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Chapter Three:

 

The Old Testament:

 

Major Prophets and Related Literature,

Daniel and the Minor Prophets

 

 

 

 

[Page 69]

 

Major Prophets and Related Literature

 

 

 

 

 

The Role and Status of Old Testament Prophets

 

 

            Before studying the individual prophets in detail, it would be useful to provide an over-view of the inspiration and authoritativeness of true prophets in general.  By doing so we will better understand the full implication designed to be conveyed by the Biblical assertion that an individual writer is a "prophet."

 

 

A.  Whatever true prophets wrote and was preserved for the benefit of future generations is worthy of being counted as "Scripture"

 

 

            When a prophet wrote, he was writing Scripture—or what was worthy of being such if God deemed it a revelation worthy of being preserved.  (Prophets often spoke on the same or similar topics.  So every time they spoke on the same subject was not essential to be preserved.)  We see this attitude reflected repeatedly in the New Testament in its description of the writers of the Old Testament.

            (1)  Matthew 26:56:  " 'But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.'   Then all the disciples left Him and fled."

            (2)   Romans 1:2:  "Which He promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures."

            (3)  Romans 16:26:  "But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." 

[Page 70]             Verse 25 refers to how through the preaching of the gospel one has "the revelation of the mystery" which had previously been obscure.   In light of this, verse 26 can be read as an indication that the gospel is doubly attested:  by the supernaturally guided preaching of its first advocates and by what was earlier recorded in the prophets who wrote those Scriptures. 

            Alternatively, the "now is manifested" can be read as making the point that New Testament era prophets were “now” writing Scripture as well, just as those in the past had done.  If so, we have here (1) an apostolic recognition of authoritative "Scripture" written by non-apostolic prophets; (2) that one or more such writings were already in existence at the time Paul wrote the book of Romans.  Although these texts provide substantial evidence that New Testament age prophets were as qualified by their position and function to write Scripture as those in the Old Testament, the direct point seems to be the inspiration of the prophets of the past age of revelation.            

 

 

B.  A repeated subject of the prophetic writings was the coming of the Messiah

 

 

            One of the fundamental axioms of the New Testament, in interpreting the Old, is that the Christocentric/prophetic element is scattered throughout.  Jesus Himself sanctioned this approach (Luke 24:44-47),

 

                        Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I          was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses             and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'  Then He opened their minds

 to understand the Scriptures.  And He said to them, 'Thus it is written, that he

Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day.' "

 

            Hence when we interpret the Old Testament prophets in a Christocentric manner, we are doing no more than what Jesus accepted as proper.  Not that every passage has a directly prophetic intention, but that scattered throughout there is that predictive message and that we miss its true intent when we ignore it.

            1 Peter 1:10-11 brings out the point that the prophets themselves often did not fully grasp the significance of their message, thereby indicating that what was guiding their writing—on a conscious or unconscious level or both--was far above and beyond the mere culture in which they moved and the events through which they lived, "And to this salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to come."

            This text is especially significant in reminding us of the limitations imposed when we interpret the prophets solely within the context of their culture,

 

[Page 71]

As these verses indicate, the prophets themselves did not comprehend the fullness of what their own words implied.  Hence they were not merely reflecting the culture in which they lived and work, inspiration instilled in them teachings above and beyond that of their culture.  Hence, to reach a sound interpretation of the text, “we must seek to establish not merely the intention of the human author who wrote the words, but also (and more important) the intention of the Divine Author who guided in the composition of those words" (15-26).

           

In short the prophet might well be writing of his immediate situation and yet recognize that there was something within the message that did not quite fit it—that God was also pointing toward something additional that would be fully recognized only further along in human history.  Call this “double fulfillment” if you wish.  Or call it writing the words so that there would be an obvious (relatively) short-term application as well as being verbally quite reasonable (or perfect!) as descriptions of events not even imagined. 

The writers could sense that there was more moving in their rhetoric than they could grasp.  Why should we deny what even the original writers could understand? 

            The Christocentric interpretation of the Old Testament in general and the prophets in particular was central to the early Christian effort to convince others that Jesus was the predicted Messiah:

            (1)   Apollos used the Old Testament this way (Acts 18:27-28).

            (2)   Paul used the Old Testament this way (Acts 17:2-3).

            (3)  Jesus Himself used the Old Testament this way (John 5:39; Luke 18:31-34; Luke 22:44-47, quoted above).

 

 

C.  The prophets were revealers of God's will

 

 

            (1)  A prophet had the responsibility of relaying God's message

 

 

            This was true of Moses:  "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.  You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land.' "

           

This was also true of Balaam:  "Then the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth and said, 'Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus' " (Numbers 23:5).  "Then the Lord met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, 'Return to Balak, and thus you shall

speak.' "  Balaam claimed to recognize this responsibility (Numbers 23:12).      

 

 

            (2)  The Holy Spirit was used by God to reveal His message to the prophets


[Page 72]

            (1)  Nehemiah 9:30:  "However, Thou didst bear with them for many years and admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets.  Yet they would not give ear.  Therefore You didst give them into the hand of the peoples of the lands."

            (2)  Zechariah 7:12:  "And they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts."

            The Holy Spirit played a similar role in revealing the gospel message of the New Testament as well (John 16:13-15).

 

 

          (3)  The prophet did not have the option of choosing what to say

 

 

            1 Kings 22:14:  "But Micaiah said, 'As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.' "

            The same point is made in Numbers 23:5, 16, quoted above.

 

 

            (4)  God's revelation involved not just the thoughts but also the words they were expressed by

 

 

            (1)  Deuteronomy 18:18:  "I will raise up a prophet among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him."

            (2)  Zechariah 1:6:  "But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers?  Then they repented and said, 'As the Lord of hosts purposes to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.' "

            (3)  Zechariah 7:12:  "And they made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of Hosts."

            Countless times the prophets themselves refer to receiving the "word of the Lord."  The expression places emphasis on both the Divine source of their revelation ("the Lord") and the fact that the verbal formulation chosen ("the word") was Divinely overseen to assure that the result met with God's approval. 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                     362

[Page 73]

Additional texts                                                                                                    

            Whatever they wrote is worthy of being counted as "Scripture"                     3

            Prophets repeatedly wrote of the coming of the Messiah                                6

            The prophets were revealers of God's will

                        A prophet had the responsibility of relaying God's message                      4

                        The Holy Spirit was used by God to reveal His message to them              3    

                        The prophet did not have the option of choosing what to say        1

                        The message involved both the thoughts and their expression            2  

  

            Total                                                                                                               381      

 

 

 

 

 

23.   Isaiah

 

 

A.  Internal claims of inspiration within the book

 

 

            (1)  It is labeled the word  and instruction of the Lord

 

 

            Isaiah 1:10:  "Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah."

            Isaiah 7:10:  "Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying."

