:11-13.
6. Describe the nature of dreams, visions and trances, and their part in conveying God’s message to men.
6 Jehovah God at times made use of dreams, visions and trances to communicate his message to humans. (Num. 12:6; 1 Sam. 3:4-14; 2 Sam. 7:17; Dan. 9:20-27) In the case of dreams, or “night visions,” the sleeping person had a moving picture that conveyed God’s message or purpose superimposed on his mind. Others who saw visions were fully awake and had information pictorially impressed upon the conscious mind. (Matt. 17:2-9; Luke 9:32) Some visions were received after a person had fallen into a trance. Though conscious, he was so absorbed by the vision that he remained oblivious to everything else around him. (Acts 10:10-16; 11:5-10) Afterward, the Bible writers who received information by such means as dreams, visions or trances had to select words and expressions to describe in meaningful terms what they had seen.—Hab. 2:2; Rev. 1:1, 11.
7. How did the Bible writers get the information for the historical sections?
7 A considerable portion of the Bible narrates history—the experiences of individuals, families, tribes and nations. How did the Bible writers get this information? At times they witnessed the very happenings they recorded. But often they had to draw on other sources, consulting already-existing historical accounts, genealogies or even people who were in position to supply reliable information, firsthand or otherwise. This called for extensive and careful research on the writer’s part. Ezra, a priest and skilled copyist, used some twenty documentary sources to compile the two books of Chronicles. The physician Luke, writing about his Gospel, remarked: “I have traced all things from the start with accuracy, to write them in logical order.” (Luke 1:3) Historical material (as contained in Genesis and the book of Job) about man’s beginning and earlier events, conversations in the invisible heavens and the like, were revealed by God either to the writers or, initially, to others. If made known to persons other than the writers, it must have been transmitted verbally or in written form until such time as it became part of the Bible record.
8. What was the source for many of the wise sayings and much of the counsel found in the Bible?
8 Besides history, the Bible contains an abundance of wise sayings and counsel. The writers drew on their own and others’ experience, doing so against a background of study and application of the Scriptures available to them. Time and again we read in the Bible statements illustrating this. Regarding what he had seen as to God’s care for his servants, the psalmist David declared: “I have been young, and now I am old; but I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging their bread.” (Ps. 37:25, An American Translation) The wise writer of Ecclesiastes, David’s son Solomon, concluded from what he observed: “With a man there is nothing better than that he should eat and indeed drink and cause his soul to see good because of his hard work. This too I have seen, even I, that this is from the hand of the true God.” (Eccl. 2:24) The arranging of material based on human experience required the writer to put forth diligent effort. This is evident from Ecclesiastes 12:9, 10, where we read: “The congregator had become wise, he also taught the people knowledge continually, and he pondered and made a thorough search, that he might arrange many proverbs in order. The congregator sought to find the delightful words and the writing of correct words of truth.”
THE ROLE OF GOD’S SPIRIT
9. Does the fact that much human effort was involved in Bible writing mean that the Sacred Scriptures are God’s message in a limited way only?
9 Since so much human effort was involved in Bible writing, does this mean that the Bible is God’s Word only in a limited way? Are only the divinely dictated sections God’s message? No, for all, not just some parts of the Bible, are inspired by God. This is so because Jehovah God, by means of his active force or spirit, guided the Bible writers. Acknowledging this, the psalmist David declared: “The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue.”—2 Sam. 23:2.
10. Illustrate just what is meant by the expression ‘word of God’ as it relates to Biblical material.
10 The “word” of God upon David’s tongue was, not a single “word,” but a composite message. This is clear from the way the Bible uses the term “word.” For instance, one of the prophet Elisha’s attendants said to Israelite army chief Jehu: “There is a word I have for you, O chief.” (2 Ki. 9:5) That “word” proved to be God’s message. It designated Jehu as God’s choice for the kingship over the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel and commissioned him to execute judgment against the royal house of Ahab. (2 Ki. 9:6-10) Similarly, with obvious reference to a message and not a single “word,” we read at Jeremiah 23:29: “‘Is not my word correspondingly like a fire,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and like a forge hammer that smashes the crag?’” No single “word” can have such a devastating effect, but a forceful message when enforced can. How did God use his spirit to put such powerful messages into the minds of the Bible writers and ensure that they continued to be His “word”?
