T Nation

The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture

Greetings,

I would like to answer the following statement,

“…Scripture cannot be the guide or teacher of man…”

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

“Scripture” as used in II Tim. 3:16 refers primarily to the O.T. writings (II Tim. 3:15). There is indication, however, that some N.T. writings were already being viewed as inspired and authoritative Scripture at about the time Paul wrote II Timothy (I Tim. 5:18, which quotes Luke 10:7; II Pet. 3:15-16). For us today, Scripture refers to the authoritative writings of both the O.T. and N.T., i.e., “the Bible.” They are the original message of God to humankind and the only infallible witness to God’s saving activity for all people.

Paul affirms that all Scripture is inspired by God. The word “inspired” (Gk. theopneustos) comes from two Greek words: theos, meaning “God,” and pneo, meaning “to breathe.” Thus, “inspired” means “God-breathed.” All Scripture is therefore God-breathed; it is the very life and Word of God. Down to the very words of the original manuscripts, the Bible is without error, absolutely true, trystworthy, and infallible. This is true not only when it speaks of salvation, ethical values, and morality, but it is also without error on all subjects about which it speaks, including history and the cosmos (II Pet. 1:20-21).

The writers of the O.T. were conscious of the fact that what they said to the people and wrote down was God’s word to them (Deut. 18:18). Over and over the prophets prefaced their comments with, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Jesus Christ Himself taught that scripture is the inspired Word o0f God to even the smallest detail (Mat. 5:18). He also affirmed that all He said He received from the Father and is true (John 8:26). He futher spoke of revelation that was to come (i.e., the truth revealed in the N.T.) from the Holy Spirit through the apostles (John 16:13).

To deny the full inspiration of Holy Scripture, therefore, is to set aside the fundamental witness of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:25-27,44-45), the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:12-13), and the apostles (II Pet. 1:20-21). Futhermore, to limit or disregard its inerrancy is to impair its divine authority

In His work of inspiration by His Spirit, God, while not violating the personality of the writers, moved upon them in such a way that they wrote without error (I Cor. 2:12-13).

The inspired Word of God is the expression of God’s wisdom and character and is therefore able to give wisdom and spiritual life through faith in christ (John 6:63).

The Holy Scriptures are god’s infallible, true witness to His saving activity for humankind in Christ jesus. For this reason Scripture is incomparable, forever finished, and uniquely binding. No word of man or religious institution is equal to its authority.

All doctrines, commentaries, interpretations, explanations, and traditions must be judged and legitimized by the words and message in Holy Scripture (Deut. 13:1-3).

The Holy Scriptures as the Word of God must be received, believed, and obeyed as the final authority in all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3). It must be used in the church as the final authority in all matters for teaching, reproof, correction, doctrine, and instruction in righteous living (II Tim. 3:16-17). One cannot submit to the lordship of Christ without submitting to God and His Word as ultimate and final authority (John 8:31-32,37).

The Holy Scriptures can only be understood when we are in a right relation to the Holy Spirit. It is He that opens our minds to understand its meaning and gives us the inward witness of its authority (I Cor. 2:12).

We must use the inspired Word of God to conquer the power of sin, Satan, and the world in our lives (Jas. 1:21).

The Scriptures must be loved, treasured, and guarded by all those of the church who see it as God’s only truth for a lost and dying world. We must safeguard its doctrines by faithfully adhering to its teaching, proclaiming its saving message, entrusting it to faithful men, and defending it against all those who would destroy or distort its eternal truths (Jude 3). No one may add anything to the Scriptures or take anything away (Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:19).

One final thing should be noted here. Inerrant inspiration applies only to the original writings of the Biblical books. Thus, whenever one finds in Scripture something that appears to be in error, rather than assuming that the writer of the Scripture made a mistake, one should remember that three possibilities exist in regard to any apparent problem: (a) the existing copies of the original manuscripts may not be totally accurate; (b) the present-day translation of the Hebrew or Greek Biblical text may be faulty; or © one’s understanding of the Biblical text may be inadequate or incorrect.

Acts 24:14 “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:”

Paul’s faith in the holy Scriptures as inerrant, infallible, and trustworthy in all things lies in sharp contrast to many religious teachers of these last days who claim to believe only “some things” written in the law and the prophets. Those who are of the spirit and mind of Christ and of the apostles will believe and defend “all things” written in the Word of God. Those who are not of this heart and spirit will disagree with the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

MARANATHA

If it means anything to you I wholeheartedly concur with every syllable of this post. Excellent exposition of the historical orthodox protestant doctrine of sola scruptura.

It is not by accident that the Westminster divines launched their outstanding confession of 1646 with exactly this.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/