            The same basic idea can be found in such additional texts as Isaiah 16:13; 28:14; 38:4; 39:5.    

 

 

            (2)  Its contents are called a Divinely provided "vision"

 

 

            Isaiah 1:1:  "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hedekiah, kings of Judah."

            The concept but not the word "vision" is found in Isaiah 2:1:  "The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem."         

 

 

            (3)  Many chapters (or sections thereof) present God speaking in the first person

 

[Page 74]

            Among the texts which explicitly refer to "God," "the Lord" or some synonymous term doing the speaking are these thirty-five:

                        (1)  1:18                       (13) 29:13                    (25) 49:8                                 

                        (2)  1:24                       (14) 29:22                    (26) 49:22       

                        (3)  7:3f                        (15) 30:1                      (27) 50:1

                        (4)  8:1                         (16) 30:12f                   (28) 51:22

                        (5)  8:11                       (17) 31:4                      (29) 56:1

                        (6)  16:14                     (18) 37:21f                   (30) 61:8

                        (7)  18:4                       (19) 40:1                      (31) 65:8

                        (8)  20:2                       (20) 41:21                    (32) 65:13

                        (9)  21:6                       (21) 42:5                      (33) 66:1

                        (10) 21:16                    (22) 43:1                      (34) 66:12

                        (11) 22:15                    (23) 45:1                      (35) 66:21

                        (12) 27:3                      (24) 48:17       

 

 

 

            (4)  Isaiah was commanded to write as well as to speak

 

 

            Since what God revealed was both inherently authoritative and truth, this carried with it the propriety (if not the absolute obligation) of committing that same, identical teaching to writing.  Indeed, some prophetic revelations--such as the Book of Revelation in the New Testament--appear to have been literary from the very beginning rather than ever enjoying a prior oral form.  The value of a written version of the prophetic message is alluded to at least twice in the book of Isaiah:

            Isaiah 8:1:  "Then the Lord said to me, 'Take for yourself a large tablet and write on it in ordinary letters:  'Swift is the booty, speedy is the prey.' "

            Isaiah 30:8:  "Now go, write it on a tablet and inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever."          

 

 

            (5)  Isaiah's message was intended as authoritative beyond the author's lifespan

 

 

            Isaiah 30:8:  "Now go, write it on a tablet and inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever."

            In apparent reference to the survival of the written record of Isaiah's prophecies, the text (34:16-17) has this to say:  "Seek from the book of the Lord, and read:  Not one of these will be missing; none will lack its mate.  For His mouth has commanded, and His Spirit has gathered them.  And He has cast the lot for them, and His hand has divided it to them by line.  They shall possess it forever; from generation to generation they shall dwell in it."  The reference to "of these" points to the immediately preceding prophecy of Isaiah rather than to a different work.

 

[Page 75]

 

B.  The New Testament endorses the inspiration of the book

 

 

            1.  The book is quoted as coming from God

 

 

            Concerning trusting in God (Hebrews 2:11 and 13, quoting Isaiah 8:17-18):  "For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren. . . . And again, 'I will put My trust in Him.'  And again, 'Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.' "

 

            Concerning help in time of need (2 Corinthians 6:1-2, quoting Isaiah 49:8):  "And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain--for He says, 'At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.' "

 

            Concerning our need to separate ourselves from evil (1 Corinthians 6:16-17, quoting Isaiah 52:11):  "Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'  Therefore come out from their midst and be separate,' says the Lord.  'And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.' "            

 

 

            2.  The book is quoted as having been revealed by the Holy Spirit

 

 

            Concerning the willingness of people to accept the gospel message (Acts 28:25-27, quoting Isaiah 6:9-10):  "And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, 'Go to this people and say, You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn again, and I should heal them.' "      

 

 

            3.  The book is quoted as authoritative "Scripture"

 

 

            Concerning faith in Christ not leading to disappointment (both of the following passages quote Isaiah 28:16):

            1 Peter 2:6:  "For this is contained in Scripture:  'Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.' "

[Page 76]             Romans 10:11:  "For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed."  Though this passage quotes Isaiah 28:16 as "Scripture," the same Isaiah text is quoted in Romans 9:33 with the introductory phrase, "It is written."  Hence, "it is written" is a term intended to be synonymous with "Scripture," with few if any exceptions.

 

            Concerning Jesus being appointed to teach the gospel (Luke 4:17-21, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2):  "And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.  And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives.  And recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.'  And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him.  And He began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.' "

 

             

            4.  The author is called a "prophet"

           

 

                        (a)  By John the Baptist

 

 

                        Concerning the mission of John the Baptist (John 1:20-23, quoting Isaiah 40:3):  "And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, 'I am not the Christ.'  And they asked him, 'What then?  Are you Elijah?'  And he said, 'I am not.'  'Are you the Prophet?'  And he answered, 'No.'  They said to him, 'Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us.  What do you say about yourself?'  He said, 'I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness.  "Make straight the way of the Lord," as Isaiah the prophet said.' "

                       

 

                        (b)  By the martyr Stephen

 

 

                        Concerning God's rebuke of those who wished to build a temple for Him (Acts 7:48-50, quoting Isaiah 66:1-2):   "However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:  'Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet; what kind of house will you build for Me,' says the Lord; 'or what place is there for My repose?  Was it not My hand which made all these things?' "

 

 

                        (c)  By the apostle Paul

 

[Page 77]

            Although Paul does not use the word "prophet" to describe Isaiah, he clearly regarded him as such:  In Romans 9:29 he quotes Isaiah 1:9 as that which Isaiah had "foretold."  For other uses of Isaiah by the apostle, see the texts quoted in our later discussion of authorship of the book.

 

 

                        (d)  By the writers of the gospel records

 

 

            Concerning the virgin birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:22-23, quoting Isaiah 7:14):  "Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which translated means, 'God with us.' "

           

Concerning the Gentiles hearing Jesus' message (Matthew 4:13-16, quoting Isaiah 9:1-2):  "And leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, 'The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.' "

 

            Concerning the work of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3-4, quoting Isaiah 40:3-5), "For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet saying, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness.  Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.' "

 

            Concerning the nonviolence and peacefulness of the Messiah (Matthew 12:14-21, quoting Isaiah 41:1-4):   "But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.  But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there.  And many multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to make Him known, in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, might be fulfilled, saying, 'Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.  A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory.  And in His name the Gentiles will hope.' "

           

Concerning Jesus miraculously curing illness (Matthew 8:16-17, quoting Isaiah 53:4):  "And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases.' " 

 

            Concerning the rejection of Jesus' message (John 12:37-38, quoting Isaiah 53:1):  "But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him:  that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he

spoke, 'Lord, who has believed our report?  and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' "

 

[Page 78]

                        (e)  By Jesus personally

 

 

            Concerning the reason He spoke in parables (Matthew 13:13-15, quoting Isaiah 6:9-10):  "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.  And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I should heal them.' "

 

            Concerning the reliance of the enemies of Jesus on tradition rather than truth (Matthew 15:7-9, quoting Isaiah 29:13):  "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 'This people honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.  But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' "

           

Concerning the betrayal of the Messiah (Luke 22:37, quoting Isaiah 53:12):  "For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'And He was numbered with the transgressors'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment."

