Why Read Your Bible Pt. 5 - What the Bible Says of Itself

Included among the many assurances that one does well to spend time in reading Scripture is what the Bible says about itself. Warfield declares, “It is the testimony of the Bible itself to its own origin and character as the Oracles of the Most High, that has led the Church to her acceptance of it as such . . . .” Its witness of itself provides the best description of the nature of God’s written Word. After reviewing some of the basic passages on what the Bible says about itself, Young formulates a definition of inspiration. He writes, “According to the Bible, inspiration is a superintendence of God the Holy Spirit over the writers of the Scriptures, as a result of which these Scriptures posses Divine authority and trustworthiness and, possessing such Divine authority and trustworthiness, are free from error.”

One astounding fact which confirms our faith in the inspiration of the Bible is that it claims to be the Word of God. That claim is one of the most certain anchors for the soul in its belief that Scripture is trustworthy. In summarizing Augustine’s view of the Bible, Petersen declares, “. . . [A]ll agree with the fact that Augustine was convinced of the divine inspiration of Scripture. It was something he seems to have almost taken for granted, although there are places where, if not spoken, he at least indicates that such an idea is attested by Scripture itself.”

What the Bible declares about itself is certainly of greater importance than what some speculative scholars conclude about the nature of Scripture. As to biblical claims, Edwards writes, “The Bible claims that its laws and statements are higher and more important than those of governments or churches. It also claims that its history, geography, and any other subject it deals with, are accurate and more valuable than any of the theories of men.”

“It is written” appears no less that thirty-three times in the New Testament. In addition, “Scripture says” appears seven times, and “according to the Scriptures” appears three times. Then Jesus Himself refers to “the law and the prophets” (His title for the Old Testament) thirty-eight times.

This article examines what all four divisions of the Old Testament indicate as to what the Bible says about itself, law, history poetry, and prophecy. Then it focuses on all of the sections of the New Testament on the subject, gospels, Acts, epistles, and Revelation. In this comes the most important consideration of all, the view of Scripture which Jesus held.

What the Old Testament Says about the Bible

As the books of the Old Testament appear in the Bible, their divisions include, the law, the historical books, the poetical books, and the books of prophecy. Each of these bears witness to its origin and nature with evidence declaring that it is, indeed, a part of the Word of God.

The Pentateuch or the Law of Moses

The Pentateuch includes the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. God appears as the source of what is recorded in each of these books. For example, the expression “the Lord spoke to Moses” appears numerous times in their pages. Accordingly, he was a prophet, a spokesman for God. Explaining how Aaron would speak for Moses, Jehovah describes the experience more pointedly, “You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth” (Exod. 4:15, 16).

Jehovah, then, put words into the mouth of Moses as he, then, did for Aaron his spokesman. These things were then committed to writing. Exodus 24:4 specifically declares, “Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.”

In the Historical Books

The Historical Books cover that period of Jewish history from the nation’s entrance into the Promised Land under Joshua, through the time of its captivity and exile into Babylon, and until its return from exile. However, Wilson declares, “The Historical Books were written, not merely to preserve the past, but to instruct by drawing upon the realities of history.” They contain applications from history for people of all times.

Indeed, one of the ways the Lord has chosen to reveal Himself to man is through history; nations rise and fall on the basis of whether or not they respond to His word, the Truth about Himself in His relationships with the various countries of the world. The focus in the historical books is the revelation of God through His dealings with the nation of Israel. He especially intended to make Himself known to all the countries of the planet through His dealings with that chosen nation.

In the Poetical Books

The poetical books in the Old Testament include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Of these the Book of Psalms is the most prolific in presenting its miraculously prophetic material. The conclusion that its contents come from God stems from the fact that the New Testament notes the fulfillment of those prophecies.

The Book of Psalms bears witness to the excellence of the Bible as the word of God. The theme of its longest chapter, 119, is all about Scripture. In a summary of the teachings of the Old Testament about its very words being authoritative, Edwards declares, “Nowhere is it found more clearly than in Psalm 119, which consists of 176 verses and only five contain no direct reference to the word of God. It is not claiming too much to say that verse 160 is a summary of the Old Testament’s view of itself. ‘All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.’ As a consequence of this, there was no doubt in the minds of the Old Testament writers that every word of God was ‘flawless.’” The New Testament quotes from the Psalms more than from any other book in the Old Testament.

