Did the Scriptures Exist Completely in the Mind and Plan of God Before they were Given for Men to Write Down?
1. Some Scriptures seem to teach so. Psalm 119:89 says, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven.” Was all the Word of God, including the part yet unwritten, settled in Heaven when this Psalm was written? On the same line, Psalm 119:152 says, “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” I note the past tense. That seems to teach that they were founded before they were written down.
In Acts 15:18 we read, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” That is recorded as a statement of James, but I regard it as an inspired and authoritative statement. If so, does not that mean that all the Bible, in detail was known unto God from the beginning of the world?
2. Consider the ceremonial law. The Tabernacle in the wilderness, and its furniture and appointments were evidently copied after a heavenly tabernacle which Moses saw in Heaven. Hebrews 8:2 speaks of Christ as “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” And verse 5 says that earthly priests “…serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Would that not mean then that all the ceremonial matters involved, and their spiritual meaning, were already planned out in every detail before the Scriptures were written down?
3. The whole matter of the crucifixion of Christ, the types picturing it, the allusions to it, and the doctrines involved, were evidently planned before God killed innocent animals and made garments for naked Adam and Eve and before righteous Abel offered a sacrifice that pictured Christ. It seems that is involved in the mention of Christ as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” in Revelations 13:8.
I am deeply concerned to see the truth about this, and if what I am suggesting is true, then the Word of God and whatever human color, testimony, feelings and experiences are incorporated in the Word of God were planned of God ahead of time and thus incorporated in the Bible. If I am not understanding these Scriptures correctly in the light of some other Scripture or Bible truth, I honestly want to know it and will welcome any counsel or criticism that may come to mind.
Editor’s Note: Dr. John R. Rice wrote to a select group of Bible scholars and asked them to prayerfully consider these questions and more that he submitted. You can read their answers in Dr. Rice’s classic book, “Our God-Breathed Book–The Bible.” The book is available from Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. SwordoftheLord.com