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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 25-03-2009
Category: Bible related
The dual nature of the Bible

The Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is a miracle of ingenuity which no man could have produced independently. It consists of two parts:

  • The supernatural part (A). It talks about God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the Virgin birth, the Resurrection, miracles and supernatural events. It speaks of invisible, untestable things that cannot be researched or investigated. We recognize these portions by the many times ‘This is what the Lord says’ is used. We should never be cowed by anybody who objects to miracles, like the axe head which floated on the water (2 Kings 6:1-7). We should rather be afraid if the Bible is only a ‘natural’ revelation. That would give us no guarantee that there is life after death, because only God who is supernatural can tell us what waits beyond the grave. Another supernatural area is predictive prophecy. For example, God foretold that the Assyrians (a mighty nation at that time) would be overtaken by their enemies, and it happened (Isaiah 10:12-13). It is only a supernatural God who knows what will happen in the future. When liberal theologians object to the supernatural aspect of the Bible, we must understand that their rebellion against God is the reason why they do not have the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit it is impossible to understand the secret things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-14).
  • The natural part (B). This is the part of the Bible that we can see, and understand. It is the land Israel, its geography, history and archaeology, the eastern peoples and their habits. We can verify, research and investigate that. The records of the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, and other peoples are all a rich field of study to better understand the world of the Bible and the revelation of God in history.

These two parallel strains distinguish the Bible from all other writings since the beginning of mankind. No other religious book has this combination of supernatural revelation and the natural history that can be investigated. One of the proofs that the Bible has a supernatural origin is that man cannot combine its three aspects (1) the supernatural [invisible aspects], 2) the natural [history] and 3) the natural [geographical locations] which have a typological application) into one story line. Its origin is in God who is outside of time and knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). It also reveals why the man without the Spirit (only those who love Jesus Christ and obey His commands can receive the Holy Spirit, John 14:16-17) cannot understand the Bible, especially the supernatural aspects.

Part B also carries the stamp of divine origin. It is not written like ordinary history. Some parts are just glossed over, while other aspects are dealt with in much detail. Examples of these comprehensive explanations are the tabernacle and temple with their priesthood. It is history, explaining God’s interaction in human affairs, and at the same time it points forward to the coming Messiah (Old Testament), and the Messiah who arrived (New Testament). It receives so much attention the we have added details in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles about the temple worship.

Why did God mix part A with part B? The reason is that we have to have some visible verification that part A is the truth. Because part B is history that can be verified, we have reason to trust part A.

This twofold aspect of the Bible also explains the meaning of the word ‘truth.’ Jesus as fully God (the supernatural aspect) and fully man (the natural aspect) is the truth (John 14:6). He teaches that life is not only about the visible-temporal, but also about the invisible-eternal. The Bible teaches both, and thus reveals the whole truth of life (John 17:17).

Why is it important to understand the twofold aspect of the Bible?
God’s concern from the time of Adam was this: who will believe and obey His Word? Those who do, are introduced to a powerful Saviour who will change their lowly bodies to be like His glorious body so that they can live eternally.
God gave many blueprints of His past help to His people in need. Anyone can use them to remind God of His mercy in the past, when they pray for their own problems.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27