           

Concerning receptivity to Jesus' message (John 6:45, quoting Isaiah 54:13):  "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.'  Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."

 

            Concerning Jesus being appointed to teach the gospel (Luke 4:17-21, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2), already quoted above.

 

 

C.  The New Testament affirmation of single authorship for the entire book

 

 

            1.  The multi-authorship inclination of much of modern scholarship

 

 

            The modern destructive criticism of Isaiah is now over two centuries old.    It began in 1789 with the publication by J. C. Doederlein of an analysis separating chapters 1-39 from 40-66 and attributing only the earlier chapters to the historical Isaiah.  Second Isaiah (chapters 40-66) were supposedly penned centuries later during the Babylonian Captivity.

[Page 79]            This "Two Isaiah Hypothesis" is so common today that those advocating the unity of the book are probably a statistical minority.  On the other hand the effort to spin off chapters 56-66 into a "Third Isaiah" has not enjoyed as great a success even among those rejecting the single person authorship of the book.   Furthermore, there are those who deny even parts of First Isaiah to the historical Isaiah and those who argue for multi-authorships far beyond a mere one, two, or even three individual writers.

 

 

            2.  Inherent problems involved in the multiple authorship approach

 

           

                        (a)  The lack of manuscript evidence.

 

 

            The sum total of all manuscript dividing Isaiah into two separate works can be provided with one digit:  0 (zero).    Isn't it odd that the multi-authorship scenarios of those and other Old Testament works--so appealing to so many scholars today--finds no supporting data in the manuscript tradition?  Wouldn't one expect that if more than one author penned a prophecy, that each would continue a separate existence?  The twelve minor prophets were maintained on one scroll--but as twelve separate shorter works.   Why should there be the perceived need to amalgamate the various alleged Isaiahs into one single Isaiahianic prophecy?  After all, the test of prophecy was not the name attached to it, but whether or not it was genuine prophecy.  Especially is this the case since "Second" is at least on a par with "First"--if not far above it.

 

 

 

            (b)  The moral issue.

 

 

            Even if one postulates some "school" of Isaiah prophets, the merger of their later works into the original, core prophecy was certainly not essential.  Even if added to the original scroll, separate attribution was still a reasonable course:  Proverbs has two sections at the end that are attributed to others besides Solomon and Psalms even more, if one may introduce the attributions above them.  

The only case where such would be required would be if the latter writers were intentionally engaged in deception--pretending to write of the events after they had occurred.   However one verbally disguises the difficulty, the Two Isaiah requires such to have occurred.   It becomes pretended prophecy rather than genuine prophecy.  It becomes at least self-delusion to edify one's contemporaries rather than a foretelling of events not yet having occurred.

 

 

            (c)  The philosophical bias against the book. 

           

[Page 80]             Those who define prophecy in purely subjective terms--as coming from within in response to the aspiration toward the Divine--have little or no room for genuine prediction.  Hence, by definition, any apparent prophecy must have been written either after the event or is a misunderstanding of the original intent.  

            This underlying bias is common (though not universal) among those rejecting the unity of the book.  Others are concerned with specific issues raised in the book.  For example, they are sometimes embarrassed by the specificity of certain predictions (in particular, the naming of Cyrus centuries before his birth, Isaiah 45:1).  Yet even this is presented in the text as having a specific purpose:  to increase the faith of Israel in the ability of her God to do what pagan deities could not--accurately predict the future (cf. Isaiah 45:4-6).                        

 

 

            3.  The New Testament attributes all three alleged divisions to the same author

 

           

                        (a)  "First Isaiah" (chapters 1-39)

 

 

            (1)  Discussing Gentiles hearing Jesus, Matthew 4:13-16 so identifies the author of Isaiah 9:1-2.

 

            (2) Concerning the blindness of those who rejected Jesus, John 12:39-41 so identifies the author of Isaiah 6:9-10.

 

            (3)  Concerning the reliance of Jesus' enemies on tradition, Matthew 15:7-9 so identifies the author of Isaiah 29:13.

 

            (4)  Concerning God saving a remnant of Israel, Romans 9:27-28 so identifies the author of Isaiah 10:21-23.                                    

 

            (5)  Concerning how close Israel came to perishing, Romans 9:29 so identifies the author of Isaiah 1:9.

 

 

                        (b)  "Second Isaiah" (chapter 40-55)

 

 

            (1)  Concerning the mission of John the Baptist, Matthew 3:3-4 identifies him as the author of Isaiah 40:3.

 

            (2)  Concerning the mission of John the Baptist, Luke 3:4-6 also identifies him as the author of Isaiah 40:3-5.

 

            (3)  Concerning the nonviolence and peacefulness of the Messiah, Matthew 12:14-21 so identifies the author of Isaiah 42:1-4.

 

[Page 81]         (4, 5)  Concerning the lack of faith in the preached message, John 12:37 and Romans 10:16 both identify him as the author of Isaiah 53:1.

 

            (6)   Concerning Jesus miraculously curing diseases, Matthew 8:16-17 identifies him as the author of Isaiah 53:4.   

 

 

                        (c)  "Third Isaiah" (chapters 56-66)

 

 

            (1)  Concerning Jesus being appointed to teach the gospel, in Luke 4:17-21 the writer of Isaiah 61:1-2 is identified as the same individual.

 

            (2)  Concerning God using another nation against Israel, in Romans 10:20 the writer of Isaiah 65:1 is identified as the same individual.

 

            (3)  Concerning God being sought by the unexpected, in Romans 10:21 the writer of Isaiah 65:2 is identified as the same individual.

     

            If there were only one or two passing allusions to the Isaiahian authorship of all three sections, one might be tempted by the scenario that it was easier to use the popular one author terminology of the day rather than argue the point.  On the other hand, the repeated stress on the single authorship, argues that the embracial of this position conveys a deeply held, root conviction.

            Furthermore, the exact wording of certain of these attributions is extremely intriguing.  They use such expressions as "spoken through Isaiah."  That strongly implies that the writers have in mind the man Isaiah as well as the book Isaiah.  It was not merely that it was recorded in a book called "Isaiah" but that an individual named "Isaiah" had been the human intermediary through whom God had spoken. 

            Luke 3:4 is especially interesting in the current context, "As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet."  Hence the book contained not merely the writings of a "prophet" but one specific prophet named Isaiah.  (Note the singular "prophet," not the "prophets" plural.)  If the author was incorrect as to the words coming from this one "Isaiah", how can we place any greater trust in his claim that the writer was a "prophet"?  If one of the assertions of this verse is wrong, why not both? 