11. How is it that Bible prophecy does not ‘spring from any private interpretation’?
11 Regarding the part that God’s spirit played in connection with prophecy, the Bible tells us: “No prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:20, 21) This means that Bible prophecy was not the result of the writer’s own analysis and interpretation of current human events and trends and what he thought these would lead to. Rather, the writer had his mind stimulated by God’s spirit and was moved to express the inspired message, generally in his own words. So the words were those of the writer, but the message was that of Jehovah God.
12. What part did God’s spirit play in guiding the recording of past events.?
12 But was not the material that became part of the Bible often written years after the events described had occurred? Yes, this is true, for example, of the accounts about Jesus’ earthly ministry. Nevertheless, God’s spirit was responsible for producing an accurate record. This is evident from Jesus’ words to his disciples: “The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.” (John 14:26) So, then, God’s spirit was responsible for accurate recall of the information that was included in the Bible record.
13. What evidence is there that God’s spirit guided the selection of material that was included in the Bible?
13 By means of his spirit, Jehovah God also saw to it that what was recorded suited his purpose, providing essential instruction for those desiring to be and to remain his approved servants. He guided the selection of material to be included. That is why the apostle Paul could say: “All the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4) And with specific reference to the experiences of the Israelites in the time of Moses, he remarked: “These things went on befalling them as examples [“types,” Authorized Version, margin], and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends of the [Jewish] systems of things have arrived.”—1 Cor. 10:11.
14. Did Jehovah God “stage” events involving the wrongdoing of the Israelites so that these things could be recorded for a warning to Christians? Explain.
14 We are not to conclude from this that God was in every case acting as a great “Dramatist,” deliberately staging events that would provide examples from which his servants in later times could draw lessons of warning and encouragement. No, but as in the events the apostle referred to, the Israelites reacted to the circumstances according to their own choice and desires when they fell victim to murmuring, idolatry and fornication. God did not move them to do so. (1 Cor. 10:1-10) Since the Israelites were God’s covenant people, the fact that they yielded to temptation adds force to the warning the apostle thereafter gives: “Let him that thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall.”—1 Cor. 10:12.
15. How does the letter of Jude show that God’s spirit guided the selection of material?
15 So, rather than cause many of these events to happen, Jehovah God simply let many situations develop according to their natural course and then caused the writers to record what God knew would be of value in the future. That the selection of material for the Bible record was indeed guided by God’s spirit is well illustrated in the case of the disciple Jude’s letter. Jude originally intended to write about the salvation that spirit-anointed Christians hold in common. However, under the influence of God’s spirit, he discerned that fellow believers needed something else in order to cope with the situation they were then facing. Explaining the reason for departing from his original intention, he wrote: “Beloved ones, though I was making every effort to write you about the salvation we hold in common, I found it necessary to write you to exhort you to put up a hard fight for the faith that was once for all time delivered to the holy ones. My reason is that certain men have slipped in who have long ago been appointed by the Scriptures to this judgment, ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3, 4) What Jude thereafter set forth under the direction of God’s spirit was just what fellow believers needed in order to resist corrupting influences.
16. Did the Bible writers at times take the initiative in setting forth material? Explain.
16 Does the fact that God’s spirit guided the selection of material for the Bible account mean that those involved in writing took no personal initiative as regards the subject matter of their writing? No, often they did have goals in mind and wrote accordingly. They answered certain questions or tried to clarify points that had given rise to misunderstandings. An example of this is the apostle Paul’s second letter to the congregation at Thessalonica. Some in that congregation had wrongly concluded that the presence of Jesus Christ in kingly power was at hand. Then, too, there were those who had not taken to heart his previous counsel about ‘working hard and walking decently as regards people outside the congregation.’ Paul’s second letter came to grips with this and revealed the proper Christian view on these points. (1 Thess. 4:10-12; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; 3:10-15) Since Bible writers like Paul were responsive to the leading of God’s spirit, what they wrote was in full harmony with God’s purpose and therefore dependable.
HUMAN OPINIONS—WITH OR WITHOUT DIVINE BACKING?
17, 18. How should we understand the apostle Paul’s statements about ‘giving his own opinion’?
