You probably have heard about the consistency of the Bible that seems to be unique among books. This consistency shows up not only in its message but in its use of word pictures, or idioms. They give evidence that the whole Bible was designed and inspired by one mind.
Idioms are words used as a symbol for something that may not be obvious in their literal meaning. Across the whole Bible, even with its many writers over thousands of years, we see a consistency in the way a given word is used as a symbol. These idioms can be subtle, but yet the consistency is remarkable. You can test this by taking a concordance, picking a word and seeing how it is used, that is, if it is consistently associated with a certain theme or idea. Let’s look at just two of the many of these that exist.
How about the word “rock”?
Exodus 17:6 speaks of the rock in Horeb, which Moses struck, and water came forth from the rock, so the people could drink.
In Deuteronomy 32:4 God is called the “Rock,” and again in 1 Samuel 2:2 and Psalm 18:2 and in Isaiah 17:10, where He is called “the rock of my strength.”
Going over to the New Testament (Matthew 7:24) Jesus commends the wise man who builds his house upon a rock, which in this illustration represents someone who listens to God and obeys Him, building on God and His Word, not on the world.
In Romans 9:33 the Lord is referred to as a “rock of offense” for those who tried to be saved by the law rather than through faith in Him.
In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul writes, talking about the people of Israel at the time of Moses: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” So Jesus is spoken of as the Rock they drank from in a spiritual way, just as they drank physically of the literal rock. This makes spiritual sense when we think of things Jesus said such as “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37), or “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). And in 1 Peter 2:7-8 Jesus is spoken of as a “rock of offence” again.
We can see that the word “rock” consistently refers to the Lord, all across the Bible with its many writers over thousands of years. This speaks of a design of one mind, rather than many minds writing different books which more than likely would vary tremendously on how this word was used as a symbol.
How about the word “Leaven?”
Leaven, as in baking bread, seems to be a type for sin as it is used idiomatically in the Bible. Let’s see if its usage bears that out.
In Exodus 12:15, at Passover, the leaven is to be “put away out of your houses.” In Leviticus 2:11, leaven is to be left out of any meat (grain) offering unto the Lord.
In Matthew 16:6, 11, leaven is used to symbolize the false teachings of the Pharisees, being portrayed as something that contaminates.
It is also spoken of this way in 1 Corinthians 5:6, where it is said of sin permitted in the church: “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”
And Matthew 13:33 says: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” This parable, like the one before it in the same chapter, is often interpreted as being a good thing happening to the church as it grows, like the mustard seed growing into a giant tree, with the “birds of the air” nesting in its branches. But many scholars, studying the way the “birds of the air” and “leaven” are used in the rest of Scripture to indicate a bad influence, see these parables as referring to the contamination of the church with sin and false doctrine. The parable of the tares in Matthew 13:24-30 also continues the same theme of contamination of the church.
So we see the consistency in the usage of “leaven” as a contaminating influence, in different ways, by different writers from different cultures over many centuries, just as we would expect if the Bible was inspired by one mind. Would we expect this at all from different human writers from different walks of life and different eras? Would we expect this from a disjointed collection of books that just happened to be thrown together?
Remember that the Bible writers were writing over thousands of years, from all walks of life, in very different cultures. Would we expect to find this consistency with so many words without any common outside influence on the writers?
If you doubt this, pick a word and see how its use as a symbol points to One Mind behind the Scriptures.