The detailed fulfillment of Messianic passages in the Psalms provides proof positive of the trustworthiness of the Bible. They speak of the coming betrayal of Jesus by Judas. David foretold the event when he wrote, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). John declared that Judas was the one who fulfilled the prophecy. He explained what happened at the Last Supper when Jesus shared the piece of bread which He had dipped in the bowl of sauce on the table. He said, “But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me’” (John 13:18).

David also spoke many years in advance of things that happened while Jesus was on the cross. He presented a preview of the soldiers gambling for what remained of the meager belongings of the Lord. He wrote, “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (Ps. 22:18). Matthew took note of David’s prophecy as he identified its fulfillment. He declared, “When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots” (Matt. 27:35).

David spoke further of the fact that people mocked Jesus while he suffered the awful shame of His death on the cross. He wrote, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads saying: ‘He trusts in the LORD. Let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him’” (Ps. 22:7, 8). Luke took note of the fulfillment of this prophecy when he wrote, “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One’” (Luke 23:35).

The psalmist even foretold the resurrection of Jesus. He wrote, “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Ps. 16:10). In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost Peter drew attention to the fulfillment of this prophecy in the resurrection of the Lord. Identifying David as the source of his quote, He said, “Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay” (Acts 2:31).

In the Prophetical Books

The prophetical books of the Old Testament include the Major Prophets, Isaiah through Daniel. The Minor Prophets contains the books of Hosea through Malachi. Determination of the two classifications rest solely on the lengths of the books, with the longer ones considered the works of the “major” prophets and the shorter the products of the pens of the “minor” prophets.

The prophetical books use the expression, “Thus says the Lord,” repeatedly. The implication is clearly that the words which follow are from the mouth of God. Edwards observes, “Nearly 4,000 times in the Old Testament—around 500 in the first five books alone—we read such expressions as ‘The Lord spoke,’ ‘The Lord commanded,’ or ‘The Lord said.’ None of the prophets spoke on his own authority.” Edwards notes further, “The prophets never thought of their message as originating in their own minds or with their own ideas. In fact their charge against the false prophets was precisely that the latter were men who prophesied ‘out of their own imagination’ (Ezek. 13:2).”

To the prophet Jeremiah Jehovah declared, “I have put my words in your mouth” (Jer. 1:9). Obviously, he was then to declare those words to the people. Here Young observes, “Jeremiah is not permitted to develop the revealed message and present it in his own words. It does not come to him as a seed thought, to fructify in his own mind.” Warfield declares, “What the prophets are solicitous that their readers shall understand is that they are in no sense co-authors with God of their messages. Their messages are given them, given them entire, and given them precisely as they are given out by them. God speaks through them; they are not merely His messengers, but ‘His mouth.’”

In penning the parable of the vineyard Isaiah begins by speaking in the third person as one acquainted with its owner. He declares, “My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside” (Isa. 5:2). Then, suddenly, without drawing any attention to the change, he continues his song in the first person saying, “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?” (4,5). Scripture does not contain a more clear indication of the fact that the Lord spoke His words through the mouths of men.

Some of the prophecies of the Old Testament found fulfillment soon after they were spoken. Others proved true after some period of time had passed. Still others are yet to be fulfilled; they surely will be as were the others. Great assurance that God is in control as history unfolds comes to those who take time to read all of these details.

What the New Testament Says about the Bible

Edwards says that there are “295 references to the Old Testament contained in 352 verses of the New Testament.” In some of these even where the human author of the passage is known the real credit for writing Scripture goes to God. For example Acts 28:25 introduces a quote from Isaiah 6:9, 10 saying, “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’”

New Testament writers viewed what they wrote as containing the very words which the Spirit had given to them. As Paul explained in one of his letters saying, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” (1 Cor. 2:13). Stott sees this as a claim by the apostle to experiencing verbal inspiration in his writing. He says that Paul declared that, “. . . the very words with which the apostles clothe the message that had been revealed to them by the Spirit were words taught them by the same Spirit” All of the major divisions of the second part of the Bible verify this to be true.

