Many of the world's religions are based on a book or text that adherents claim to have been written by or directly inspired by a god, perhaps omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent.

My question is whether there is anything, in principle, that could be written in a text that would convince a rational person that the text must have been written by a god, and in particular, that it could not have been written by a human being, even a very insightful one?

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    Not written by humans doesn't necessarily imply written by a supernatural being. Jun 23 '11 at 10:37
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    @Raskolnikov, of course I agree with that; my question is what it would take in a book to convince a rational agent that it was from a god. In particular, I take this to imply that it was not written by a human, but indeed this would be a weaker claim.
    – JDH
    Jun 23 '11 at 12:53
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    Simple: it would require proof. How does one prove that a book was written by or inspired by God (or anything for that matter)? I would have to observe such writing or inspiration occurring such that there could be no explanation other than that a God did it (and therefore exists). Thus, this question is really just a veiled way of asking "How can we prove the existence of God?" (although the OP may not have realized this when writing the question).
    – stoicfury
    Feb 29 '12 at 17:20
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    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington says "Liberty is too Precious a thing to be buried in books". Couldn't this be rephrased for love/god ? in the end this shows that books are weak attempts to render something that is inside our souls ? or could your soul be so finite that it can be buried in a book ? Aug 17 '12 at 9:30
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    If I can be convinced that a certain book has been written by an omniscient god, that omniscient god would know it (even if I don't). Therefore the best proof of it would be if after reading the book I'd be convinced.
    – celtschk
    Sep 23 '12 at 16:10

31 Answers 31


Quran gives such a test of authenticity of authorship.

Quran says in verse 82, Nissa chapter, Do they not study Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah (God), they would surely have found therein much contradiction.

Quran contains many logical arguments regarding the necessity of a creator and that the creator must be unique. This kind of logic in the Quran is a higher order logic. Quran does not ask for a blind faith. Quran wants the believers to examine the facts and then make a decision to accept or reject. So, my advice to you if you want to know, read Quran and make up your mind about who wrote the book.

Here is my own experience. I consider my self a rational man of science and I earned my PhD in computer engineering. Every time I read Quran I get more convinced that Quran is not written by any human and Quran is the words of Allah, my creator.

One such example of knowledge of the type you are looking for in the Quran is the statement of the Quran that everything is created in pairs which is only understood just recently when we discovered that elementary particles come in pairs which we call matter and antimatter. For instance, electron and positron pair.

If Quran was from any source other than Allah (God) then we would find many logical contradictions. These contradictions could be internal between different parts of Quran or external with indisputable facts. For instance, many claimed that there are contradictions in Quran. For example, they cite that Quran states that ants talk to each other in the story of Prophet Solomon with ants( Ants chapter, verse 18). Just recently, scientists discovered in 2009 that ants "talk" to each other using sound produced by its abdomen. See this ABC News clip about the discovery.

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    -1 There is no reason why any book not written by Allah should contain much contradiction. So finding much contradiction in Quran could prove that it is not written by Allah, but the opposite is not true. Feb 4 '13 at 22:34
  • But ants don't talk like people, that is they do not use words. The fact is that there are many coincidences out there. If they were not sensitive to sounds, you would have said they "talk" through smell sense and so on...
    – Theta30
    Feb 24 '13 at 18:53
  • "...contains many logical arguments...": It is easy to create valid arguments that have no connection with reality. "... examine the facts and then make a decision to accept or reject": Practically speaking this decision usually takes place in the extreme ignorance of youth, under social/psychological pressure, threats of violence, taxing, control and/or oppression by believers. "...everything is created in pairs...": This type of wording is ambiguous, general, imprecise, unscientific linguistic sloppiness that can be easily interpreted to fit into either side of any argument.
    – user6552
    Sep 4 '14 at 0:40

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