What is the Bible?
The Word of the Week – The Bible
Yes that’s the book for me,
I stand alone on the Word of God,
What is the Bible? The Bible is a library of sixty-six individual books that collectively make up the unified whole that is the written Word of God. The word Bible comes from the Greek term biblos which simply means book. The word holy refers to something having been set apart. Therefore, when we speak of the Holy Bible we are simply affirming that it is a book that has been set apart by God for His purposes. Generally, God has made Himself known to all men by creation (Romans 1:20) and the human conscience (Romans 2:14-15) but particularly, God has revealed Himself by His prophets, by His Son, and finally by the Holy Scriptures (Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:16).
It seems that many are quick to contest the proposition that the Bible is the Word of God, declaring that it is instead a mere flawed human product. However, this is not what the Bible claims of itself. For example, in 2 Timothy 3:16 we read, “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) How can we in any sense embrace the Bible as an authority for our lives while at the same time rejecting the divine authority that it claims for itself? I agree with David Clark when he writes, “Men who deny the infallibility of the Bible are usually ready to trust the infallibility of their own opinion” (A Foundation for Faith – An Introductory Study of Systematic Theology With References To The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, Stanford E. Murrell, Th.D., pg. 74).
I find a good summary statement regarding the authority of the Bible is found in the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. I have included the short version of this statement here but the longer version is easily found by a quick search online:
- God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.
- Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
- The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
- Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
- The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
The truth is that every time you or I question the authority of the Word of God, we find ourselves aligned with Satan who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by saying, “Indeed, has God said…” (Genesis 3:1 NASB). We must remember that one day we will give an account to a righteous and holy God! In Hebrews 9:27, we read, “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment…”
Famed Bible scholar, A. W. Pink, captured the heart of this article well when he wrote, “It is not a question of what I think, or of what anyone else thinks—it is, What saith the Scriptures? It is not a matter of what any church or creed teaches—it is, What teaches the Bible? God has spoken, and that ends the matter: “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” Therefore, it is for me to bow to His authority, to submit to His Word, to cease all quibbling and cry, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Because the Bible is God’s Word, it is the final court of appeal in all things pertaining to doctrine, duty, and deportment.” (The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, pg. 50)
Let me close with this thought – How many “pastors”, let alone professing Christians, are able to heartily agree with the words of A. W. Pink today? Sadly, it seems that the final authority for many is the subjective desires of the individual. “Do what thou wilt…” seems to be the rallying cry. It seems that our society in many ways has become like Israel of old in which, “…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). I pray that the Lord would see fit to turn our hearts back to believe the simple yet essential truth that the B-I-B-L-E is indeed the Word of God.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. 16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. Psalms 119:9-16
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I am Justin Breeden. My wife, Stacy, and I live in Dandrdige, TN. Currently the pastor of French Broad Church of the Brethren. Previously I served as Pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN for two and a half years. I am studying the Two Wine Theory. Regarding my faith, I praise God that the Lord Jesus Christ was pleased to save me by His grace during the summer of 2006 at the age of 22.