Sadly, the openly Modernistic advocates of multiple Isaiahs would accept the denial of both, so far have they drifted from Biblical fundamentals.  Others, of a more conservative stripe, think they can maintain the true prophetic status of the man falsely claiming to be Isaiah.  Perhaps they can, but, personally, I am glad I do not have to try.  (Aside:  Because of encountering such individuals, this compilation was originally compiled.)

 

 

  [Page 82]      

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                    381

 

Additional texts                                                                                                    

Internal claims of inspiration within the book

            It is labeled the word and instruction of the Lord                                                 6                                                      

            Its contents are called a Divinely provided "vision"                                       2   

            Many chapters present God speaking in the first person                        35                   

            Isaiah was commanded to write as well as to speak                                        2          

            Isaiah's message authoritative beyond the author's lifespan                            2          

New Testament endorses the inspiration of the book

            The book is quoted as coming from God                                                         3         

            The book is quoted as having been revealed by the Holy Spirit                      1           

            The book is quoted as authoritative "Scripture"                                               3             

            The author is called a "prophet"                                                                                         

                        By John the Baptist                                                                               1              

                        By the martyr Stephen                                                                          1                 

                        By the apostle Paul                                                                                1              

                        By the writers of the gospel records                                                      6                         

                        By Jesus personally                                                                               4               

 The New Testament affirmation of single authorship for the entire book

            "First Isaiah" (chapters 1-39)                                                                            5             

            "Second Isaiah" (chapter 40-55)                                                                       6          

            "Third Isaiah" (chapters 56-66)                                                                            3                                                                           

  

            Total                                                                                                                462

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

24.  Jeremiah

 

 

 

A.  Internal claims of inspiration

 

 

            1.  Many chapters are written in the first person, as God Himself speaking

 

 

[Page 83]             There could hardly be a more explicit means of claiming the record to be a Divine revelation!  The issue, then, becomes is the claim creditable and will I accept its teachings to the degree it may apply to me?

 

 

            2.  The term "word of the Lord" (and synonymous expressions) are repeatedly used to describe what is being recorded

 

 

            A partial listing of such texts would include these:

 

            Chapters 1-9:   (1) 1:1-4; (2) 1:11; (3) 1:13; (4) 2:1; (5):  7:1

            Chapters 10-19:  (1) 10:1; (2) 11:1; (3) 13:8; (4) 14:1; (5) 16:1; (6) 18:1

            Chapters 20-29:  (1) 21:1; (2) 24:4; (3) 25:1-2; (4) 26:1; (5) 27:1

            Chapters 30-39:  (1) 30:1; (2) 32:1; (3) 32:26; (4) 33:1; (5) 34:1; (6)  34:8; (7)  34:12; (8)  35:1; (9) 35:12; (10) 36:27; (11) 37:6

            Chapters 40-52:  (1) 40:1; (2) 42:7; (3) 43:8;  (4) 46:1;  (5) 47:1; (6) 50:1

  

 

 

B.  Old Testament acceptance of the man and the book as prophetic

 

 

            1.  By Daniel

 

 

            Daniel calls him a prophet (Daniel 9:2)

 

 

            2.  By the writer of Second Chronicles/Ezra

 

 

            2 Chronicles 36:21-23 and Ezra 1:1-12 (in virtually identical words) refer to the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy concerning Cyrus, thereby showing recognition of Jeremiah as truely prophetic.

 

 

C.  Jeremiah was denied the right to alter or edit out anything God had revealed

 

 

            Jeremiah 1:17:  "Now gird up your loins, and arise, and speak to them all which I command you.  Do not be dismayed before them, lest I dismay you before them."

[Page 84]             Jeremiah 26:2:  "Thus says the Lord, 'Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, who have come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them.  Omit not a word!' "

            Even when God did not explicitly require such completeness of him, the prophet recognized that he was morally bound by this principle.  Jeremiah 42:4:  "Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, 'I have heard you.  Behold, I am going to pray to the Lord God in accordance with your words; and it will come about that the whole message which the Lord will answer you I will tell you.  I will not keep back a word from you.' "

            The written record matched the verbal revelation spoken through the prophet.  Nothing at all was omitted.  Jeremiah 43:31:  "But it came about, as soon as Jeremiah whom the Lord their God had sent, had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God--that is, all these words."

 

           

D.  God considered the written form of the prophecy as so vital that He even miraculously preserved the text        

 

 

            The entire incident is narrated in Jeremiah 36:4-30.  In this extreme case, the entirety of what had previously been revealed was repeated in order to assure its preservation.  "Take another scroll and write on it all the former words that were on the first scroll which Jerhoiakim the king of Judah burned." 

It is taken for granted that the written revelation had faithfully repeated the verbal one.  These destroyed prophecies were then duplicated; correction was not required because they were right to begin with.  We are dealing here with the stage when only a single copy of the text existed.  Such supernatural intervention would not have been required in a case short of such an extreme.

            The written record is called "the words of the Lord" (36:4, 8, 11), emphasizing that the message in no way lost either its Divine origin or authority by being committed to writing.  The written revelation was considered an adequate substitute for the personal presence and oral message of the inspired prophet himself (36:5-7).

 

 

E.  The role of Baruch as Jeremiah's scribe

 

 

            Jeremiah is a case where we have explicit evidence that he used a scribe to pen out his revelation.  In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Baruch wrote down for Jeremiah all the revelations found in the first thirty-five chapters (Jeremiah 36:1-4).    Since no other scribe is mentioned, it was presumably Baruch to whom Jeremiah dictated again the prophecies that had been destroyed by the king (Jeremiah 36:27-28).

Jeremiah 45:1 again refers to Baruch as Jeremiah's scribe for writing down the revelations.  In the light of the repeated references to Baruch and the silence in regard to anyone else, the most natural assumption is that Baruch was the sole pensman for the entire volume.  

            Hence when a multi-staged composition was involved in the creation of a single book, the prophet had no hesitancy in admitting it.  Hence one should regard with great caution claims of multi-stage composition when there is no allusion in the text itself. 

 

[Page 85]

 

F.  New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of  the book

 

 

            (1)  The book is quoted as having been spoken by God

 

 

            Concerning God's revelation of a new covenant (Hebrews 8:8-12, quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34):  "For finding fault with them, He says, 'Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant.  And I did not care for them, says the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:  I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.  For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.' "   

 

 

            (2)  The book is quoted as having been revealed by the Holy Spirit

 

 

            Concerning God's revelation of a new covenant (Hebrews 10:15-17, quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34):  "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My law upon their heart, and upon their mind I will write them,' He then says, 'And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.' "        

 

 

            (3)  The book is quoted as coming from a prophet

 

 

            Concerning mourning for dead children (Matthew 2:17-18, quoting Jeremiah 31:15):  "Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, 'A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.' "

 

 

[Page 86]

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                   462

 

Additional texts                                                                                                       

 Internal claims of inspiration

             "Word of the Lord" (and synonymous expressions) are repeatedly used    33

             Old Testament acceptance of the man and the book as prophetic                 3

            Jeremiah was denied the right to alter or edit out anything God revealed      4

            God considered the written form of the prophecy as so vital that He even

                        miraculously preserved the text when there was only one copy         1

New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of the book

            The book is quoted as having been spoken by God                                            1

            The book is quoted as having been revealed by the Holy Spirit              1

            The book is quoted as coming from a prophet                                        1

 

            Total                                                                                                             506

           

 

 

 

 

25.  Lamenations

 

 

            Although not categoricalized as a "major prophet," Lamentations is deserving of consideration in this context due to its traditional association with the major prophet, Jeremiah.

