Is the Bible God’s Word?

This is not the question that gets non-Christians to come to faith. Your view of the Bible is not as critical a question as where you stand with Jesus. Salvation is the issue. The Bible is God’s word whether we believe it or not. Our task is to present the claims of Christ and that the Bible is a historically reliable document. After one believes, the next question is “How did Jesus view the Bible?” Statements and claims of Scripture are not enough, but there is other information that cannot be ignored.

Beethoven was not God-breathed:

The Bible claims that it is God inspired, God breathed if you will (2 Timothy 3:15-16). This type of inspired is not the same as a musician is inspire to write his music. Biblical inspiration is unique, in that it is God-breathed. It is also not open to random interpretations (2 Peter 1:20-21), because its origin is from God. It’s not a bunch of human ideas.

The writers were also not mere writing utensils, like machines with no personality. God worked through their human personality to write just what God wanted them to write.

The prophets were constantly speaking for God (like in 2 Samuel 23:2 or Jeremiah 1:9). The words written were as if God spoke them, not the prophet (Galatians 3:8, Acts 4:24-25, Psalm 2:1). It was natural to use the phrases, “Scripture said…” and “God said…” just alike.

The New Testament writers claimed the same prophetic authority as the Old Testament writers (Matthew 11:9-15) like John was superior to the OT prophets. Paul speaks of his authority (1 Corinthians 14:37). Peter speaks of Paul’s letter on the same level as the OT Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16).

Jesus’ view of Scripture:

What did He think of it? How did He use it? That it is infallible (Matthew 5:18) meaning it will accomplish what it says it will accomplish. He quoted Scripture as the final authority, using statements like “it is written…” during the temptation story in Matthew 4:4, 10. It’s like the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).

So, if we have accepted Christ it would be inconsistent to not accept the Scripture’s authority. The heart of His teaching and work are based in the OT. He would be guilty of deception if He did not believe in the authority of the OT.

Helpful definitions:

Does accepting the Word of God mean we take it literally? A definition is required. We do not take figures of speech literally (Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 114:4, 6). Those who do not take it literally mean they frequently seek to evade some of its clear intent in the words.

What does inerrancy mean? First we must not impose 21st century standard of science and history to the biblical writers. The Bible describes thing phenomenally, as they appear to be, like in sunrise and sunset. Sometimes it uses round numbers instead of precise numbers, like there were 5000 people. Some apparent errors may be errors in translation (discussed in reliable documents chapter). Sometimes problems were resolves as more information became known.

What about fulfilled prophecies? It is not like vague generalities of fortune tellers “A handsome man will enter your life.” Fulfilled prophecy with specific details is evidence that God’s word came through the prophets (Jeremiah 28:9, Deuteronomy 18:21-22). Isaiah unmasks false prophets as they predict falsely (Isaiah 41:22-23). Prophecies of the Messiah and prophecies of historical events and prophecies of the Jews are different. The suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and Micah 5:2), see more details on p. 69-70.

The Holy Spirit’s role:

The work of the Spirit is always toward some purpose. The Emmaus disciples had an aha moment (Luke 24:32). This same experience comes to us with the Spirit’s help.

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