Is the Bible the official word of God?

Yes, the Bible is the official, inerrant word of God, not to mention an accurate historical account. At least, that is the hope of those who read and live by its truths. It is the hope that by the grace of God the Bible preserves accurately the Scriptures of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek sources which are no longer available, that the Jewish scribes who copied the texts of the Old Testament were careful not to interject their own interpretations, that the disciples of Jesus understood him correctly and were filled with the Holy Spirit when writing their gospel letters, and that the Bible we now have today is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). To those who believe, it is the spoken word of God to all his chosen leaders, prophets, priests, and apostles -- who all testify to a singular, divine authorship -- which make up the books of the Bible and which speak of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and fulfillment of his word (Romans 1:1-6).

        "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life....   If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" (John 5:39-40, 46-47)

The Bible was written by those to whom God spoke either directly or in visions (Numbers 12:6-8): in the Old Testament to men such as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, and Jeremiah; and in the New Testament by Jesus Christ's first disciples, who were assured that they weren't just following clever stories (2 Peter 1:16-18), but the actual word of God (Galations 1:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 2:13), and in turn not distorting that word themselves (2 Corinthians 4:2). Much of the Old Testament is made up of the writings of the prophets (Deuteronomy 18:14-16, Hosea 12:9-10), through whom the Apostle Peter tells us were spoken words not of their own will, but of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21). There are hundreds of instances where these men of God begin their messages by first assuring that it was the word spoken to them by God (upon penalty of death--Deuteronomy 18:17-22). It was these prophets who knew full well of false prophets (Jeremiah 23:9-32), but those we do have in the Bible do not contradict any of the words they swore were the word of the Lord.

        And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophesy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophesy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Most of the religious writings competing with the Bible were influenced by untested spirits or the wisdom of man, not by the living Word of God (John 1:1-5), nor by his Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2). Jesus said that "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Mark 13:31). His words were recorded by his disciples, "by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word" (Luke 1:2), who "carefully investigated everything from the beginning" (Luke 1:3), and who knew that his testimony was true (John 21:24).

        When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. (Isaiah 8:19-22)

Jesus quoted no other written source than the Old Testament and claimed to be the fulfillment of what was written by the prophets (Luke 4:16-21). Even Satan himself argued with the use of scripture (Matthew 4:5-6). Among other things, the claims of the Bible include wordly prophesy and historical accounts. As history unfolds, these prophesies have all come to fulfillment and archaeological studies continually uncover cities, artifacts, and written accounts that prove Biblical accounts. What critics demand is proof, but even in the face of imperical evidence there is always doubt based upon what has yet to be discovered, though not yet proven false. Other religious texts may claim to be the word of God, yet without the endorsement of Christ they fall short of holy authenticity.

        He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 4:25-27)

The Christian Bible is a unified collection of the forty books of the Jewish Old Testament (Tanach) and the twenty-seven Epistles (letters), Gospels, and Acts of the Christian New Testament. This is a unified message comprised of over forty authors who laid down their lives for the truth. For the most part, Protestants hold to the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament, while the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church have accepted the Greek Septuagint Translation of the Old Testament as canonical, along with eleven of the fourteen books of the Apocrypha (deuterocanonical). There are several Protestant translations, but no official Protestant Bible. The Roman Catholic Church has established the Latin Vulgate as the official translation, with various Latin to English translations for the laity.

        And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
        We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18)

The Hebrew Bible is called the Tenach. The first five books of the Old Testament - called the Torah, which give accounts dating back to the 18th century B.C., and believed to have been written by Moses - were actually one manuscript that was too large to be contained on one piece of parchment. So, it was divided into five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), each written on a separate scroll and all stored in five jars. The Torah is referred to in the Septuagint as the Pentateuch: the Greek-to-English term for "five scroll-jars." The Hebrew Old Testament is composed of the Torah (or The Law), the Prophets, and the Holy Writings (such as Psalms, Proverbs and Chronicles). The New Testament term for the Old Testament was often simply "The Law and the Prophets."

        But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Regardless, though, of simple arguments like this, not only is it difficult to convince the unbelieving heart of the exclusive truth of the Bible, but those who have never read the Bible also have the devil working against their minds (2 Corinthians 4:4), and even those who do believe have the antichrist to lead them astray (1 John 2:18-19). Many individuals who consider themselves enlightened will readily admit that they don't need the Bible because they have some other spiritual insight which to them is a new and improved truth, but to the rest of the world is as old as the patriarchs themselves. In the end, however, it won't matter to those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 4:3).

        "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign Lord, "when I will send a famine through the land -- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)