How can we be sure that the Bible is inspired by God? One reason we can be sure that the Bible is divinely inspired is that it has been miraculously protected against destruction.
This post is part of a series on the Bible
♦ 2 Reasons To Believe The Bible: Its Harmony and Accurate History
♦ Another Reason to Believe the Bible: Its Accurate Science
♦ A Further Reason to Trust the Bible: Its Accurate Translation
♦ Evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Fulfilled Prophecy
♦ More evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Its Miraculous Protection – This post
♦ Why the Bible is worth reading today: Its Relevance and Supernatural Impact
♦ What is in the Bible and Why?
♦ The Books Not in the Bible : The Apocrypha and Gnostic writings
God created a beautiful world. He gave instructions to the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.
From the very beginning, the devil tried to destroy their trust in what God had said, and undermine the authority of the words of God.
Genesis 3:1 records what the devil said to Eve, when she at first held back from eating the forbidden fruit. “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
Everything was spoiled when Satan attacked the truth of God’s words and encouraged Eve and Adam to become doubtful and rebellious.
Knowing that from start to finish the Bible speaks of his downfall and the victorious Saviour, it is no wonder that Satan has continually tried to destroy the Scriptures. The fact that we still have the Bible today shows that God has been protecting it from destruction.
Old Testament opposition
The account of Jeremiah’s prophecy illustrates this. (Jeremiah 36)
Jeremiah was persistent
Jehoiakim, the king who ruled at the time of Jeremiah, worshipped idols and encouraged the people to turn from God and do wrong.
Jeremiah prophesied, warning the king and the people about the consequences of their wrongdoing.
Baruch, his scribe, wrote down the words of the Lord, as they came through Jeremiah.
Then Jeremiah sent Baruch to read aloud the prophecy at the Temple, where the people were gathered.
Jeremiah hoped that they and the king would repent, because God had promised to forgive them if they did. Unless they repented of their disobedience, God’s judgement would fall on the king and the nation.
The spoken message was rejected
When some administrative officials heard about this they were alarmed at the thought of telling the king. The king was shown the scroll, and asked for it to be read to him. He rejected what he was hearing.
As each portion was read, revealing his sin and that of the people, he was so rebellious against God, that he took a knife and cut that part off the scroll, flinging it into the fire. He continued, listening, rejecting and burning, until bit by bite the whole scroll was destroyed.
The message was written again
God reminded Jeremiah and Baruch of all the words that had been on that scroll and Jeremiah dictated them to Baruch again. This time, God emphasised his message all the more, and added further harsher judgements, because of Jehoikim’s rebellion against the Lord.
Two officials and the king’s son supported Jeremiah. They hid the scroll for as long as they could. And when the king eventually called for it, they bravely tried to persuade him not to burn the Word of God.
They were part of the long line of people who did their bit to preserve the Scriptures, so that we have a complete Bible in our hands today. Archaeology and history support this Bible record. This account has been validated in detail by archaeological finds.
All that God predicted in the scrolls that the king had burned stilled happened. The nation was attacked by the Babylonians and Jehoikim came to a violent death and a disgraceful burial (Jer 22:19). Today we still have all the prophecies of Jeremiah in the Bible.
Early Bible translators attacked
Satan failed in his attempt to eradicate the Word of God. But it didn’t stop him trying to destroy the translators.
At first, the only Bibles in Britain were Latin ones. The ordinary people could not speak or read Latin. This suited the bishops and the king, because they did not want anyone to contradict the false things they were teaching. So when the first English translations were copied by hand in the 1300’s they were banned.
Then the printing machine was invented by Johann Gutenberg in the 1400s. This meant that copies of the Bible could be produced much more quickly than hand-written ones.
Printing could be done so quickly because Gutenberg had invented a way of using pre-made moveable type. Gutenberg wanted the first book that he printed on his press to be what he considered the most important book in the world. So he chose the Bible.
By the 1500s an English translation was being worked on by William Tyndale. His life was one of adventure, risk and self sacrifice.
He was persecuted, tortured and killed – all because he was translating the Bible into a language the people of his day could understand.
There is a PowerPoint with notes to accompany this post. You can read much more about the life and work of Tyndale, and of the massive influence he had on the English language, and especially on the work of the translators who followed him.
Bibles miraculously protected in our generation
Now, here are three true stories about how God has protected Bibles from destruction.
Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom lived in the Netherlands at a time when Nazi German forces were in control during the second world war. This Dutch Christian and her family had saved many Jews from the Nazis in Holland.
When Corrie and her sister were captured and sent to a concentration camp, God enabled them to take a Bible in a small pouch that could be secretly hung round her neck.
At the camp at Ravensbruck they were ordered to change into prison uniform. Every other woman entering the barracks was searched, but not Corrie. During the hours that the prisoners were in the barracks, Corrie and Betsie’s little Bible became the centre of their lives and the means of blessing to many of other women. [More information is in the book The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom]
Corrie always emphasised the need for forgiveness. In her book Tramp for the Lord (1974), she tells how, after she had been teaching in Germany just two years after the end of the war, she was approached by one of the cruellest former Ravensbrück camp guards. She was reluctant to forgive him, but prayed that she would be able to do this. She wrote,
For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.
Brother Andrew – also known as “God’s Smuggler”
When Communist leaders were intent on wiping out every sign of God and Christianity, a missionary who became known as Brother Andrew bravely took Bibles into communist countries.
He told the story in his book God’s Smuggler. Travelling in an old VW Beetle, he carried Bibles into Communist countries. He was often miraculously guided and protected.
As one border guard looked over the boxes of Bibles in his car, Andrew prayed, “Father, You have made blind eyes to see — now I ask you to make seeing eyes blind.” The guard then just waved Andrew through the border crossing as if he had seen nothing! The Bibles were not found and not destroyed.
For more information about how brother Andrew’s organisation, Open Doors, serves the persecuted church worldwide go to www.opendoorsuk.org (for the UK); www.opendoorsusa.org (USA); www.opendoors.org.au (Australia).
Now one more exciting example of how God prevented the destruction of Bibles …
Just as God often hid Bibles for Brother Andrew, from the eyes of border guards, so he did the same in Bulgaria.
These Bulgarian girls in their national costume show the great changes that have happened since the fall of communism. They are free and happy — a far cry from how things were before.
It was the aim of the communist regime to stamp out every trace of Christianity. Bibles were confiscated and destroyed. Pastors and preachers were imprisoned and killed.
On one occasion an old Christian Bulgarian lady heard the state police at the door and knew they had come to take the Bibles in her home. So she tucked one inside her skirt. The police didn’t find it.
A Christian ripped apart her own Bible
When she next went to a church service she saw that she was the only one of all the people gathered, who had been able to save a Bible from confiscation.
Regardless of how hard it would be for her to lose her own precious copy, she began ripping it into portions and handing them out, so that everyone in the church received a page or two, just a chapter or so.
To one young woman, Margaret, the daughter of the Pastor of that church, the lady gave the pages containing Genesis chapters 16 and 17, which speak of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. For decades, the only part of the Bible that Margaret Nikol had was that piece of paper.
Family killed by Communists
Then Margaret’s parents, who had continued to preach Christ, were murdered by the Communists. Her young brother was also killed. He, too, had become a preacher, since he had been called by God at the age of three.
She found comfort in the Lord, and in her violin music. She was a very gifted player and her music opened up the way for a good education and travel. But she, too, was tortured in Bulgaria for her faith, and threatened with death.
Wonderfully, in 1981, God enabled her, on a concert trip to Vienna, to seek political asylum and she was offered safety in the USA.
It was near Christmas and when she was offered a gift she asked for a Bible. When she was taken to the Christian books store and saw so many Bibles, her legs almost gave way!
It was then that God put in Margaret’s heart the vision of a mission which would provide Bibles for Bulgaria. For years she had been working on translating the Bible into Bulgarian. Now she would arrange its printing and distribution.
Playing the violin to professional standard, she travels the USA, playing in concerts and musical praise evenings, then speaking about the work of sending Bibles to Bulgaria.
[Contact details are as follows: International Impact, Inc.,7 Switchbud Place, Suite 192-214, The Woodlands, TX 77380. Emails: [email protected]; [email protected] Web site: www.intl-impact.org
Dr Nikol says that it grieves her to see how much the Bible is taken for granted in the west. Many in Bulgaria and other former communist countries do not have even a scrap of the scriptures. Yet, despite their suffering, they hold on to the truth of the Bible.
We have a free PowerPoint available on the teaching of this post.
Right-click on these links and save the files to your computer.