Historically, unity among humans has been fragile and ephemeral.  In this culture, its very foundations are fracturing and disintegrating because of the destruction of the family unit.  Marriage, divorce and remarriage is severely injurious to the children, and they struggle to learn real love and forgiveness between their natural fathers and mothers and how to work problems out so the family holds together and becomes even stronger.  Even what is bound by blood cannot survive in some toxic cultures (Eze 14:14, 20).  In the Western culture, unity is a frail and weakly discerned concept because the understructure is based on individual rights.  What is good for the many is of no consequence if what is good for the individual seems superior.  Unity has been replaced by "Unity in Diversity," which is no real unity, and cannot persist and hold true against the avalanche of trouble when it comes upon us.  Courage, faith, persistence, commitment and love are the mortar of true unity.

But the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are united.  Our lack of unity due to selfishness does not adversely effect the unity of God.  Our outcry for selfish rights does not change the unity of God or the unity of His Word, the Bible.  Just as God is One, so His Word is also One.  The following question acutely brings our attention to this issue:

Could forty different men, writing over a 1500-year period, all agree if they were not inspired by God?1

This is a substantial question!  Liberal scholars will protest the time period, but clearly the Bible comes from ancient times, and was finished by 100 AD.  Most of the Biblical writers did not know each other.  They didn't have a chance to sit, talk, reason, and learn from each other.  They didn't have an opportunity to design a theme for the 66 books together.  Rather, they "...spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Pet 1:21).

Please consider this:  If you were able to assemble 40 different men with different backgrounds and educational levels from different times in history, would all 40 be able to agree?  Surely not!  If you were to gather 40 men from the same city living in the same time, would they be able to agree on anything?  Absolutely not, unless you were in a bar, and the question was whether drinking alcohol is good!  Look at our own Congress in Washington, D.C.  Here are extremely rich, educated, and influential people, but they cannot agree on anything.  How often do you hear of a "unanimous" decision by our Supreme Court?  That must be as rare as whiskers on a frog.  Even our current president flip-flops on his opinions, and cannot even agree with himself!  Therefore, it is completely illogical to think that 40 different men writing over 1500 years could agree, and that their writings could be forged into a single document with a phenomenal sense of unity.

Please realize that we are speaking about the greatest miracle God ever worked.  Forty men, unknown to each other and separated by hundreds of years, could NEVER agree without the overruling Sovereignty of God.  You simply cannot explain the Bible in the absence of divine intervention and divine superintending of all things having to do with the Bible.

Consider the theme of the Bible, which is God's salvation of sinful people.  The need for this is established in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1-3, and there we have the first prophecy about a deliverer:

15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel."Gen 3:15 (NASB)

When God announces His plan to use the "seed" of the woman, we must realize that this is one of the most remarkable statements in the Bible.  With this "seed" (singular), God would bring deliverance for the family of man in Christ.

Now this seed promise is the critical "glue" that holds the whole Bible together, even though it was written over more than a thousand years.  The genealogies tell us the account.  In Genesis 5, the seed promise goes from Seth to Noah.  In Genesis 11:10ff, the seed promise goes from Shem to Abraham.  Through the remainder of Genesis, the seed line is transferred from Abraham, to Isaac (Genesis 17:15ff), to Jacob (Genesis 27), and to Judah (Genesis 49:8-12).  Then that seed promise came through David (2 Sam 7:11-16) and on to Christ (Matt 1:2-16), who is the fulfillment of that seed promise.  Throughout this time God protects the seed line, and all of the Old Testament hangs upon this seed line promise.

Americans hate genealogies, and even Western Christians barely tolerate reading all these biblical genealogies.  However, we must realize that the genealogies are there for as reason, and that was to show that God was working out His own purpose through these people so that in all things He could accomplish what He had promised.

Why is it all there?  We must allow the Bible to speak, for if not, then the cultural bias will become the dominant voice.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matt 1:21 (ESV)

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10 (ESV)

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Tim 1:15 (ESV)

Thus, whether it is the angel announcing to Joseph the conception of Jesus in Mary, or Christ's own clear-cut purpose statement for his own life, or Paul's clear understanding of Christ's mission, the message is the same:  Jesus Christ came to earth to SAVE SINNERS.  Now this was not just a sudden impulse on God's part to do this, but rather it was God's purposeful planning before the beginning of time:

8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9  who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Tim 1:8-10 (ESV)

So it was the eternal plan of God to save sinners through Jesus Christ, His Son (see also Titus 1:2; Rom 16:25-26; Eph 1:4).  Not only this, but God's eternal plan included the church of our Lord Jesus (see also Eph 3:20-21):

8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. Eph 3:8-12 (ESV)

Not only was salvation in Christ as well as his His church in the plan of God before the beginning of time, but so were the teachings that were given by the apostles:

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 1 Cor 2:6-7 (ESV)

Now in regard to the apostles' teachings also being planned by God before the beginning of time, please also read Rom 16:25-26; Eph 3:5; Col 1:26).  Note particularly that these teachings were connected to the "prophetic writings" (Rom 16:26).

It is so important for us to understand that Christ, Christ's Church, and teachings of Christ's apostles were all "decreed before the ages for our glory."  This is the plan that God planned.  This is the plan announced by the prophets.  This is the plan that God brought to fruition in Christ.  This is the glue that holds the Bible together.  This is the unity of the Bible.

The unity of the Bible is found in the Person who was responsible for it:  God.

ENDNOTES:

  1. Fishers of Men. Search for Truth, lesson 2, question 1, © 2010. http://www.noeo.net/obs/sft/2/sft2b.htm
  2. Regarding the discussion on the eternal plan of God, multiple truths were obtained from the following source: Wharton, E. Scheme of Redemption (Study Guide), Sunset International Bible Institute, © 1998.