17 But what of those times when Bible writers seemingly expressed their own opinion? Take, for instance, the following statements of the apostle Paul: “To the others I say, yes, I, not the Lord . . .” “Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion.” “She [a widow] is happier if she remains as she is [that is, unmarried], according to my opinion. I certainly think I also have God’s spirit.” (1 Cor. 7:12, 25, 40) Just what did Paul mean by these statements?
18 The apostle could not quote a direct teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ on the points under discussion and therefore expressed his “opinion.” However, he wrote under the direction of God’s spirit and so his opinion had divine guidance and expressed God’s own view. This is confirmed by the fact that the apostle Peter grouped Paul’s letters along with the rest of the Scriptures in saying: “Consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote you, speaking about these things as he does also in all his letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”—2 Pet. 3:15, 16.
19. In what respects is the Bible God’s message?
19 So it can be seen that the Bible as a whole is God’s “word” or message in that everything was recorded under the direction of his spirit, to serve his purpose and present matters factually. Whenever the Bible quotes the statements of men or relates what they did under certain circumstances, the Bible context makes it clear whether their course should be imitated or avoided, their reasoning be accepted or rejected.
20. Explain how a person may use the Bible in such a way as to attribute the views of imperfect men to God.
20 Take the book of Job as an example. Extensive sections of that book deal with wrong views expressed by Job’s three companions and at times even by Job himself. Such wrong conclusions and misapplication of facts clearly were not inspired of God. By way of illustration, Job’s companion Eliphaz wrongly charged God: “In his holy ones he has no faith, and the heavens themselves are actually not clean in his eyes.” (Job 15:15) Jehovah God later reproved Eliphaz and his companions for their misrepresentations. Eliphaz was told: “My anger has grown hot against you and your two companions, for you men have not spoken concerning me what is truthful as has my servant Job.” (Job 42:7) While Eliphaz and his companions obviously were not inspired of God, the writer of the book of Job was guided by God’s spirit in making an accurate record of their statements. This record serves to identify and expose wrong reasoning about God’s permission of wickedness. Therefore, as a whole it is God’s inspired word or message. Nevertheless, this shows that we must exercise care when quoting certain portions from the Bible. If taken out of their proper setting, out of context, something that is in reality the view of imperfect men can be wrongly attributed to God.
GOD’S WISDOM REVEALED IN USING MEN TO RECORD HIS WORD
21. Had Jehovah God used angels to write the entire Bible, would it really have been more valuable to us as imperfect humans?
21 God’s use of men to record his “word” is an evidence of his great wisdom in supplying just what we imperfect humans need. He could have used angels. But would his “word” have had the same appeal? True, angels could have described in writing God’s marvelous qualities and his grand dealings. They could have conveyed the depth of their own devotion to him and their appreciation for his boundless gifts. But would it not have been hard for us as imperfect humans to associate ourselves with a record that set forth the expressions of perfect spirit creatures whose experience and knowledge are far superior to ours? Life in their realm could not have been portrayed as we know life—its joys along with its fears, disappointments and sorrow. Hence, through his use of men, Jehovah God saw to it that his “word” had the warmth, variety and appeal that only the human touch could give it.
22. If the human element were completely missing from the Bible, what problems in understanding it might we have?
22 If the human element were completely lacking from the Bible, we might also have great difficulty in grasping its message. It might be hard to see how we, as imperfect humans, could possibly gain an approved standing with the Creator. For example, if the record merely told us that ‘God is merciful,’ this would not be enough in order for us to understand just what this means. We humans need to have such matters expressed to us in ways that we can grasp. Being written by men, the Bible provides concrete illustrations from real life, presenting them from the human perspective. It tells us of humans who, although knowing God’s law, succumbed to weaknesses and became guilty of serious transgressions, the accounts at times giving us persons’ own words as to how they felt and reacted. At the same time we learn to what extent they were shown mercy.
23, 24. Relate what happened to David in connection with Bath-sheba, and show what we learn from this about Jehovah God.
