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Don Stewart :: Did Jesus Believe the Scriptures Were without Error?

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Don Stewart

When we examine the way Jesus viewed Scripture we can see that He trusted it totally-believing it to be without error.

1. All Scripture Was Divinely Inspired

Jesus believed that the Scripture, in its entirety, is God-breathed. When confronted with the temptation of the devil He said:

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4).

Jesus believed in the full authority of Scripture. Humans are to live by every word that comes from of the mouth of God. All parts, and every word were considered important to Jesus. In another place He said.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:17,18).

2. The Old Testament Is Historically Accurate

Jesus spoke of the Old Testament in terms of actual history. He believed that the people mentioned actually existed and the events records truly occurred. These include: Adam and Eve (Matthew 19), Jonah and the great sea monster (Matthew 12), and Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24).

3. The Bible Is A Unity

Jesus also testified the Scripture were a unity - one unfolding complete story.

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, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44).

Jesus also said.

If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods' - and the Scripture cannot be annulled - (John 10:35)

Jesus said that the entire Old Testament witnesses to His person and work.

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:27).

4. The Scripture Must Be Fulfilled

Because the Bible is God's divinely inspired Word, everything that it says must be fulfilled. Jesus said to those who arrested Him.

But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way? (Matthew 26:54).

5. God's Word Is True

Jesus said the Bible is also without error.

Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17).

6. Scriptures Are Sufficient For Salvation

The truth of the Scripture is sufficient for the salvation of the people. Jesus said:

If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead (Luke 16:31).

According to Jesus the Scripture was enough.

7. Jesus Appealed To Scripture To Defend His Actions

We find that Jesus appealed to Scripture to defend His actions. He said that His arrest was a fulfillment of Scripture.

Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets." Then all the disciples left him and fled (Matthew 26:55-56).

Jesus Appealed To Scripture When He Cleansed The Temple

When Jesus cleansed the temple He appealed to Scripture to explain His actions. In Mark's gospel we read.

Then they came to Jerusalem. And he [Jesus] entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And he began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a robbers' den" (Mark 11:15-17).

Jesus Gave His Full Approval Of The Old Testament

From these passages we can see that Jesus gave the Old Testament His full approval. It is clear from Jesus' statements that He believed the Bible to be without error.

Therefore, it is clear that Jesus accepted the view that the Old Testament was without error.

The Importance Of Jesus' Testimony

The testimony of Jesus is vital because God the Father authenticated and proved Jesus to be His own divine Son by the resurrection from the dead. Paul said.

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because he has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

Paul wrote.

Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4).

Jesus And Truth

Jesus Christ declared that He is the truth.

I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

This claim meant far more than the fact that He was a truthful person. He declares Himself to be the Truth in the sense that He is standard of truth. John called Him the faithful witness.

From Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5)

He also wrote

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation (Revelation 3:14).

Jesus said concerning Himself.

To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).

Jesus did not merely come to testify of the meaning of truth - He is truth. Therefore whatever He says about any subject is the final word on that matter.

We Have Three Choices With Respect To Jesus' Testimony

Since Jesus demonstrated total trust in the Scriptures, we have three different ways in which we can look at the matter. He was either deceived, ignorant, or He as telling the truth.

1. Jesus Was A Deceiver

If Jesus knew the Scriptures contained errors but taught the people that they were error-free, then He was a deceiver. This would make Jesus guilty of lying. Whatever His motive may have been, it would prove that we could neither trust Him nor the Scriptures.

2. Jesus Was Ignorant

If the Bible contains factual errors of which Jesus did not know, then it affects the way we view Him. If He were ignorant of this fact, then it is possible that He was ignorant of other facts. Logically if the Bible is not inerrant and Jesus thought it was, then He cannot be the One whom He claimed to be - God the Son. If we cannot trust Him on this subject then we cannot trust Him on any subject.

3. The Bible Is Inerrant

The only alternative that fits the facts is that Jesus taught the inerrancy of the Bible because He knew it was true. Since He has demonstrated that He has the authority to make such statements His Word on the subject is final. Thus, if we are to be consistent we will approach the Bible in the same manner as our Lord-believing it to be error-free.

Summary

The position of Jesus with respect to errors in the Bible is clear - He believed the Scripture was error-free. This can be found in the fact that He considered every Word to be trustworthy, believed the entire Old Testament was historically accurate, taught that the Scriptures were a unity, argued that everything written must be fulfilled, and believed that it contained enough information sufficient for salvation. He also quoted the Scriptures to defend His actions. Jesus Christ totally trusted the Scripture and so should we.

We cannot reject the attitude of Jesus without undermining His entire authority. Either He knew what He was talking about or He did not. If He did not, then He was either a willful deceiver or He was ignorant.

The only other choice is that the Bible is inerrant, like Jesus believed. This is the biblical position and this is where all the evidence leads us.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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