Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What does the Bible say about itself?

I periodically teach on what God's Word says about itself. Does it contain a record of man's experience with God as Karl Barth claimed? Or does it contain God's Word down to every word choice: singular or plural, masculine or feminine pronouns?

Rather than approaching the Bible based on our own constructed theories, it is good to consider what the Bible claims about itself, what Jesus claims about the Bible and what the Apostles claim about the Bible.
You might disagree with them, but we have to say this is the Bible's testimony about itself.
So what does the Bible say about itself?
Even within all these different prophets of the Old Testament who have different writing styles, they say "Thus says the Lord."
Or look at the New Testament writers:
The testimony of the Apostle Paul: "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." - 1 Timothy 3:16-17
The testimony of Apostle Peter: "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 man, but men spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
And the Apostle Peter also testified that Paul's writings were Scripture: "... just as our dear brother Paul also wrote with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable men distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15-16
Paul's writings are treated as equivalent to the other Scriptures.
Now how do Jesus and Paul treat the Scripture? They make their argument based on every single word, even whether the word choice was singular or plural. Jesus states "and the Scripture cannot be broken."
That means that although the Holy Spirit used individual men to write Scripture and they wrote in their own styles, that every single word in the Bible is inspired by God even to whether the word is singular or plural.
There is no half-way point. If you want to except anything in the Bible, you have to accept it all. Otherwise, it is just a collection of opinions of man and can be thrown away.

All Scripture quotes are taken from the NIV1984 translation.