In the Gospels

The Gospels use a number of recurring references to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the Person of Christ. Matthew is the most obvious. He thus attested to the trustworthiness of the Bible. As Edwards observes, “The Gospels record direct quotations by Jesus from at least thirty-six different passages in the Old Testament, taken from thirteen Old Testament books. In addition there are many more occasions when he referred to the Old Testament but did not quote the actual words.” With words in a most sacred prayer to His Father toward the end of His ministry, Jesus summed up His view of Scripture by declaring simply, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

In the Ministry of Jesus:

The Master held that the Bible is informative; He said that it testifies of Him (John 5:39). The noted English pastor and scholar Stott states, “The old writers used to say that just as in England every footpath and every country lane, linking on to others, will ultimately lead you to London, so every verse and every paragraph in the Bible, linking on to others, will ultimately lead you to Christ.” Indeed, He is the center of attention of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He provides the single theme of all of Scripture. Then, His attitude toward it is of the essence. As Archer writes, “The words of Jesus were the words of God, and the God who pronounced judgment on falsehood could not himself have resorted to falsehood in the proclamation of his saving truth.”

Jesus taught that the Scriptures are authoritative and infallible; He declared that “they cannot be broken,” John 10:35. Worthy of note is the fact that in this case the Lord does not refer to the Law of Moses; rather, He quotes from Psalm 82:6. In doing so, though, He uses the reference to designate all of Scripture. A person may in a sense break the law of man, but its very nature is such that no one can break the law of God! His selection of a text in this case indicates that its truth applies even to what some might consider a less significant passage of the Bible. It contains a somewhat sarcastic remark that considers human judges to occupy the place of a god. Jesus asks that, in that case then, why did they accuse Him of blasphemy for truthfully referring to Himself as God? (John 10:36).

The Lord declared that the inspiration of Scripture was both verbal and complete (Matt. 5:17, 18). Concerning plenary inspiration, Jesus declared that not one part will pass away until all is fulfilled; this indicates full, complete, entire, plenary inspiration. As to verbal inspiration, what else is possible? All of the conscious thinking process of a person is in terms of words. He does not think in paragraphs or concepts. On that matter the Teacher explained that all of Scripture is inspired down to the “jot,” Hebrew yod, the smallest letter. This applies even down to a title, tail attached to some Hebrew letters making an essential difference. For example, the terminal kaph (k) becomes a daleth (d) with the addition of a small tail. Jesus taught that Scripture is inspired in its every word, including the tense. Instead of Jehovah declaring Himself to have been the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by saying, “I was,” He explains, “I am” (Matt. 22:31, 32). In this way he demonstrated the immortality of the patriarchs. They were physically dead yet much alive!

Archer declares, “Jesus of Nazareth clearly assumed the errorlessness of the Old Testament in all its statements and affirmations, even in the realms of history and science.” For example, His teachings confirm the historical information in the Old Testament with references to:

1. The creation of Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-6)
2. The universal flood (Luke 17:26, 27)
3. The destruction of Lot’s wife (Luke 17:31, 32)
4. The sending of manna from heaven (John 6:31)
5. The supernatural supplying of meal and oil for the widow of Zarephath (Luke 4:25, 26)
6. The divine healing of Naaman, the leper (Luke 4:27)
7. The experience of Jonah with the large fish (Matt. 12:38-41)

Some erroneously conclude that Jesus sometimes questioned the content of the Old Testament in His confrontation with the religious leaders of the day. However, careful study reveals that what He challenged always concerned their distortion of the truths of the Bible. As Stott observes, “He criticized the Pharisees for adding their traditions to the Scriptures, and the Sadducees for subtracting the supernatural (e.g., the resurrection) from the Scriptures.”

In the Life of Jesus:

Yet, Jesus did more than just preach to others about the trustworthiness of the Bible. He used the Word authoritatively in resisting the great temptation of Satan in the wilderness; He said repeatedly, “It is written” (Matt. 4:4-10). His obvious intent was to always order His life according to the teaching of Scripture. As Stott says of Him, “His personal attitude toward the Old Testament Scriptures was one of reverent submission, for He believed that in submitting to the written Word, He was submitting to His Father’s Word.” Dockery declares, “In the Gospels we learn that Jesus understood His own life in light of the Scriptures. We learn, too, that He accepted the full authority and divine authorship of the Old Testament.”

In the Lives of People of Today:

After considering the attitude of Jesus toward the Bible, what response should follow in the lives of people today? Stott eloquently declares, “We believe the Scriptures because of Christ. He endorsed the Old Testament and He made provisions for the writing of the New Testament by giving to the apostles His authority. We therefore receive the Bible from the hand of Jesus Christ. It is He who has invested it with His own authority. And since we are determined to submit to Him, we are determined to submit to it. Our doctrine of Scripture is bound up with our loyalty to Jesus Christ. If He is our Teacher and our Lord, we have no liberty to disagree with Him. Our view of Scripture must be His.”

