We most likely have at least one Bible in our home, or on our phone. Commonly called the Good Book, it used to be well read and applied. What is the big deal about this ancient book? How does it carry such authority? We’ll examine that in this post.
What is the authority of Scripture?
All the words in Scripture are God’s words. Disbelieving or disobeying the Bible is the same as disbelieving or disobeying God Himself. That’s the authority of the Almighty Creator in written language.
How are all the words in Scripture considered God’s words?
The prophets wrote a large part of the Old Testament, prefacing all of God’s edicts with, “Thus says the LORD.” False prophets were stoned so accuracy was important. Jesus quoted heavily from the Old Testament, and the New Testament affirms the Old Testament as God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
The New Testament is based on Jesus’ teachings, who is God Incarnate.
That’s nice, how do I know all this is true?
You can examine the other lines of evidence, like in How We Got The Bible, and intellectually deny or believe it, a belief that it’s true. However, the heart belief, the step that leads to believing in the fact that what we read are God’s words comes from the Holy Spirit as it resonates inside us (1 Corinthians 2:13-14). Jesus told the crowds that his sheep know his voice (John 10:27). He also had a lot to say about the scriptures that we know as the Old Testament.
When he quoted it, he said “It is written,” indicating its authority. He affirmed that the Old Testament is imperishable (Matthew 5:17-18), inspired (Matthew 22:43), unbreakable (John 10:35), God’s supreme written authority (Matthew 22:29), and inerrant (John 17:17).
Here’s the dilemma that has to be worked through—if Jesus is the Son of God, then the Bible is the Word of God. If the Bible isn’t the Word of God, then Jesus isn’t the Son of God, since he would have taught false doctrine.
Wait a minute, isn’t this a circular argument?
Yes, it is. Two thoughts though. First, examine the non-canonical evidence for the historicity of Jesus, and you’ll find a good case for him outside the Bible. Second, all arguments for absolute authority must ultimately appeal to that authority for truth. It’s used by everyone when defending their ultimate authority for belief, like appealing to logic to prove logic.
Is the Bible God’s word, verbatim?
He didn’t dictate every word, but used a variety of processes to communicate, using the author’s personal style and experience to write it down. Like poetry, psalms, history, letters, and so on. He used the prophets (Hebrews 1:1), historical research, eyewitness accounts, dreams, visions, speaking to them in an audible voice. The consistency of message from such a variety of authors is amazing in contrast to other holy books written by a single author in other religions.
What implications does the authority of Scripture have on my life?
As God’s word, who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), then all of the words of Scripture are true (Proverbs 30:5). This makes God’s words the ultimate standard of truth (John 17:17), so disbelief or disobedience of them is to do the same to God.
Won’t new facts contradict the Bible?
Never. It only causes us to reexamine the Scripture to see if it really teaches what we thought it did. Genesis 1:1 and the Big Bang are a good example of this. At one time, scientists thought we lived in an eternal universe where Genesis always taught that it was created. The accumulating archaeological discoveries steadily affirm the accuracy of the Bible, like the discovery of the Hittites.
What is the final authoritative form of Scripture?
The written form we have now is. The 10 Commandments that Moses put in the Ark of the Covenant was God’s words. God commanded Moses and the prophets to write down their words from Him, and if they wrote anything that he didn’t sanction, they would be punished. Paul said all Scripture was God-breathed and Peter included Paul’s writings with Scripture (2 Peter 3:16).
Is the Bible God’s word? Yes.
Does it matter? The more I read it and understand its scope and reach, I can see how it matters to every aspect of our spiritual and physical lives. It’s where you find God, like a map leading you to the destination.
Doctrine of the Bible Posts
How Did We Get The Bible?
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 4: The Four Characteristics of Scripture: (1) Authority
The Big Book of Christian Apologetics: An A to Z Guide by Norman L. Geisler
Bible, Jesus’s View of; page 56