 

 

A.  Evidence for Jeremiah's authorship of the book of Lamentations

 

 

            1.  In counting the number of Old Testament books, Jeremiah and Lamentations were often lumped together in determining the total number.

           

2.  The Greek Septuagint explicitly refers to Jeremiah as the author in a prologue before 1:1.  This attribution is likewise found in the Old Latin and the Syrian translations, as well as being embraced by the Jewish Talmud.  The Hebrew manuscripts, however, lack the attribution.

           

3.  It is clear that Jeremiah was quite capable of writing such a book:  He chanted a lamentation at the death of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:25).  That same text also refers to the existence of a book of lamentations containing that of Jeremiah.  With no competing work to contest the place, it seems irresistible to take this to be a reference to the Biblical book of Lamentations. 

 

 

B.  New Testament and the book 

 

 

[Page 87]             There are no explicit quotations from the book to be found in the New Testament.  Various alleged allusions have been suggested, however.  Typical is Matthew 27:30 as an allusion to Lamentations 3:30.  Since Matthew, however, is describing an actual event and no indication of  finding a prophetic foretelling is presented, the best one can reasonably come up with is that Jesus was patterning His conduct on the teaching of Lamentations.  At the very minimum, that certainly argues for the moral propriety of the teaching of Lamentations. 

The best parallel is found between Jesus' endorsement of turning the other cheek and the presentation of that same doctrine in the Greek Septuagint reading of Lamentations 3:30.   

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                       506

 

Additional texts                                                                                                      

            Evidence for Jeremiah's authorship of the book                                                2

            New Testament usage                                                                              2                  

 

            Total                                                                                                                510

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26.  Ezekiel

 

 

 

A.  Internal evidence for the inspiration of the book of Ezekiel

 

 

            1.  Much of the content is attributed to visions from God

 

 

            Ezekiel 1:1:  "Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God."  Standing by itself, the expression "visions of God" could be [Page 88]    interpreted either as a reference to the origin of the visions or to their subject matter.  Verse 3 ("the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest"), however, decides the matter in favor of the origin of the visions being under discussion.

           

            Ezekiel 40:2:  "In the visions of God, He brought me into the land of Israel, and set me on a very high mountain; and on it to the south there was a structure like a city."  That the expression "visions of God" is once again a reference to the source of the visions can be seen by the fact that the expression is immediately followed by "He brought me," showing the theme to be what God was personally doing.

 

 

            2.  The revelation of the visions also involved the work of the Holy Spirit

 

 

            Ezekiel 8:3:  "And He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem. . . ."

            Ezekiel 11:24-25:  "And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea.  So the vision that I had seen left me.  Then I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me."  What was shown in the vision was the "Lord" speaking (verse 25); hence the visions both concerned God and were revealed by Him.  Note that the Spirit seems to play a double role:  Both as a participant in the vision and as He through whom the "Lord" had shown things.

 

 

            3.  Several times Ezekiel received a special gift of the Spirit when he was instructed to teach the people the error of their ways

 

 

            Hence the prophesying/teaching that Ezekiel did was not only Divine in origin, but the special presence of the Spirit guaranteed that it was presented in precisely the way the Spirit desired.   For the connection between having the Spirit and actively prophesying, consider:

            Ezekiel 2:1-3 (especially verse 2)

            Ezekiel 3:23-27 (especially verse 24)

            Ezekiel 11:4-5

            Ezekiel 37:1-14 (especially verse 1)        

 

 

            4.  Chapter after chapter is explicitly claimed to be the "word of the Lord" (or its close verbal equivalent)

 

[Page 89]

 

            Not only is God presented as if speaking, the words are explicitly attributed to Him.  For example:

            Chapter 1-9:  (1) 1:3; (2) 3:10-11; (3) 3:16; (4) 6:1; (5) 7:1

            Chapters 10-19:   (1) 11:14; (2) 12:1; (3) 13:1; (4) 14:2; (5) 15:1; (6) 16:1; (7) 17:1; (8) 18:1

            Chapters 20-29:  (1) 20:1-2; (2) 21:1; (3) 22:1; (4) 23:1; (5) 24:1; (6) 25:1; (7) 26:1; (8) 27:1; (9) 28:1; (10) 29:1

            Chapters 30-39:  (1)  30:1; (2) 31:1; (3) 32:1; (4) 33:1; (5) 34:1; (6); 35:1; (7) 36:1; (8) 38:1

            Chapters 40-48:  Although the expression "word of the Lord" is not used in these chapters, there are repeated assertions of the equivalent idea, "Thus says the Lord God."

 

            "Word of the Lord" was not a mere title; it refers to the origin of the teaching so described as well.  This can be seen by the fact that the message Ezekiel delivered is described not just as the "word" of God but the "words" (plural), indicating that the entire message originated with God.  For the plural usage see Ezekiel 2:7; 3:4; 3:10-11.

            The bottom line is that there are only three alternatives when faced with such persistent and recurring phenomena claiming Divine guidance.  (These apply to similar assertions in other Biblical books as well.)  Either

            Isaiah was deluded (for whatever reason) or

            Isaiah was a conscious liar and deceiver (out of whatever motive good or bad) or

            Isaiah was the recipient of genuine revelation    

 

 

            6.  God is quoted as calling Ezekiel a prophet

 

 

            Ezekiel 2:4-5:  "And I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children; and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.'  As for them, whether they listen or not--for they are a rebellious house--they will know that a prophet has been among them."

            Ezekiel 33:32-33:  "And behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but do not practice them.  So when it comes to pass--as surely it will--then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst."

 

 

            7.  Ezekiel was specifically commanded to write at least part of his narrative

 

 

            Ezekiel 43:11:  "And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs, all the statutes, and all its laws.  And write it in their sight, so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes, and do them."  Note that the purpose of committing it to writing was to encourage acceptance and obedience.  The same rationale explains the need for the remainder of Ezekiel's message to be put in writing as well.

 

[Page 90]

 

B.  New Testament usage of the book     

 

 

            The book is nowhere explicitly quoted; hence we find no reference to either its inspiration or the identity of its author.  Although there are some apparent conceptual borrowings in the book of Revelation, the evidence for it anywhere else in the New Testament appears, to this author, to be highly speculative and inconclusive.         

