Gary Bates and Lita Cosner wrote a book on how we can know the Bible is the Word of God. Four of the questions I found worth answering as a Roman Catholic, which is not exactly bound to be identic to their answers as Protestants. I only read these four on a preview, I do not own the book itself. I also added a fifth one.
- Is the Bible just a book written by men?
- No. Although it is in fact written by men, it is not just that.
Moses wrote Genesis largely relying on Tradition, like Luke wrote his Gospel and many parts of Acts.
Moses wrote narrative parts of Exodus largely from personal memory, like St John wrote his Gospel.
Moses spoke with God and got parts of Exodus and subsequent parts of Leviticus by dictation, and he saw the work of the Six days in a vision. Like St John wrote the apocalypse.
David and Solomon also wrote from a thing akin to tradition and memory, namely understanding.
And so on for all the other authors.
But in all these "sources" they wrote and chose what to write under inspiration. Not as in "I feel inspired to write", but as in God inspiring each final decision of the author to the exclusion of all error from each and all books, and to the inclusion of nearly all truth, directly or indirectly, literally stated or symbolically stated, in the sum of all the books. Only books written entirely under inspiration belong to the Bible.
- How did they know which books to include in the Bible?
- The Church of Israel saw the miracles of Moses.
The Church of Christ saw His miracles and knew whom He had elected as Apostles, and saw their miracles. It has eight authors, the New Testament, and six of them are Apostles, only two are disciples of Apostles: St Mark to St Peter and St Luke to St Paul.
The Church, under either Covenant, accepted the Books given as from God by holy men. And from the time of Moses on, there was always an authority to decide on it: Aaronite priests under the Ancient Covenant until Kaiaphas betrayed it and earned the curses in Deuteronomy 28 for his followers, by rejecting Jesus, and St Peter's and the other Apostle's Succession up to our days knowing what to accept and that they should stop adding after disappearance of St John who had survived the other Apostles, because Christ had promised them The Fulness of Truth. Unlike Old Testament, there is no longer any build up of added revealed truth.
- Are there contradictions in the Bible?
- No real ones, plenty of merely apparent ones. And usually the Church knows how to resolve them. As other ambiguities (honest or construed ones) in the meaning. If there is hesitation thereon, it is usually not important, certainly less for Salvation than when the Church knows.
- How do we know the Bible is the Inerrant Word of God?
- Because of the Church telling us, and testifying to her divine mission and fidelity to it by a holy doctrine and by many miracles.
- Must we accept any other teachings of the Church than the text of the Bible?
- Yes, we must accept all teachings of the Church, everything that is traditionally part of the Apostolic teaching. And that includes Her warnings against unauthorised private reading and against adulterated versions (Albigensian, Protestant, Watchtower Society).
Now, those are the correct answers. Maybe incomplete, but correct. I fear Gary and Lita might have strayed on some of these principles.
BpI, Georges Pompidou
St Bartholomew's the Apostle's Vigil