Theology: The Authority of the Bible

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What does it mean that the Bible is our authority?

In the words of Wayne Grudem:

All the words in the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey them is to disbelieve or disobey God. (Christian Beliefs, pg. 13)

The words in the Bible are from God himself. We aren’t allowed to decide if they’re true or to pick and choose which words we will obey. God decides what is true and right. Not us.

In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…

Scripture is breathed out by God himself, and is our final authority for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. The words of scripture don’t conform to some external standard of truth. They are the definition of truth. Those things which conform to scripture are true, and those that don’t are false. In John 17:17, Jesus said:

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

The truthfulness of the scriptures doesn’t mean that the Bible reports all events with precision, scientific detail. It often uses round numbers (e.g. “There were 6,000 men”) or makes general statements (e.g. “He traveled a far distance”), but the general nature of these statements doesn’t make them any less true.

The truthfulness of the Bible does mean that it never affirms something that is false. If it did affirm something false, we couldn’t trust the Bible, and ultimately, we couldn’t trust God. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to affirm that absolute truth and authority of the Bible.

Because the Bible is true, we can place our full trust in it and wholeheartedly obey it.

Adapted from Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

+photo by le vent le cri

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