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  510

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

            Much of the content is attributed to visions from God                                  2  

            The visions involved the work of the Holy Spirit                                                 2

            Several times Ezekiel received a special gift of the Spirit                             4        

            Chapter after chapter is explicitly claimed to be the "word of the Lord"     34  

            God is quoted as calling Ezekiel a prophet                                                    2    

            Ezekiel was specifically commanded to write at least part of narrative         1

  

            Total                                                                                                             555        

 

 

 



 

Daniel and the Minor Prophets

 

 

 

 

27.  Daniel

 

 

A.  Internal evidence for the inspiration of the book

 

[Page 91]

 

            1.  Visions in the book are attributed to Divine origin

 

 

            God revealed to Daniel the strange dream of Nebuchadnezzar and what it meant (Daniel 2:16-19, 23):   "Then Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.  Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hanniah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, in order that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.  Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision.  Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven: . . . 'To Thee, O God of  my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for Thou hast given me wisdom and power; even now Thou hast made known to me what we requested of Thee, for Thou hast made known to us the king's matter.' "

 

            The vision concerning Persia is described as one "revealed" to Daniel (Daniel 10:1):  "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision."  

 

            The Divine origin of these visions is also indicated by the fact that God is one of the speakers in the visions.

 

 

            2.  The visions claim to reveal the "truth"

 

 

            Daniel 10:21:  "However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of

truth. . . ."

            Daniel 11:2:  "And now I will tell you the truth. . . ."

 

 

            3.  Daniel did not always understand the meaning of the visions

 

 

            See Daniel 8:27; 12:5-9.  Such uncertainty--at least on some points--is quite natural in a true prophet.  It is far less likely when the products are those of a fanatic conjuring up visions to satisfy his nationalistic pride or self-delusion.

 

 

B.  New Testament witness to the inspiration of Daniel

 

 

            Jesus called Daniel a "prophet" (Matthew 24:15, alluding to Daniel 11:31 and 12:11):  "Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)."

 

[Page 92]

 

C.  New Testament claims as to the authorship of the book

 

 

            Jesus referred to the book being by Daniel (Matthew 24:15, quoted above).

 

 

D.  Possible New Testament allusions verifying the historicity of events recorded in the book

 

 

            1.  Possible allusion to Daniel surviving in the lion's den (Hebrews 11:33; compare Daniel 6:22):   "Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions."

            2.  Possible allusion to the survival of the three Hebrews thrown into the fiery furnace (Hebrews 11:34; compare Daniel 3:27-28):  "Quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight."

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  555

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal evidence for the inspiration of the book

            Visions in the book are attributed to Divine origin                                       2        

            The visions claim to reveal the "truth"                                                          2    

            Daniel did not always understand the meaning of the visions                      2  

New Testament witness to the inspiration of Daniel                                                 1     

Possible New Testament allusions verifying the historicity of events                      2     

           

            Total                                                                                                           564        

 

 

 

 

[Page 93]


28.  Hosea

 

 

A.  Internal claims of inspiration

 

 

            1.  The book claims to contain the "word of the Lord"

 

 

            Hosea 11:1:  "The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel."  Since "the word of the Lord" came to him during the reign of several different kings, it follows that the verse is not referring to one particular revelation but to the entirety of the revelations he received.

            Hosea 4:1:  "Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land."

 

 

            2.  The Lord is presented as the speaker in much of the work

 

 

            Although Hosea 1:2, 1:4, 1:9, and 3:11 make explicit references to God, the text clearly implies Him to be the speaker in most of the work.

 

 

B.  New Testament treatment of the book

 

 

            1.  The author is called a prophet

 

 

            Concerning God's Son being called from Egypt (Matthew 2:15, quoting Hosea 11:1):  "And was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Out of Egypt did I call My Son.' "

 

 

            2.  Words attributed to God in Hosea are accepted as truely having been spoken by Him

 

 

            Concerning the enemies of God becoming His people (Romans 9:25, quoting Hosea 2:23 and Romans 9:25, quoting Hosea 1:10):  "As He says also in Hosea, 'I will call those who were not My people, "My people," and her who was not beloved, "beloved."   And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, "You are not My people," there they shall be called sons of the living God.' "

 

[Page 94]

            3.  Authorship of the book is attributed to Hosea

 

 

            See Romans 9:25, quoted above.

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                   564

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal claims of inspiration

            The book claims to contain the "word of the Lord"                                       2    

            The Lord is presented as the speaker in much of the work                            4      

New Testament treatment of the book

            The author is called a prophet                                                                        1      

            Words attributed to God were truely spoken by Him                                    2   

                       

            Total                                                                                                           573

 

 

 

 

 

 

29.  Joel

 

 

A.  Internal evidence of Divine revelation

 

 

            1.  The book is called "the word of the Lord"

 

           

            Joel 1:1:  "The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel."

 

 

            2.  Much of the book has God personally addressing the readers of the work

 

 

            Joel 1:12 and 2:27 are two of the most explicit examples.  A casual reading of the text, however, quickly indicates even to the causal reader that God is being presented as the speaker in most of the remainder of the prophetic tract as well.

 

[Page 95]

 

B.  New Testament usage of the book

 

 

            1.  Testimony as to the inspiration of the book

 

 

            Concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit, the author is called a prophet and the words attributed to God in Joel are confirmed as truely having been spoken by Him (Acts 2:15-21, quoting Joel 2:28-32):  "For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel, 'And it shall be in the last days, God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind. . . .' "

 

 

            2.  Testimony to Joel as the author

 

 

            Joel is cited by name in Acts 2:15-21, quoted in part above.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  573

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal evidence of Divine revelation

            The book is called "the word of the Lord"                                                    1        

            In much of the book God is personally addressing the readers                    2  

New Testament testimony as to the inspiration of the book                                           1      

           

            Total                                                                                                            577

 

 

 

 

[Page 96]

 

30.  Amos

 

 

 

A.  Internal assertions of inspiration

 

 

            In addition to the fact that most of the book clearly infers God as being the Speaker, the text explicitly attributes the contents to the Lord in at least four different ways:

 

            The contents of the book are presented as a "thus says the Lord":  (1) Amos 1:3; (2) 1:9; (3) 1:11; (4) 1:13; (5) 2:1; (6)  2:6; (7) 3:11; (8) 3:12; (9) 5:4; (10) 5:16; (11) 7:17; (12) 9:15.

           

            The contents are described as the "word the Lord has spoken":  (1) Amos 3:1; (2) 5:1; (3) 7:16.

 

            The contents are that which "declares the Lord":  (1) Amos 8:11; (2) 9:12; (3) 9:13.

 

            God "showed" Amos the visions in the work:  (1) Amos 7:1; (2) 7:4; (3) 8:1.