Marshall concurs with Stott declaring simply, “It can be argued that our acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God rests upon the authoritative teaching of Jesus; if we accept him as our Lord, then we shall accept and share his attitude to the Scriptures.”

In Acts:

When Preaching:

Preaching was central in the worship services of the Early Church. A study of the sermons in the Book of Acts, then, reveals that its preachers built their lessons around passages from the Bible. Peter did so in his first great sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-29). His introduction contained an explanation of the rather strange events that had just occurred as the believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room. For its base he referred to Joel 2:28-32. In the body of his sermon he spoke of the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of Jesus. For this part of his address he expounded Psalm 16:8-11, 68:18, and 110:1. In Peter’s use of the Word of God in his preaching at Pentecost he set the example for himself and others who preached throughout the Book of Acts.

While Conducting Business Meetings:

Those of the Early Church not only preached the Bible but they lived by it. For example, in their first business meeting they followed closely the Word of God (Acts 1:16-20).

The main item on the agenda was an election. Early in the session Peter's referenced the prophesied fall of Judas in Scripture. He declared, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus” (16). Then he turned to specific instructions of Scripture regarding their situation at the moment. He said, “It is written in the book of Psalms, ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership’” (20). In doing so he quoted Psalm 69:25 and 109:8.

With this the congregation obeyed the Bible explicitly by electing Matthias to replace Judas as one of the Twelve (21-26). It is clear, then, that the Word of God was prominent in the life of the Early Church prior to Pentecost.

In the Epistles

I sat in a meeting of scholars once and heard one declare, “I think Paul would be surprised to learn that letters he wrote to churches in ministry to their needs in the first century are now in a Book that some refer to as the inspired Word of God.” In response to such claims Marshall says, “. . . [T]here can be no doubt that he regarded his own letters, highly personal documents though they are, as being written as part of the exercise of his apostolic ministry.” Dockery’s full agreement appears when he declares, “The reference to the divine character of the apostolic word in its written and oral form deserves unconditional faith and obedience.”

Warfield discusses at length the implications of the word “oracles” when applied to Scripture by New testament writers in Acts 7:37, Romans 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, and 1 Peter 4:11. He concludes, “It means, not ‘words’ barely, simple ‘utterances,’ but distinctly ‘oracular utterances,’ divinely authoritative communications, before which men stand in awe and to which they bow in humility: and this high meaning is not merely implicit, but, is explicit in the term.” He says further, “. . . the Old Testament Scripture, as such, were esteemed by the writers of the New Testament as an oracular book, which in itself not merely contains, but is the ‘utterance,’ the very word of God; and is to be appealed to as such and as such deferred to, because nothing other than the crystallized speech of God.” Finally he says that using the term to designate the Scriptures, “. . . fairly shouts to us out of the pages of the New Testament, that to its writers the scriptures of the Old Testament were the very Word of God in the highest and strictest sense that term can bear—the express utterance, in all their parts and each and every one of their words, of the Most High—the ‘oracles of God.’”

Produced by Inspiration from God:

Writers of the New Testament held conclusively that Scripture was inspired by God. In writing to Timothy Paul declares, “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 Tim. 3:16). Like its English counterpart, the apostle’s Greek word for God-breathed results from combining two words together. Theopneustos comes from theos, God, and pneo, to breathe. Many English versions translate the one word with “given by inspiration of God.”

When men speak of the poet or the song writer as being inspired to produce a composition they refer to something different from what the theological term “inspiration” conveys. Nor is what one feels when he views a beautiful sunset to be equated with what the writers of Scripture experienced. Rather, theirs was a miracle which none have known before or since the beginning and end of the origin of the Bible.

The concept originates in the Old Testament. As with the word of man, speech comes out from the mouth of a human being. To Moses Jehovah declared the coming of Jesus when He said, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him” (Deut. 18:18). The Greek word in Paul’s text above is in the passive voice. Edwards explains, “This word theopneustos does not mean ‘breathed into by God’ but, more exactly, ‘breathed out by God.’ There is a big difference between breathing into something and breathing out, between inspiring and expiring.”

Then, translating the Greek word theopneustos as referring to being “inspired” comes short of reflecting the fullness of its meaning. At best the English word suggests a “breathing in” when the Greek refers to “breathing out.” “God-breathed” is an excellent translation. As Young declares concerning the words of the Bible, “They are the very product of His creative breath.” Moses taught Israel that God’s dealing with the nation was that they might learn “that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3). Jesus quoted those words to Satan in the great wilderness temptation (Matt. 4:8).

