Dear Pastor Andy, why do Christians claim that God said something just because their Bible says God said it? I mean, you can’t prove the Bible speaks for God, so why claim that it does? What gives the Christian Bible, or their Bible’s authors, the right to speak for God? Of course, you can claim that God inspired the Bible writers, but, I can claim that you inspired me to ask this question. Does that mean you asked it?
My Reply: To turn this around, why do you think God did not say it, just because you were not the one who heard it? Or, how do you know famous people really said the quotes that they are known for? How do we know the words of Buddha or Socrates? How do we know the things in history really happened? What, because they are in our school text books?
You could say that people who were there at the time they said them, or at the times these things happened, witnessed it and wrote them down so we may know today. But that is also what the people who wrote down God’s Word in the Bible did.
You have to figure the drastic change in the lives of those who heard the words of Jesus and who knew Him personally. You also have to figure the history, not only by what is written in the Bible, but also by those who were not connected directly with Christianity, yet wrote about such anyway. Many other cultures wrote about events mentioned in the Bible, many of whom were even directly affected negatively, yet identical.
So how do we know God said these words? Because people present at the time, who heard God’s words, wrote them down for others to know, because of the direct impact it made on those who heard God’s words, and because archeology and literature from non-biblical sources confirm what the Bible says.
So what gives us the right to speak for God? As Christians, we have intimate (close) relationships with God…He is our friend, too. So as we communicate with Him, He communicates with us, also, for communication is a huge part of a friendship/relationship. The “Right” we have is by believing in Jesus Christ that we’re given the right to become children of God (John 1:12), and as children of God, we are also given the right to speak for Him when He reveals something to us, and some things, it’s even our responsibility to tell others so that they too may be blessed, may believe, and/or glorify God.
As for your last question, I will guess that you have had some time to think about it. So how do you know that God did not prompt you into asking this question in order to receive the answer?