23 Take the case of King David. He had proved himself to be a man of outstanding faith. But, then, circumstances led to his becoming a victim of wrong desire. David came to feel an attraction for the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a man who loyally supported David’s kingship. He allowed his desire to grow and actually brought Uriah’s wife, Bath-sheba, into his palace. Though he may not have had in mind actually engaging in sex relations, his passions were aroused to the point where he did commit adultery. Learning that Bathsheba had become pregnant as a result, he hurriedly sought to conceal the matter by trying to get Uriah to go home and have relations with his wife. This failing, David became desperate. Only one way seemed open to prevent Bath-sheba’s being exposed as an adulteress with him and that was to get her husband out of the way and then to take her as his own wife. So David arranged to have Uriah put in such a position that he would be almost certain to die in battle. Uriah was slain, and David then took widowed Bath-sheba as his wife.—2 Sam. 11:2-27.
24 When the prophet Nathan exposed to him his grave wrong, David was cut to the heart and expressed the deepest of sorrow for his sin. He exclaimed: “I have sinned against Jehovah.” (2 Sam. 12:13) Seeing David’s heartfelt repentance, Jehovah accepted it and, though punishing him, did not cast him off as his servant. It was no exaggeration, therefore, when David stated in one of his psalms: “You, O Jehovah, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and trueness.”—Ps. 86:15.
25. What do we learn about Jehovah’s mercy from his dealings with the Israelites in the time of Jeremiah?
25 On the other hand, the Bible tells of the unfaithful inhabitants of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah. The people as a whole turned a deaf ear to repeated urgings to repent. They defiantly persisted in a practice of lawlessness. So Jehovah God cut off his mercy, withdrawing his protection from them and allowing them to experience a terrible calamity at the hands of the Babylonians. He refused to listen even though they desperately cried for help. Why? Because they remained unrepentant. Regarding this, the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “You have blocked approach with anger, and you keep pursuing us. You have killed; you have shown no compassion. You have blocked approach to yourself with a cloud mass, that prayer may not pass through.”—Lam. 3:43, 44.
26. How do examples from real life help us to know Jehovah?
26 Against the background of such illustrations from real life, we cannot help but get a balanced picture of the kind of God Jehovah is and how he will deal with us. Regardless of how serious a transgression imperfect humans may commit, they can gain God’s forgiveness if they are truly repentant. But if they unrepentantly continue violating his righteous commands, they will not escape his adverse judgment. Since the Bible reveals the wide scope of God’s personality in terms with which we imperfect humans can be appealed to, we can really get to know him as a person.
27. How can the way in which the Bible is written serve to test hearts?
27 The way in which the Bible is written has served to reveal what is in people’s hearts. (Heb. 4:12) Those who want to find what seem to be flaws and contradictions in the Bible can find them. One reason for this is that the Bible does not spell out all the details. Often it relates people’s reasonings, words and actions without expressing any direct approval or disapproval. That is why some persons, on reading a certain account, question whether God was really just and fair in what he did. Then they use this as an excuse for not making the changes in their way of life that the Bible recommends. This works in harmony with God’s purpose to have as his approved servants only those who really love him and appreciate him for what he is.—Deut. 30:11-20; 1 John 4:8-10; 5:2, 3.
28. What viewpoint of seeming contradictions will persons who appreciate the value of the Bible have? Illustrate.
28 However, the person who has given serious consideration to the Bible and has actually experienced what a wonderful guide for living it is does not seize upon what appear to be contradictions in an effort to discredit it as God’s message to man. He does not blind himself to seeming problems. Not at all. He realizes that the Bible is one harmonious whole, and so exercises care that he does not ignore the context in which the Bible as a whole presents a particular event or situation. By way of illustration, say you had a very good friend whom you knew to be a good father, a man who really cared about the welfare of his children. If you heard that he severely punished his son, would you immediately conclude that he was totally unjustified and unreasonable in this? Of course not; because of your knowing him, you would reason that he must have had valid grounds for handling the situation as he did. Similarly, the Bible provides enough information about the personality, ways and dealings of Jehovah to enable us to know the kind of God he is. Therefore, even when the details are not spelled out in any given situation, why should anyone become upset, thinking that God is unloving, unmerciful or unjust? To do so would be to deny the abundant evidence in the Bible as a whole that he is a loving, merciful and just God.—Ex. 34:6, 7; Isa. 63:7-9.