The focus of Paul’s remark in his letter to Timothy is obviously “all Scripture.” In his beginning comments to Timothy he termed such “sacred writings” (15). Not doubt the apostle’s understudy understood him to refer to the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, as the Jewish teachers referred to them. Jesus used that expression in drawing attention to them (Luke 24:44). Long since men gave the title Old Testament to that body of written material. However, even that early in the history of the Church believers equated the writings of the apostles with these. Peter recognized the writings of Paul as being as authoritative as “the rest of Scripture” (2 Pet. 3:15, 16).

In its rendering of theopneustos the English Revised Version suggests a somewhat different focus for Paul by having it read, “Every scripture inspired of God” is profitable. This implies that the veteran preacher thought of some “scripture” as being inspired and of others as not being miraculously produced. After indicating the grammatical improbability of such a rendering, Young declares, “There is not a particle of evidence to support the position that Paul thought some Scripture uninspired.”

Speaking of the New Testament writers’ view of what their pens produced in comparison to their opinion of what the Old Testament contains, Warfield observes, “They do not for an instant imagine themselves, as ministers of a new covenant, less in possession of the Spirit of God than the ministers of the old covenant.” Further, “There seems involved in such an attitude toward their own teaching, oral and written, a claim on the part of the New Testament writers to something very much like the ‘inspiration’ which they attribute to the writers of the Old Testament.” Finally, “It is no pressure of the witness of the writers of the New Testament to the inspiration of the Scripture, therefore, to look upon it as covering the entire body of ‘Scriptures,’ the new books which they were themselves adding to this aggregate, as well as the old books which they had received as Scripture from the fathers.”

By Men Borne of the Spirit:

In writing to Timothy Paul focuses on the direct instrumentality of the divine in the production of Scripture. To begin his discussion of the subject Peter joins him in that. He writes, “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 from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20, 21).

He considers what he says on the subject to be of the utmost importance, “knowing this first,” above all else. His concern is the origin of Scripture which he designates in this case under the general rubric of “prophecy.” He declares that the Bible did not come as the result of “private interpretation” or human agency. Concerning the origin of the Scriptures Young writes, “They did not come into existence because men of genius in moments of inspiration composed them. They did not arise because God chose the best that men had written and then imparted to this best somewhat of the Divine. They did not come into being because the ideas which they contained were somehow ideas of which God approved.” Young then concludes, “The Scriptures came into existence in an utterly unique way.”

Though emphasizing the divine direction in the production of the Bible, at the same time Peter recognizes the human agency. Yet, as Warfield writes, “How it was given through them is left meanwhile, if not without suggestion, yet without specific explanation. We seem safe only in inferring this much: that the gift of Scripture through its human authors took place by a process much more intimate than can be expressed by the term ‘dictation,’ and that it took place in a process in which the control of the Holy Spirit was too complete and pervasive to permit the human qualities of the secondary authors in any way to condition the purity of the product as the word of God.”

This human agency, though, was under divine control when it served to provide God’s Word in written form. Its writers were moved, borne along, controlled by the Spirit, as the ship by the wind in Acts 27:15, 17. Warfield explains that to be borne along is not equal to being “led,” “guided,” or “directed” by the Spirit. Then he writes, “He that is ‘borne’ contributes nothing to the movement induced, but is the object to be moved.”

Human Words Received as God’s Word:

Audiences which heard the preaching of Paul accepted what he said as the Word of God. He commended the Thessalonians for that very thing. He wrote, “And 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 Thess. 2:13). Then when those words were reduced to writing, they obviously continued to hold them as authoritative.

In doing so they followed their teachers as to the view they held concerning Scripture.
Warfield speaks of two examples of the attitude of New Testament writers concerning Scripture. He writes, “In one of these classes of passages the Scriptures are spoken of as if they were God; in the other, God is spoken of as if He were the Scriptures: in the two together, God and the Scriptures are brought into such conjunction as to show that in point of directness of authority no distinction was made between them.” One of these is when what God says and what Scripture says are equated by Paul in Romans 9:17. The apostle declares that “the Scripture says to Pharaoh” yet in the account he referred to it is Jehovah who speaks (Exod. 9:16).
Taking what the inspired writers of the Bible say as what God says and equating New Testament writings with those of the Old, the early Church used both in its worship services. In fact, Paul gave instructions to that end. With solemn words, in a letter to the Thessalonians he said, “I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers (1 Thess. 5:27). To the Colossians he wrote, “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea (Col. 4:16).

