Last week we talked about General revelation or natural revelation of God. Today we shall talk about the Bible as the special revelation of God. For Christians all over the world and in all ages the Bible is the written as Word of God. It is also the known as the Special revelation of God to man. The Bible completes the revelation that God has partially revealed himself in nature or in creation. God has more fully revealed himself in the written Word, the Bible. The word ‘Bible’ comes from the Greek word ‘Biblos’ meaning ‘book’. The English word ‘Revelation’ comes from the Latin word ‘revelatio’ meaning an unveiling of something that was previously hidden by a veil that God has made himself to mankind in the past in various ways and manners and which have been documented and written down in the Bible.
In the Bible, God has not told us everything we could know about him, but he only let us know everything that we need to know. It is both the record and the explanation of all events that are narrated in it. Scripture is both a record of past events and the divine explanation of them. The events that are described in the Bible are not God’s revelation, but they are the interpretation of the same are his special revelation. God gives the interpretation and as such is his special revelation having a specific purpose. Apostle Paul wrote this: “ All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Special revelation is supernatural communication of God with man. God spoke to man in the past in diverse ways through many people in diverse situations. But they are in the Bible as written record. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of things, and through him he made the universe”.
. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side made him known” (John 1: 1-18). Two clearest Biblical testimony are to be found in the Old Testament books of the Psalm 19:7-14; and the entire Psalm 119. We can add one more passage from the Bible here to be found in the New Testament of The Hebrews Chapter 4: 12-13 which, which is very serious about our attention to God’s Word, and reads: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
Revelation is from God, it is his act for his creation. Without God’s revealing himself or unveiling his self man cannot have any knowledge of him because of the fall of man. All prophecies in the Old Testament came from God, who, in his grace, granted man to know his will, decree and action for the eternal good of mankind. Speaking about Christ apostle Peter wrote for the first century Christians in diaspora: “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shinning in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of men, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1: 9-21). The Bible is the authoritative, inerrant and infallible Word of God. It is written by people inspired by God. This special revelation of God in and through the Bible is God’s life-giving Word for man lost due to sin. This depicts God’s holy will and grace for lost mankind. It reveals the loving and saving grace of God for mankind, who was alienated from God due to sin. The literary record of God’s revelation has been transmitted to us in the Bible.
The writer is a Christian theology teacher and church leader