There is a well known quote from CS Lewis that says “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God.”
Yes and no. Lewis was right to point out that Jesus is the Logos, the incarnate Word of God. But he was also very wrong to downplay the fact that the Scriptures are also the Word of God in written form. While yes, the Scriptures all do point to Jesus, Jesus, in turn, always brought His own teaching back to the Scriptures.
Jesus passionately believed in and taught the full authority of Scripture. In fact, He subjected Himself to the Scriptures. He quoted from the Tanach, or the Old Testament 78 times. Even if all you know about Jesus was that He taught us to Love God and love our neighbor, keep in mind that even then He was quoting from Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Leviticus 19:18, respectively). Here are some of His other statements:
- “You err, not knowing the Scriptures.” (Matthew 22:29)”
… the Scripture cannot be broken.”(John 10:35)
He emphasized repeatedly that Scripture must be fulfilled. (Matthew 26:56; Luke 4:21; Luke 22:37)
When Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, He referred to it as literal history. Some ask if Adam and Eve were real people. In Matthew 19:4; Jesus said they were. Did the great flood really happen? In Matthew 24:39, Jesus said yes. Did Jonah really get swallowed by a large fish? Again, Jesus said yes in Matthew 12:40.
Some would ask “How can the Bible be God’s Word when men wrote it?” If you write a note using a pen did you write it or did the pen write it? So the fact that God used human beings to write the Scriptures does not negate their inspiration at all. Men wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Jesus recognized this and was way ahead of His time in responding to modern critics of the Bible.
Did Moses write the Torah? Jesus said yes he did. Among the many places He affirmed that are Matthew 19:7, 8; Mark 7:10, Luke 5:14; and John 1:17.
Some question wheter or not all of the Book of Isaiah is authentic. According to Jesus, yes it is. Mark 7:6–13; John 12:37–41 The same with Jonah Matthew 12:39–41 and Daniel in Matthew 24:15.
So far, our discussion has focused on the Hebrew Scriptures leading up to Jesus’ coming. But Jesus also set the stage for His own story to be told by authorizing His Apostles to act on His behalf after He had left the world. As He sent them on their missions, He said things like “He who hears you, hears me. (Luke 10:16)”
This intensified during the time leading up to His death. In John 16, beginning with verse 13, He tells His friends that there were things that they were not ready to hear yet, but the comforter, the Holy Spirit would come in His place and would guide them into all Truth. Further, when He prays just before His crucifixion, He prays for them as they continue on with His work and for those who would come to faith through their teaching (John 17:6-26).
Of course, a number of His apostles went on to write portions if the New Testament, Matthew, John, James and Peter. Mark worked closely with Peter and Luke worked closely with another key figure in Bible history, the Apostle Paul.
Most of us know the dramatic story of how this one time persecutor of the Christian Church became one of its most important messengers. If not, you can read about it starting in Acts 9. As important as the four Gospels are in telling us about Jesus, most of what they describe obviously focus on what happens leading up to His death and resurrection. Their significance after the fact is largely explained to us through the revelation given to Paul.
While again, Paul was not one of the original twelve disciples, he was still recognized as an apostle by those who were a part of that group (Galatians 1:18-20; 2:9). Peter also recognizes Paul’s writings as being Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16).
And like most of the apostles it was a message that he would ultimately lay down his life for. In Paul’s last writing, done shortly before he was martyed be Emperor Nero, he told his close friend Timothy to “… remember Jesus Christ, the Son of David (2 Timothy 2:8).”
Jesus based His entire earthly life and ministry on that. So how should we approach the Bible? What would Jesus do?
Keep It Real,
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