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APOLOGETICS: BIBLICAL ACCURACY

The Uniqueness of the Bible, Part 2

By John Ankerberg
Ankerberg Theological Research Institute



Part 1 | Part 3

CBN.com – Excerpted from Taking a Stand for the Bible

3. The Bible Communicates Its Own Authority

In multiple places and a myriad of ways, the pages of the Bible communicate it is a book of authority for all to follow. We can observe this pattern clearly throughout the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the rest of the New Testament.

The Old Testament
The Old Testament, covering the period from the creation of humanity to the 400s B.C., offers a consistent and strong stance that its words are revelation from God.

Eternal—These words will stand forever

  • Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”
  • Psalm 119:89: “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”
  • Psalm 138:2: “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”

Perfect and Trustworthy–These words will be tested

  • Proverbs 30:5-6: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”
  • Psalm 12:6: “The words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”
  • Psalm 18:30: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”
  • Psalm 19:7,9: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul…the ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.”

True–These words are true words

  • Psalm 119:43,142,151,160: “The word of truth…your law is true…all your commandments are true…All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”

Holy and Righteous–These words have been set apart for God’s use

  • Psalm 105:42: “He remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.”
  • Psalm 119:123: “My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise.”
  • Psalm 119:140: “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.”

Good–These words can bring God’s goodness to our lives

  • Jeremiah 33:14: “I will fulfill the gracious promise I made…” Vital–These words bring people into a vital relationship with God
  • Isaiah 59:21: “ ‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the LORD. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,’ says the LORD.”

Jesus Christ and the Gospels
Jesus, who claimed to be the Son of God, added his authority to the words of the Bible as well:

Eternal–Jesus’ words will never pass away

  • Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Trustworthy–Jesus taught that you can believe the Bible is God’s Word

  • Matthew 5:18: “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
  • John 5:47: “Since you do not believe what he [Moses] wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
  • John 10:35: “…the Scripture cannot be broken.”
  • John 12:49-50: “I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
  • John 17:8: “I gave them the words you gave me…”
  • Luke 16:17: “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”

True–Jesus taught the truths of the Bible will purify your life

  • John 17:17: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” Holy–Jesus said His teaching was God’s teaching
  • John 7:16: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”

Vital–Jesus said to follow Scripture if you truly want to live

  • Matthew 4:4: “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’ ”

The Rest of the New Testament
It is important to note that Jesus’ followers held a consistent view with the words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels. They, too, considered the Old Testament God’s Word, in addition to the writings of the apostles: Eternal–God’s Word will last for eternity

  • 1 Peter 1:25: “The word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.”

Inspired–The Bible is an extension of God himself

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “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.”
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21: “…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 from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
  • 2 Peter 3:2,15-16: “I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles…Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you 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 people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (This passage shows the inspiration of the New Testament.)

Living and Active–The Bible is powerful for our lives

  • Hebrews 4:12: “The word of God is living and active…”
  • 1 Peter 1:23: “You have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”

True–The Bible provides accurate information concerning key areas of life

  • 2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Supernatural–The Bible is divine in its origin

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:13: “We also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:8: “…he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

Holy–God’s Word is set apart as special from all other writings

  • 2 Timothy 3:15: “…from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures.”

Vital–The Bible is essential to our lives

  • Revelation 22:18-19: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
  • 1 Corinthians 2:12-13: “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us…in words taught by the Spirit.”
  • Romans 3:2: “…they have been entrusted with the very words [Greek: logia] of God.”

The Character of God and the Inerrancy of Scripture
 
Sovereign:   A sovereign God is able to preserve the process of inspiration from error.
 
Righteousness:   A righteous God would never inspire error.
 
Just:   A just God could not lie when asserting that his word is perfect or without error. He would be unjust if he called error-filled Scripture “holy and true.”
 
Love:   A loving God would adequately provide for the spiritual health and safety of his people by inspiring Scripture.
 
Eternal:   An eternal God has had eternity to plan for his perfect word.
 
Omniscient:   An all-knowing God knows every contingency that might arise to make his words flawed.
 
Omnipotent:   An all-powerful God can effectively respond to every contingency and also preserve the transmission of his Word.
 
Omnipresent:   A God who is everywhere at all times can reveal and inspire his word because all factors are within his sight and control.
 
Truthful:   A truthful God would not lie when he speaks concerning his words.
 
Merciful:   A merciful God would not trick people by stating his word is perfect if it is not.
 
Personal:   A personal God can inspire verbally, the words he gives, to ensure effective communication.
 

 

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