Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Christ's View of Scripture

The Bible asserts its own inspiration. The Bible claims to deal authoritatively with all questions of religion and morality. The Old Testament claims, “Thus saith the Lord,” 413 times. There are numerous direct quotations and allusions throughout by the Old Testament authors to each other. The New Testament gives its familiar “It is written,” sixty-three times. The New Testament also cites itself on many occasions. Peter classes all of Paul’s epistles with the inspired Scriptures (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Paul quotes Luke’s gospel as Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:18 (cf. Luke 10:7). Luke refers to his previous work (Acts 1:1). Jude cites 2 Peter 3:2-3 in verse 18 of his Epistle. John alludes to his own gospel. Paul mentions another letter he had written to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:9). Some of these examples are not formal quotations, but they do illustrate the fact that within the New Testament there is recognition of one inspired book by another.

The clincher though is Revelation 1:2, where the Word of God is identified with the testimony of Jesus Christ! This statement runs in both directions. Firstly, it means that the testimony of Jesus Christ in the New Testament in as fully God’s Word as the Old Testament. Secondly, it means that the Old Testament is equally the testimony of Jesus Christ.

If Christ possesses any authority or integrity as a teacher (not to mention His authority as God), then the Scriptures are inspired. This can be demonstrated by His use of Scripture:

1. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, even to words and verb tenses. He obviously had either memorized vast portions or knew it instinctively: John 7:15.

(Incidentally, Jesus need not verify every passage in the Canon or else we would find the whole Old Testament re-quoted in the New Testament, which is unnecessary. He verifies enough of it to assure us of complete approval of it all, including passages from all but a few books. Yet those also were in His Canon. He did not refute any of them.)

2. He believed every word of Scripture. All the prophecies concerning Himself were fulfilled, and He believed beforehand they would be.

3. He believed the Old Testament was historical fact. This is very clear, even from the Creation (cf. Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4, 5) onward. Much of what Jesus believed has long been under fire from the critics as being mere fiction. Here are some examples of historical facts from the Old Testament attested to by Jesus:
• Luke 11:51 Abel was a real individual
• Matthew. 24:37-39 Noah and the flood (Luke 17:26, 27)
• John 8:56-58 Abraham
• Matthew 10:15; 11:23, 24 (Luke 10:12) Sodom and Gomorrah
• Luke 17:28-32 Lot (and wife!)
• Matthew 8:11 Isaac and Jacob (Luke 13:28)
• John 6:31, 49, 58 Manna
• John 3:14 Serpent
• Matthew 12:39-41 Jonah (vs.42 - Sheba)
• Matthew 24:15 Daniel and Isaiah

4. He believed the books were written by the men whose names they bear:
• Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Torah): Matthew 19:7, 8; Mark 7:10, 12:26 ("Book of Moses" the Torah); Luke 5:14; 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44 ("Christ's Canon"); John 1:17; 5:45, 46; 7:19; ("The Law [Torah] was given by Moses; Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.")
• Isaiah wrote Isaiah: Mark 7:6-13; John 12:37-41.
• Jonah wrote Jonah: Matthew 12:39-41.
• Daniel wrote Daniel: Matthew 24:15.

5. He believed the Old Testament was spoken by God Himself, or written by the Holy Spirit's inspiration, even though the pen was held by men: Matthew 19:4, 5; 22:31, 32, 43; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37.

6. He believed Scripture was more powerful than His miracles: Luke 16:29, 31.

7. He actually quoted it in overthrowing Satan! The O.T. Scriptures were the arbiter in every dispute: Matthew 4; Luke 16:29, 31.

8. He quoted Scripture as the basis for his own teaching. His ethics were the same as what we find already written in Scripture: Matthew 7:12; 19:18, 19; 22:40; Mark 7:9, 13; 10:19; 12:24,29-31; Luke 18:20.

9. He warned against replacing it with something else, or adding or subtracting from it. The Jewish leaders in His day had added to it with their Oral Traditions: Matthew 5:17; 15:1-9; 22:29; (cf. 5:43, 44); Mark. 7:1-12. (Destroying faith in the Bible as God's Word will open the door today to a "new" Tradition.)

10. He will judge all men in the last day, as Messiah and King, on the basis of His infallible Word committed to writing by fallible men, guided by the infallible Holy Spirit: Matthew 25:31; John 5:22, 27; 12:48; Romans 2:16.

11. He made provision for the New Testament by sending the Holy Spirit. We must note that He Himself never wrote one word of Scripture although He is the Word of God Himself (the living Torah in flesh and blood, see John, chapter 1). He committed the task of all writing of the Word of God to fallible men guided by the infallible Holy Spirit. The apostles' words had the same authority as Christ's: Matthew 10:14, 15; Luke 10:16; John 13:20; 14:22; 15:26, 27; 16:12-14.

12. He not only was not jealous of the attention men paid to the Bible, He reviled them for their ignorance of it: Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24.

The above leaves no room but to conclude that our Lord Jesus Christ considered the canon of Scripture as God's Word, written by the hand of men.

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