29. Why should we not be surprised to find some seeming contradictions in the Bible?
29 There is yet another reason why we should expect the Bible to contain minor differences, seeming contradictions, when discussing similar material. Take the accounts about Jesus’ earthly ministry. They were written by four men. Of the three whose occupational background we know, one was an educated physician, another a tax collector and the third a fisherman. Since Jehovah God did not dictate just what these men should write but simply guided them by means of his spirit to ensure the accuracy of what they recorded, there would naturally be variations. Each writer could have included far more information than he did. One of them, the apostle John, even said: “To be sure, Jesus performed many other signs also before the disciples, which are not written down in this scroll.” (John 20:30) So the Gospel accounts are very condensed, with certain details found in one being left out in another. Rather than contradict one another, the accounts complement one another, aiding us to get a more complete picture. At the same time the variations provide a further proof that the Bible is dependable. How so? In that they demonstrate that there was no collusion among the writers, no plotting together to put forth a false story.
30. In connection with the Bible, why is there no reason to quibble over minor differences?
30 So there actually is no reason for people to get entangled in quibbling over minor matters. Regardless of how scholarly and well-educated they may be, they are really in no position to pass judgment on matters they did not personally witness. And even if they had been right there on the scene, they, too, would present accounts emphasizing somewhat different aspects of what they saw and heard. Really, an honest appraisal of the Gospel accounts makes it clear that these are four separate testimonies that are harmonious in establishing the one vital truth: Jesus Christ is the Son of God.—John 20:31.
HAS GOD’S MESSAGE BEEN RELIABLY TRANSMITTED?
31. What question presents itself in view of the fact that original Bible manuscripts are not in existence?
31 God’s message as contained in the four Gospels and in the rest of the Bible has not been preserved in original manuscript form. The original manuscripts perished long ago, through either use or the deteriorating effects of weather. How, then, can we be sure that God’s message has not been distorted after many centuries of copying and recopying?
32. What does the Bible itself say about the enduring quality of God’s message, and what did this require as to its preservation?
32 The Bible itself calls attention to the enduring quality of God’s “word.” At Isaiah 40:8 we read: “The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered; but as for the word of our God, it will last to time indefinite.” For these words to be true in future generations, it would be necessary for God’s “word” to remain free from distortion. Were it to become unreliable due to an abundance of human errors in copying, it would cease to be God’s message. But is there any evidence that God’s “word” has endured in reliable form? Most assuredly!
33. How did Bible copyists generally go about doing their work?
33 Those copying the Sacred Scriptures exercised great care. In their work, many Hebrew Scripture scribes counted not only the words but also the letters copied. Whenever the slightest error was found—the miswriting of a single letter—the entire section might be cut out and replaced by a new, faultless one. It became a practice for the scribes to read each word aloud before writing it. To write even one word from memory was considered by many to be a gross sin. The Christian Scripture copyists, though often not professionals, likewise did careful work. As a result remarkably few errors were made, and even those that were made do not materially affect the message.
34. What do comparative studies of ancient manuscripts indicate about the dependability of the Bible text as we have it today?
34 Comparative studies of thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts, including some that are about 2,000 years old, reveal that the text must have been accurately transmitted. Of the text of the Hebrew Scriptures, scholar W. H. Green noted: “It may be safely said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted.” The well-known scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon, in the introduction to his seven volumes on the “Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri,” stated:
“The first and most important conclusion derived from the examination of them [the Papyri] is the satisfactory one that they confirm the essential soundness of the existing texts. No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines. The variations of text affect minor matters, such as the order of words or the precise words used . . . But their essential importance is their confirmation, by evidence of an earlier date than was hitherto available, of the integrity of our existing texts.”
Similarly, in his book The Bible and Archaeology, he observed:
“The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”
35. What effect can the Bible have on us today?
35 Truly, God’s message, as written by men under the guidance of his spirit, has endured in reliable form to the present day. The dependable preservation has not been without purpose. The message itself can have a profound effect for good on those who accept it as coming from God. Even today the words addressed to Christians at Thessalonica can be applied to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the earth: “When you received God’s word [or message], which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thess. 2:13) Like the Thessalonians, many today have been willing to suffer for their faithful adherence to the Sacred Scriptures, convinced that these are indeed God’s inspired “word.” (1 Thess. 2:14-16) Are you likewise convinced? Is that “word” or message at work in you? Are you benefiting from it in your daily life?
[Picture on page 142, 143]
God gave the Ten Commandments in written form
Angels spoke God’s word to men
While wide awake, prophets received visions from God
Divine messages were given by means of dreams
God’s spirit guided the selection of facts from previous records