First, let's define inspiration.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 (NASB)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The word here for "inspired," means literally, "God-breathed." This means that the Holy Spirit acted in such a way that the writers of the Bible presented the exact truth that God desired revealed. Peter says
2 Peter 1:20,21(NASB)
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
1 Corinthians 1:11-13(NASB)
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God,
13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
God revealed through the Spirit the exact words, word-for-word, that He wanted man to have in the Scriptures. And since he did, there should certainly be evidence of Divine knowledge in the Scriptures.
I hardly know where to start. This is an area of study we call "Christian Evidences." There are hundreds of passages that demonstrate Divine knowledge.
Take for example the study of Archaeology. Today, most Archaeologists admit that the Bible has never been contradicted when it comes to true science. If the Bible states that such-and-such a city existed, with such-and-such a people living there, eventually, Archaeologists will prove the Bible to be true.
Let me illustrate with one Passage from Ezekiel.
3 therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves.
4 'And they will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; and I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock.
5 'She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,' declares the Lord GOD, 'and she will become spoil for the nations.
12 "Also they will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise, break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses, and throw your stones and your timbers and your debris into the water.
13 "So I will silence the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps will be heard no more.
14 "And I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the LORD have spoken," declares the Lord GOD.
21 "I shall bring terrors on you, and you will be no more; though you will be sought, you will never be found again," declares the Lord GOD."
The Phoenicians were enemies of God's people. Ezekiel prophecies that eventually, they would be overcome. Writing in about the year 600 B.C. Ezekiel says:
1. Many nations would come against Tyre (vs. 3).
2. The entire city of Tyre would be destroyed and thrown into the see. So complete would be its destruction that Tyre would be eventually become a bare rock (vss.4& 12).
3. The city site would become a place for the spreading of fishing nets (vs. 14).
4. The city of Tyre would never be built again (vs. 14).
We must realize that the Phoenicians were a powerful people. The city of Tyre was their capital city, and one of the richest cities in the world at the time. These people literally feared no one. Realize also, that it was customary, even after a terrible defeat, to rebuild a city once it was destroyed, on the old foundation. This was the common practice of the day.
In 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon besieged the city of Tyre. For thirteen years, Nebuchadnezzar held Tyre captive. Then the Phoenicians, using their seafaring skills, moved their city to a small island one half mile out in the Mediterranean Sea and escaping Nebuchadnezzar. The city of Tyre was abandoned.
In 322 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered the coastal cities of the Mediterranean Sea. He forced his captives to wage war against the new city of Tyre in constant waves from the sea. Alexander grew tired of the slow progress the war making, and ordered that the old city of Tyre, the original city abandoned by the Phoenicians, to be torn down, and thrown into the sea to make a causeway, or road, wide enough for two chariots, so the war could progress. Every building was torn down and thrown into the sea to build this road. When the entire city was torn down, the causeway was still unable to reach the new city of Tyre, so Alexander ordered that the ground be scraped to the bedrock to provide the material needed to finish the road. He then marched his army over the new road and defeated the Phoenicians, and then destroyed their new city.
Today the city that Ezekiel prophesied against is a large bare rock. For hundreds of years it has been a place where fishermen spread their nets. The building materials from the ancient city of Tyre are clearly seen in the water off the cost. Part of the causeway can be seen to this day.
How could these things be so? How could Ezekiel prophecy in specific detail things that he could not have known, hundreds of years before it came to pass? The answer: INSPIRATION. Ezekiel was inspired by God.
The skeptics today never mention that the ancient city of Tyre, on the main land, has never been rebuilt. Those who talk about Tyre today are talking about the Island city, not the city that Ezekiel prophesied against. This quote from Norman Geisler is helpful:
"Nebuchadnezzar did destroy the coastal cities. However the people of the port of Tyre had obviously relocated to the island city, which they were able to successfully defend against the Babylonian invaders. Nebuchadnezzar had defeated and plundered the cities on the shore, as Ezekiel prophesied in 26:7-11, but he could not defeat the island city. This fact is reported in Ez 29:18. Further, v. 12 marks a shift from the prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar to prophetic declarations about other invaders. V. 3 had already introduced the idea of many invaders in the statement "I… will cause many nations to come up against you.' As history records, many nations did come up against the island city of Tyre, but it was Alexander the Great, laying siege against the island city of Tyre in about 332 B.C., who finally conquered the city and left it in total ruins so that it was never rebuilt. Note that a nation is often referred to by its ruler at the time. When rightly understood, Ezekiel's prophecy perfectly fits the historical record."(from WHEN CRITICS ASK, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, 1992, p. 287)
Another example comes to us from the field of medicine.
11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'
This, of course is a section of Scripture written by Moses, somewhere around 1500 B.C. He states that "the life of the flesh is in the blood."
Until the 1800's man had a very different view of blood. Blood letting was the common practice. Man considered blood a carrier of disease, not life. In our own country, in the early 19th century, we had what was known as "barber-surgeons." These were the professional blood letters of the time (that's what the red stripe on their poles indicates). They believed that in order to free a person of disease, they needed to remove a considerable amount of a persons blood. While they were doing this, they trimmed the patient's hair. The father of our country, George Washington, was bled to death by a blood letting-barber!
Only recently has the importance of blood been recognized. Our lives depend on blood! Blood provides temperature control, waste removal, water transportation, food and hormones to the cells of all parts of the body, our very life and nourishment are dependent on blood.
How did Moses know, writing in 1500 B.C. what it took Scientists 3500 years to discover? THE ANSWER IS INSPIRATION!
One of my favorite examples of inspiration is found in Psalm 8:8: (NASB)
8 "The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas."
This Psalm was written by David in about 1000 B.C. In this verse he mentions (incidentally) "whatever passes through the paths of the seas." In this place the Hebrew word for "paths" carries the literal meaning of "customary roads." David knew that there were "paths," or "roads" in the sea.
How could David have know in 1000 B.C. what man was unable to discover until 1855 A.D. ?????
An example comes to us from the field of Astronomy:
22 'As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'"
12 therefore, also, there was born of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.
Jeremiah wrote in about 600 B.C. and the the Book of Hebrews dates from about 63 A.D. Both bible writers tells us that the number of stars are as innumerable as are the sands of the seas.
In 150 B.C. the ancient scientists Hipparchus decided one night to count the stars. He laid on his back all night counting stars and then stated with great confidence that there were less than 3,000 stars.
In about 150 A.D. Ptolemy counted 1056 stars, and stated with confidence that the actual number could not possibly exceed 3,000.
In 1608 A.D. Galileo used a telescope for the first time and discovered that there were so many stars, he announced the number was innumerable.
Today we know that there are well over 100 billion suns in our own galaxy, probably trillions of galaxies in the universe. Jeremiah said that the "hosts of heaven could not be counted." This is literally true. If you were to count the suns just in our Milky Way Galaxy at the rate of 200 per minute, it would take you 1,000 years to quit counting!
How did these Bible writers know these facts thousands of years before man's sophisticated instruments could demonstrate the truth of their statements? THE ANSWER IS INSPIRATION!