THE ASSERTIONS THAT IT MAKES FOR ITSELF
It is essential to have an understanding of what the Bible has to say about itself. If the writers of the Bible had not told us that they were speaking for God, then it would be arrogant of us to make that claim on their behalf. It is pretty evident that the Torah was not meant for those who seek straightforward solutions or an easy, cheerful perspective on religion and human nature. In addition to this, we would face a new sort of difficulty. We would have a library of unresolved riddles, which would be in the form of historical and ethical writing.
Yet without it, we would not have a book that has been the impetus for the construction of numerous synagogues and churches all over the globe. A Bible that did not assert that it was speaking on behalf of God would not have been the central text upon which the religions of hundreds of millions of Jews and Christians are founded.
2 Peter 1:16-21 — For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain. Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Yet the writers of the Bible did make the claim that they were inspired by God, and they backed up their assertion with a lot of evidence and argument. If the writers of the Bible are continually misled about where they got their material, the Bible cannot be considered a trustworthy book since so many people have bet their current and eternal well-being on the assertions it contains.
BECAUSE OF WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT JESUS
Christ is seen as authoritative by even those who reject the Bible as a whole. There is no way around acknowledging His superiority. The testimony of His perfect life, the testimony of His perfect words, the testimony of His perfect works, the testimony of His perfect resurrection, and the testimony of His perfect influence on the history of mankind are the five Divine testimonies that attest to His deity and give us confidence in Him as the Christ.
On the contrary, if we acknowledge Christ as Lord, we must embrace the authority of the whole Bible. The whole Bible, he claims emphatically and precisely, was written by God.
Mark 7:13 is where Jesus’ testimony in the Scriptures is recorded. The Law of Moses is described as the “Word of God” in this passage.
Mark 7:13 — Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.”
Luke 24:27 — Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures.
Luke 24:44 — Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Christ claims authority over all of the Old Testament, including the sections the Jews called the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Christ teaches the infallibility and ultimate truth of the Old Testament by saying, “The Scripture cannot be broken,” in John 10:35.
Perhaps most notably, Jesus is quoted as saying,
Matthew 5:18 – “One jot or one tittle shall in no case vanish from the law until all be fulfilled”
Christ thus proclaimed that the “Word’ is completely truthful, even down to the tiniest letter or point of the Hebrew alphabet, which is the jot (less than half the size of any other letter) and the tittle (smaller than the cross we place on a “t”). This means that if we accept Christ’s authority, we must also embrace the Old Testament as having Divine authority.
Well, let us go on to the New Testament. Scripture tells us that Christ approves of this method in John 14:26,
John 14:26 — But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.
Clearly, this means that the Apostles’ teaching, as well as their recall of what Christ Himself taught, was to be completely inspired. We are often confronted with the question, “May they not have forgotten?” in reference to the Apostles’ reliability in reporting Jesus’ words.
While human beings are fallible, He assures us in the Gospels that we have not the remembrance of the Apostles but the recollection of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of God never forgets. Christ promised the Holy Spirit would lead the Apostles into “all the truth” in John 16:13, 14; as a result, we have God’s whole revelation in the teachings of the New Testament.
John 16:13-14 — But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.
Although Jesus declares in John 16:12, “I have still many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now,” the teaching of the Apostles is more comprehensive than that of Jesus Himself. And yet, when He, the Spirit of truth, has arrived, He will lead you into all truth. The teaching of the Apostles, under the promised Spirit, was to include the whole scope of God’s truth, since His own teaching had been incomplete due to their frailty.
Given this, if we accept Christ’s authority, we must also embrace the authority of the whole Bible.
IT IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT ITS PROPHECIES CAME TRUE
The Bible contains two distinct kinds of prophecies: those that are made verbally and those that are symbolic.
First, there are the unmistakable prophecies about Israel, the pagan nations, and the Messiah. Check out Isaiah 53, Micah 5:2, and Daniel 9:25-27 as examples of prophecies that describe the Messiah.
These are only a few examples of many that might be given. The most specific details of the Messiah’s birth, reception by humanity, death, resurrection, and ultimate triumph after His death, and His ascension are all included in these predictions, penned hundreds of years before His arrival. These prophecies were implausible and impossible to come true when they were first made, yet they turned out to be spot-on. In what ways should we make allowances for it?
These unlikely occurrences were yet hundreds of years in the future, making them impossible to predict by human means. Nevertheless, God could, and it is God who is speaking through these individuals. Nevertheless, the type (symbolic) forecasts are much more impressive. The whole Old Testament is prophetic, from its history to its institutions and rites. The Levites, the prophets, the priests, the kings, and the high priests are all foretold.
The tabernacle itself is a prophecy, as are the brazen altar, the laver, the golden candlestick, the table of shewbread, the veil, the altar of incense, the ark of the covenant, and the coverings. When seen through the lens of Jesus Christ and the church, all of these things reveal hidden prophecies of the crucifixion, atonement, resurrection, and Pentecost, as well as the whole history of the church, wrapped up in the ancient institutions formed by God to achieve an immediate purpose.
In these pillars of the Old Testament, we may discern a strong foreshadowing of the most fundamental Christian ideas of the New Testament. The only way to understand this is to read the Bible and learn about the many sacrifices, feasts, etc. until you can see the teachings of the New Testament reflected in the Old. There is only one scientific explanation for all of the Bible’s foreshadowing of the truth that is proclaimed plainly: the author of the Bible is also the God of the beginning, end and all in between.
To be continued…