 

 

B.  New Testament confirmation of supernatural guidance over the contents of the work

 

 

            Discussing how Israel acted in the wilderness, the author is identified as a prophet (Acts 7:42-43, quoting Amos 5:25-27):  "But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?  You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the God Rompha, the images which you made to worship them.  I also will remove you beyond Babylon.' "

 

            Discussing the appropriateness of the first century spread of the gospel among the Gentiles, the author is numbered among the prophets (Acts 15:14-18, quoting Amos 9:11-12):   "Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.  And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 'After these things I will return, and I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, in order that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.' "    

 

 

[Page 97]

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  577

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal assertions of inspiration

            The contents of the book are presented as a "thus says the Lord"              12       

            The contents are called the "word the Lord has spoken"                              3      

            The contents are that which "declares the Lord"                                          3  

            God "showed" Amos the visions in the work                                               3   

New Testament confirmation of supernatural guidance over the contents               2       

           

            Total                                                                                                           600

 

 

 

 

 

 

31.  Obadiah

 

 

            Lacking any New Testament usage of the book, no evidence exists to introduce from this source.  As to internal evidence of an extra-human source, three times in the short 21 verses of Obadiah we find the direct assertion that God is speaking ("thus says the Lord"):  Verses 1, 8, 18.

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  600

 

Additional texts                                                                                                         3            

                       

            Total                                                                                                           603

 

 

 

 

[Page 98]

 

 

32.  Jonah

 

 

A.  Internal evidence of inspiration

 

 

            1.  The command to go preach was given by God

 

 

            Jonah 1:1-2:  "The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh the great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.' "

 

 

            2.  The contents of the preaching was commanded by God

 

 

            Jonah 3:1-2:  "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation I am going to tell you.'  "  Hence the book could rightly be called inspired at least to the extent that it recorded inspired preaching.

 

 

            3.  Chapter four contains a conversation between Jonah and God

 

 

            Either this is fictitious (with all that implies of self-deception, fraud, or both) or else it actually occurred in the real world.  And if the last be true, then it is worthy of being regarded as containing a message from God.

 

 

B.  New Testament confirmation of the inspiration of the work

 

 

            The central character (and presumably author of the narrative) is called a "prophet" (Matthew 12:39-40, quoted below).

 

 

C.  New Testament citation of the events recorded as if genuine history

 

 

            Concerning Jonah being in the belly of the giant fish (Matthew 12:39-40, referring to Jonah 1:17; Cf. Matthew 16:3-4):  "But He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' "

 

[Page 99]            Concerning Jonah preaching in Nineveh and the success of his preaching (Matthew 12:41, referring to Jonah 3:5-9):  "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here."

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  603

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal evidence of inspiration

            The command to go preach was given by God                                             1     

            The contents of the preaching was commanded by God                        1     

            Chapter four contains a conversation between Jonah and God                     1   

New Testament references to inspiration and historicity                                          2            

           

            Total                                                                                                           608

 

 

 

 

 

 

33.  Micah

 

 

A.  Internal evidence of inspiration

 

 

            1.  Micah claimed that the book contained the revelation of the Lord

 

 

            Micah 1:1-2:   "The word of the Lord came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.  Hear O peoples, all of you; listen, O earth and all it contains, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple."

 

 

            2.  The warning of the book against false prophets came from God

 

[Page 100]

            Micah 3:5:  "Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; when they have something to bite with their teeth, they cry, 'Peace,' but against him who puts nothing in their mouths, they declare holy war."

 

 

            3.  The book's indictment of Israel's misconduct came from God

 

 

            Micah 6:1-2:  "Hear now what the Lord is saying, 'Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.  Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth, because the Lord has a case against His people; even with Israel He will dispute."

 

 

            4.  God speaks in the first person throughout much of the narrative

 

 

            Even where there is no explicit "thus says the Lord," the wording makes plain that God is intended as the speaker.

 

 

B.  Old Testament endorsement of the inspiration of the book of Micah

 

 

            In the days of Jeremiah the book was quoted as coming from Micah and as being by a prophet (Jeremiah 26:17-18, quoting Micah 3:12):  "Then some of the elders of the land rose up and smoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, 'Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, "Thus the Lord of hosts has said, Zion will be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem will become ruins, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest." ' "

 

 

C.  New Testament endorsement of the inspiration of the book of Micah

           

 

            Discussing Bethlehem as birthplace of the Messiah, the writer is described as a prophet (Matthew 2:5-6, quoting Micah 5:2):   "And they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, "And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel." ' "

 

 

[Page 101]

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  608

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal evidence of inspiration

            Micah claimed that the book contained the revelation of the Lord               1    

            The warning of the book against false prophets came from God                  1   

            The book's indictment of Israel's misconduct came from God                      1  

Old Testament endorsement of the inspiration of the book of Micah                        1   

New Testament endorsement of the inspiration of the book of Micah                      1       

           

            Total                                                                                                            613        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34.  Nahum

 

 

            Several times in the three chapters of Nahum, God is explicitly referred to as doing the speaking.  (This does not include additional verses continuing the thought, indicating that He is still doing the speaking in latter verses.)

 

            Nahum 1:12-14:  "Thus says the Lord, 'Though they are at full strength and likewise many, even so, they will be cut off and pass away.  Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer.  So now, I will break his yoke bar from you, and I will tear off your shackles.'  The Lord has issued a command concerning you:  'Your name will no longer be perpetuated.  I will cut off your idol and image from the house of your gods.  I will prepare your grave, for you are contemptible.' "

            Nahum 2:13:  " 'Behold I am against you,' declares the Lord of hosts.  'I will burn up her chariots in smoke, a sword will devour your young lions, I will cut off your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard.' "

            Nahum 3:5:  " 'Behold, I am against you,' declares the Lord of hosts; 'And I will lift up your skirts over your face, and show to the nations your nakedness and to the kingdoms your disgrace.' "

 

 

 

[Page 102]

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  613

 

Additional internal texts                                                                                            3            

           

            Total                                                                                                           616          

 

 

 

 

 

35.  Habakkuk

 

 

 

A.  Internal assertions of inspiration

 

 

            1.  The book claims to be by a prophet

 

           

            Habbakuk 1:1:  "The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw."

            Habakkuk 3:1:  "A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth."

 

 

            2.  He was specifically instructed to write down at least part of the revelation God gave him

 

 

            Habakkuk 2:2-3:  "Then the Lord answered me and said, 'Record the division and inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it may run.  For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail.  Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.' "  The record was to be both read and was understandable to that person since he was to act upon it (to "run," verse 2).

 

 

            3.  Much of the book has God as the speaker

 

 

            Even when a verse does not use a phrase like "God says," that He is the intended Speaker is clear from the wording of many verses. 