Clearly, then, apostolic writings circulated early among believers as having equal authority with the message of the Old Testament. Concerning this Stott writes, “They even gave instructions that their letters should be read in the public assembly when Christians were gathered together in worship, thus placing them alongside the Old Testament Scriptures.” Paul placed the writings of both on an equal basis in a letter to Timothy. Addressing the subject of adequately supporting ministers of the gospel financially, he wrote. “For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages’” (1 Tim. 5:18). The first quote is from Deuteronomy 25:4 and the second appears in Luke 10:7.

In Revelation

John certainly considered what he wrote in the Book of Revelation as God’s Word. In the beginning of the book he declared that its contents came from God. He wrote, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John (Rev. 1:1). Then he reported that the Lord directed him to write its message and send it to the churches. Jesus said, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea” (Rev. 1:11). Finally near the end he solemnly advised that what he had written must not be tampered with saying, “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 (Rev. 22:18, 19).

Summary

In the lines above I examined all four divisions of the Old Testament as to what the Bible says about itself, in law, history poetry, and prophecy. Then I focused on all of the sections of the New Testament on the subject, gospels, Acts, epistles, and Revelation. In this came the most important consideration of all, the view of Scripture which Jesus held. I presented an abundance of evidence to encourage anyone who wants to know eternal truth to consult the Bible as totally trustworthy. It is the best and only fully dependable of all possible sources of authority in which to find answers to the great questions of life.

WORKS CITED

Archer, Gleason L. “The Witness of the Bible to Its Own Inerrancy.” In The Foundation of Biblical Authority. Ed. James M. Boice. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978.

Dockery, David S. Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority and Interpretation. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995.

Edwards, Brian H. Nothing But the Truth. New York: Evangelical Press, 2006.

Marshall, I. Howard. Biblical Inspiration. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.

Petersen, Rodney L. “To Behold and Inhabit the Blessed Country: Inspiration, Scripture, and Infallibility.” In Biblical Authority and Conservative Perspectives. Ed. Douglas Moo. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997.

Stott, John R. W. You Can Trust the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1982.

Warfield, Benjamin B. The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1948.

Wilson, Charles R. “General Introduction to the Historical Books.” In The Wesleyan Commentary, Vol. I, Part II. Ed. Charles W. Carter. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967.

Wyckoff, John W. “The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.” In The Bible the Word of God. Ed. James K. Bridges. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2003.

Young, Edward J. Thy Word is Truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957.

 

[1] Benjamin B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1948), 174.

[2] Edward J. Young, Thy Word is Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957), 27.

[3] Rodney L Petersen, “To Behold and Inhabit the Blessed Country: Inspiration, Scripture, and Infallibility” in Biblical Authority and Conservative Perspectives, ed. Douglas Moo (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997), 80.

[4] Brian H. Edwards, Nothing But the Truth (New York: Evangelical Press, 2006), 11.

[5] Charles R. Wilson, “General Introduction to the Historical Books,” in The Wesleyan Commentary, Vol. I, Part II, ed. Charles W. Carter (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), 2.

[6] Edwards, 102.

[7] Ibid., 98.

[8] Ibid., 99.

[8] Young, 42.

[10] Warfield, 91.

[11] Edwards, 156.

[12] John R. W. Stott,  You Can Trust the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1982), 50.

[13] Edwards, 145.

[14] Stott, 31.

[15] Gleason L. Archer, “The Witness of the Bible to Its Own Inerrancy,” in The Foundation of Biblical Authority, ed. James M. Boice (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978), 93.

[16] Ibid., 91.

[17] Stott, 33.

[18] Ibid., 32.

[19] David S. Dockery, Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority and Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 28.

[20] Stott, 37, 38.

[21] I. Howard Marshall, Biblical Inspiration (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), 46.

[22] Ibid., 29.

[23] Dockery, 39.

[24] Warfield, 403.

[25 Ibid., 406.

[26] Ibid., 407.

[27] Edwards, 122.

[28] Young, 21.

[29] Ibid., 20.

[30] Warfield, 163.

[31] Ibid., 164.

[32] Ibid., 165.

[33] Young, 23.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Warfield, 152, 153.

[36] Ibid., 91.

[37] Ibid., 299.

[38] Stott, 35.