A quote from Henry H. Halley from Halley*s Bible Handbook:
The Bible is God*s Word. Apart from any theory of inspiration; or any theory of how the Bible books came to their present form; or how much the text may have suffered in transmission at the hands of editors and copyists; apart from the question of how much is to be interpreted literally and how much figuratively, or what is historical and what may be poetical; if we will assume that the Bible is just what it appears to be, and study its books to know their contents, we will find there a Unity of Thought indicating that One Mind inspired the writing and compilation of the whole series of books; that it bears on its face the stamp of its Author; that is in a unique and distinctive sense THE WORD OF GOD.
There is a present-day view, held rather widely in certain intellectual circles, that the Bible is a sort of age-long story of man*s effort to find God: a record of man*s experiences reaching after God, gradually improving his idea of God by building on the experiences of preceding generations. In those passages, so abundant in the Bible, in which it is said that God spoke, God, according to this view, did not really speak; but men put their ideas in language professing to be the language of God, while in reality it was only what men imagined about God. The Bible is thus reduced to the level of other books, and is made to appear, not a Divine book, but a human book, pretending to be Divine.
We reject this view utterly, and with abhorrence. We believe the Bible to be, not man*s account of his effort to find God, but rather an account of God*s effort to reveal Himself to man: God*s own record of His dealings with men, in His unfolding revelation of Himself to the human race: the Revealed Will of the Creator of Man, given to man by the Creator Himself, for instruction and Guidance in the Ways of Life.
The books of the Bible were composed by human authors; and it is not even known who some of these authors were. Nor is it known just how God directed these authors to write. But it is asserted that God did direct them; and these books must be exactly what God wanted them to be.
There is a difference between the Bible and all other books. Authors may pray for God*s help and guidance; and God does help and guide; and there are many good books in the world which unmistakably God has helped the authors to write. But even so, even the most saintly of authors would hardly presume to claim for his books that God wrote them. But that is claimed for the Bible. God Himself superintended and directed and dictated the writing of the Bible books, with the human authors so completely under His control that the writing was the writing of God. The Bible is GOD*S WORD in a sense that No Other Book in the World is God*s Word.
It may be that some Bible utterances are ancient thoughtforms for ideas that we would now express in a different way; for they were expressed in language of ancient times. But even so, the Bible contains precisely the things that God wants mankind to know, in exactly the form in which He wants us to know them. And to the end of time the Dear Old Book will remain the one and only answer to humanity*s quest for God.
The Bible, composed by many authors, over a period of many centuries, yet ONE BOOK, is, in itself, the outstanding Miracle of the Ages, bearing aloft its own evidence of its Superhuman origin.
EVERYBODY ought to love the Bible. Everybody ought to be a Regular Reader of the Bible. Everybody ought to strive to Live by the Bible*s teachings. The Bible ought to have Central Place in the Life and Working of Every Church; and in Every Pulpit. THE PULPIT*S ONE BUSINESS IS THE SIMPLE EXPOSITORY TEACHING OF GOD*S WORD.
A favorite excuse for not reading the Bible is that I don*t have time. I say you don*t have time not to read it. Even if you spend just 10 or 15 or 20 minutes a day reading the Bible or meditating on it, you will get more rest and accomplish more in the other 23 plus hours. You will make time-saving decisions. You will be more efficient. Reading the Bible is a wise investment. If you neglect the Bible, you*ll have more time-consuming things go wrong and you will get less rest and accomplish less. You will be misguided. You will waste time and energy.
One excuse might be that you don*t understand it. Of course you won*t understand it if you give it no place in your life. It isn*t understood instantly. It is understood just one truth at a time. (See Isaiah 28:13 above.)
Another excuse is that it is only for the educated, the Clergy. If that were true, only the Clergy would get to heaven and only the Clergy would get all the other blessings.
Another excuse is that you don*t remember what you read. You probably don*t remember what you had for lunch last week Monday. But your body used that lunch to keep you healthy. The Bible calls itself spiritual food. Without it you will be sick spiritually.
There is really no substitute for regular personal Bible study. It is wise to follow a man who is following God, but we must make certain for ourselves that he is following God. It can be dangerous to place our trust in a man without knowing that he is following God. We are unwise if we follow a man because he is attractive or charming or intelligent. We ought not to follow the crowd. We ought to make certain that those we follow are Biblical.