 

[Page 103]

 

B.  New Testament treatment of the book

 

 

            1.  It is cited as being from a prophet

 

 

            Concerning the danger of scoffing at what God says (Acts 13:40-41, quoting Habakkuk 1:5):  "Take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:  'Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; for I am accomplishing a work in your days, a work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.' "

 

 

            2.  Its doctrine of faith (Habakkuk 2:4) is a pivotal Old/New Testament teaching

 

 

            It is quoted in Galatians 3:11 to prove that the Mosaical Law alone could not "justify" an individual in God's sight.

            It is quoted in Hebrews 10:36-38 to prove that Christians must remain faithful even in a time of persecution.

            It is quoted in Romans 1:16-17 to prove that stressing the centrality of faith is not without precedent in the Old Testament.  Here it is introduced with the phrase "it is written," which functions as a verbal equivalent of "Scripture says" and implies the authoritativeness and inspiration of the text so quoted.

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  616

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal assertions of inspiration

            The book claims to be by a prophet                                                              2    

            He was specifically instructed to write down at least part of it                    1    

New Testament treatment of the book

            It is cited as being from a prophet                                                                 1     

            Its doctrine of faith is a pivotal Old/New Testament teaching                      3       

           

            Total                                                                                                           623

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 104]

 

36.  Zephaniah

 

 

            1.  The book claims to contain the "word of the Lord"

 

 

            Zephanaih 1:1:  "The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah . . . in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah."

 

 

            2.  Much of the book has God personally speaking

 

 

            In addition to those verses whose wording compels us to conclude that God is the intended speaker, there are at least four explicit references to Him doing the speaking:  Zephaniah 1:2; 2:9; 3:8; 3:20.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  623

 

Additional texts                                                                                

            The book claims to contain the "word of the Lord"                                      1      

            Much of the book has God personally speaking                                           4           

 

            Total                                                                                                           628

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 105]

 

 

37.  Haggai

 

 

           

A.  Internal implicit and explicit claims of inspiration

 

 

            1.  The book claims to record the revelations received by a prophet

 

 

            See Haggai 1:1; 1:3; 2:1.

 

 

            2.  God's "word" was spoken by the prophet whose message is recorded in the book          

 

 

            Haggai 1:1:  "In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of God came by the prophet Haggai. . . ."

            Haggai 2:20:  "Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggi on the twenty-fourth day of the month saying."

            Haggai 1:12:  "Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him.  And the people showed reverence for the Lord." 

This text conveys several important facts relevant to our study.  It shows that the people "obeyed the voice of the Lord" by heeding the "words of Haggai," thereby showing that the Lord decisively controlled and shaped the content of the "words" used by Haggai.  In addition the text explicitly refers to Haggai as a "prophet."  Finally, it also refers to his authority to speak by describing him as one "the Lord their God had sent."  

 

 

            3.  Being the "messenger of God," implies that the message he delivered was that of God

 

 

            Haggai 1:13:  "Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the word to the people saying, 'I am with you,' declares the Lord."

 

 

            4.  The message is described as that which the Lord "declares" and "says"

 

 

            The expression "thus says the Lord" is used in (1) Haggai 1:5; (2) 1:7; (3) 2:6; (4) 2:11.

            The synonymous idea that a statement represents that which "declares the Lord" is found in (1) Haggai 1:13; (2) 2:4; (3) 2:8; (4) 2:9; (5) 2:14.         

 

[Page 106]

 

B.  New Testament usage of the book:  Words attributed to God in Haggai are described as truely having been spoken by Him

 

 

            Concerning the passing away of the world (Hebrews 12:26, quoting Haggai 2:6):  "And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.' "

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  628

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal implicit and explicit claims of inspiration

            The book claims to record the revelations received by a prophet                 3        

            God's "word" was spoken by the prophet whose message is recorded         3      

            Being the "messenger of God" implies that the message was God's             1         

            The message is described as that which the Lord "declares" and "says"       9       

B.  New Testament usage of the book: 

            Words attributed to God were truely spoken by Him                                    1            

           

            Total                                                                                                           645                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38.  Zechariah

 

 

A.  Internal assertions of inspiration

 

 

            1  At least four different expressions are used to describe the Divine origin of the book

 

 

            (a)  The message is labeled as "thus says the Lord":    (1) Zechariah 1:16; (2) 8:7; (3) 8:9; (4) 8:14; (5) 8:18; (6) 8:23; (7) 11:4

 

            [Page 107]          (b)  The message is called the "word of the Lord":  (1) Zechariah 4:6; (2) 4:8; (3) 6:9; (4) 7:1; (5) 7:8-9; (6) 8:1-4; (7) 9:1; (8) 12:1.

 

            (c)  The message is described as that which the "Lord said to me":  (1)  Zechariah 11;13; (2) 11:15.

 

            (d)  "Declares the Lord" is a description attached to the message:  Zechariah 12:4.

 

 

            2.  An angel was involved in revealing at least part of the book

 

 

            Zechariah 2:3:  "And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him."

            Zechariah 4:1:  "Then the angels who were speaking with me returned, and roused me as a man who is awakened from his sleep."

            Zechariah 5:5:  "Then the angel who was speaking with me went out, and said to me, 'Lift up now your eyes and see what this is, going forth.' "

 

 

B.  New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of the book

 

 

            Discussing the people seeing the Messiah murdered, the book is quoted as "scripture" (John 19:37, quoting Zechariah 12:10):  "And again another Scripture says, 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced.' "

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  645

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

Internal assertions of inspiration

            The message is labeled as "thus says the Lord"                                    7        

            The message is called the "word of the Lord"                                              8    

            The message is described as that which the "Lord said to me"                    2        

            "Declares the Lord" is a description attached to the message                       1    

            An angel was involved in revealing at least part of the book                       3    

B.  New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of the book                                  1   

 

            Total                                                                                                           667                   

 

 

 

 

[Page 108]

 

 

39.  Malachi

 

 

A.  Internal evidence of inspiration

 

 

            1.  The message is called the "word of God"

 

 

            Malachi 1:1:  "The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi."

 

 

            2.  The recorded message is that which the Lord "says"

 

 

            See Malachi 2:16; 3:13; 3:17.

 

 

            3.  God is clearly presented as the speaker in virtually the entire book

 

 

            Even where the word "God" is not used, the wording of the text usually makes plain that He is the intended speaker. 

 

 

B.  New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of the book

 

 

            Discussing the mission of John the Baptist, Malachi is introduced as prophetic (Matthew 11:10, quoting Malachi 3:1):  "This is the one about whom it was written, 'Behold I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.' "

 

 

 

 

[Page 109]

 

Summary

 

Earlier texts affirming Biblical inspiration and reliability:                                  667

 

Additional texts                                                                                                        

 Internal evidence of inspiration

            The message is called the "word of God"                                                     1        

            The recorded message is that which the Lord "says"                                    3     

New Testament acceptance of the inspiration of the book                                        1         

 

            Total                                                                                                           672