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Don Stewart :: To What Extent Is the Bible Authoritative?

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Don Stewart

Is the Bible trustworthy in everything that it says? To what extend is the Scripture an authoritative source?

The Importance Of Every Word Is Stressed

The Bible testifies to the importance of every word that is found in Scripture. Sometimes an important truth hinges on the particular use of a certain word or group of words. For example, the Apostle Paul argued from the use of a word in the singular rather than in the plural.

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring it does not say, "And to offsprings," as of many; but it says, "And to your offspring," that is, to one person, who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).

The Old Testament prophecy used the singular in referring to one person - Christ.

All Parts Of Scripture Are Authoritative

The Scripture teaches that its authority extends to all parts.

All Scripture is given God-breathed of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

All Scripture is authoritative - not just some of it.

The Old Testament Was Written For Our Instruction

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).

Paul says the former writings, the Old Testament, were written for our instruction. He does not exclude anything from the Old Testament but rather includes everything. There is no distinction between some parts of Scripture that are true and others that are not. All of the writings are assumed to be true.

All Scripture Is Profitable

Everything that comes from God is profitable. Scripture has the same authority as the sermons of the prophets - every part of Scripture is of divine origin. Sermons are spoke revelation while Scriptures are written revelation. The truth of all statements historical or theological are assumed by writers of Scripture without any question or discussion.

The Authority Of The Prophets Is Stressed

Simon Peter spoke of the authority of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and the apostles.

I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles (2 Peter 3:2).

In this context "prophets" would probably be referring to the Old Testament prophets.

The Divine Authority Of All Of Scripture Is Only Recently Questioned

It should also be noted that questioning the truth of the divine authority of the Bible is something that is relatively recent in the history of the church. It was only during the last half of the nineteenth century that this subject began to be debated in the church. Before that time there was the united belief that the Bible was the result of God's Spirit leading the human authors to correctly write down the things that God wanted revealed.


The Scripture is completely and fully the Word of God. Not only is this the direct teaching on the subject, it is also the way the Scriptures are used. For example, the Apostle Paul's argument in Galatians 3:16 is based upon the use of singular rather than plural. Therefore from the testimony of Scripture we discover that the Bible is God's authoritative word to humanity in every place and in every word. Every part and every word should be taken seriously.

This has been the historic view of the church. Only recently has this issue come up for debate among believers.

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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