Can we trust the Bible as God’s word?

Is it circular reasoning to believe the Bible’s claim to be God’s word?

If I claim to be an auto mechanic, would you let me repair your car? Would you ask me to validate my claim before letting me under the hood? Most would agree that a claim isn’t enough. But claims are not necessarily wrong. Claims must be tested.

The self-witness (or claim) of the Bible to be God’s Word is clear (see – Is the Bible really from God? part 1). Is this self-testimony true?

If one says, “Let’s face it, the Bible is just a book written by man!”

Several considerations follow

  1. One who says such things should reveal the basis for his opinions. We know he did not find this idea in the Bible itself. The Bible was written by man (and it doesn’t hide this fact), but it’s wrong to say that it was “just” a book written by man.
  2. What I think this person means is that although the Bible claims to be a book from God, he refuses to believe it. He thinks it’s only the product of man. He must defend his position.
  3. Most people are not aware of the Bible’s repeated witness to its own authority as God’s word.
  4. We grant that if the Bible made no such claim to be the written word of God, it would be foolish for us to make the claim.
  5. But, since it overwhelmingly makes this claim, we neither want to accept nor reject it without objective consideration.
  6. If I claim to be a surgeon, I think you would want some evidence before you let me cut you open, right? The claim is not enough, it must be substantiated.
  7. What is distinguishing about the Bible is its overwhelming witness to its own authority as God’s word. Test it. See if it stands up under scrutiny.
  8. This witness involves three categories:
    1. Direct speech by God (e.g. the baptism of Christ).
    2. God’s words spoken by men (“Thus says the Lord…”)
    3. God’s words written, usually through prophets and apostles

One way to see this (From: God’s Inerrant Word, John W. Montgomery, ed., pp. 246 – 249).

  • Premise A: The Bible is the infallible Word of God.
  • Premise B: On the basis of this reliable document, we have sufficient evidence to believe confidently that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • Premise C: Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, is an infallible authority.
  • Premise D: Jesus Christ teaches that the Bible is more than generally trustworthy; it is the very Word of God (Lk. 16:1;John 10:35;Matt. 5:17-18;Matt. 15:4).
  • Premise E: The Word, in that it comes from God, is utterly trustworthy because God is utterly trustworthy.
  • Conclusion: On the basis of the infallible authority of Jesus Christ, the Church believes the Bible to be utterly trustworthy, i.e. infallible

see – 7 Affirmations in our commitment to the Bible & Before we apply the Bible to life

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Authority, Bible, Bible from God, Bibliology, Interpretation of bible, Scripture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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