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Don Stewart :: Does the Bible Speak with Authority concerning Science?

Don Stewart
In what sense should we look to the Bible as an authority on science? Should we seriously consider this ancient book to have the last word on questions of a scientific nature?

To many people the Bible is a book like any other book. It was written by men and is therefore fallible. It is argued, that any biblical reference about science, only reflects the unscientific and mythical view held at the time. Thus, the Bible is a book of human origin and its scientific statements are meaningless because they reflect the limitations of their times and are contradicted by modern science. Consequently, those who hold this view feel that modern science is free to go wherever it pleases without any reference to the Bible.

We Need Gods Revelation

Does the Bible speak with the authority of the living God or is it merely a human production? From the first page until the last, the Bible claims to be the authoritative Word of God. It claims to have the last word on all matters of faith and practice. The Bible not only makes these claims but gives evidence to substantiate them (we have dealt with some of the evidence that the Bible is the Word of God in three of our courses, The Case For Christianity, The Bible Part 1, and 10 Reasons To Trust The Bible. If God exists, it is clear that humanity needs to hear from Him. The Bible says that God has revealed truth to human beings that we would not otherwise know. It is necessary that God speaks to us so we can know who He is and what He is like. The Bible says that God, "alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see" (1 Timothy 6:16).

God, by nature, is inaccessible to man. Therefore, we can only know as much about Him as He chooses to reveal. Without revelation we are only guessing when we speak about Him.

Testimony Of Jesus

The main reason Christians accept the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God is the testimony of Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to be God the Son and backed up His claim with convincing evidence. If He is the One Whom He claimed to be then He has the last word on every matter.

As we survey the evidence we will discover that Jesus believed the Bible to be Gods Word in both testaments. He taught that the Old Testament was Gods Word and He "preapproved" the New Testament before it had been written.

1. Scripture

Jesus recognized the existence of Old Testament Scripture:

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life (John 5:39).

2. Word of God

Jesus said the Old Testament Scripture was the Word of God:

Why do you transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and your mother (Matthew 15:3,4).

3. Unified

He also testified:

The Scripture could not be broken (John 10:35).

4. Unalterable

Jesus also made it clear that the Old Testament could not have been altered, even in the slightest:

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18).

Since Jesus demonstrated Himself to be the Son of God, His word on the matter is final. By definition, God knows everything and Jesus, being God, would know whether or not the Old Testament was His revelation to humanity. He made it clear that it was.

Therefore, we have the witness of Jesus Himself that the Old Testament was inspired by God.

New Testament

The New Testament is considered to be inspired of God for the following reasons:

Divine Origin

All throughout Jesus ministry the divine origin of His words was stressed:

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak (John 12:48,49).

In addition, Jesus said His words would never pass away:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35).

That Jesus said His words would last forever hints at the idea they would be recorded.

Promise Of Jesus

The main reason we believe that the New Testament has been inspired of God is the promise of Jesus. Before His death and resurrection Jesus made the following promises to His disciples:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things that I said to you (John 14:26).

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning (John 15:26,27).

We have two promises of Jesus contained in these verses:

1. The Holy Spirit would guide these disciples into all truth.

2. They would be given the gift of total recall of the things He said and did.

These promises look forward to a written body of truth. Those men to whom Jesus made these promises either wrote the books of the New Testament or had control over what writings were considered inspired. Since God had already demonstrated His desire to commit His Word to writing by giving His people the Old Testament, it would follow that He would do the same in a New Testament. The inspiration of the New Testament, therefore, was authenticated ahead of time.

Purpose

The purpose of Scripture is to call humanity into a relationship with God. The Bible says:

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).

The Apostle Paul said that his goal was to know Jesus Christ. He said:

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10).

Divine revelation also reveals Gods purpose for mankind. Only by divine revelation can we know who we are and what is the meaning of our existence. Divine revelation informs us that:

1. Man was created in the image of an infinite personal God (Genesis 1:26).

2. Man sinned and became separated from God (Genesis 3:1-24).

3. God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and bridged the gap between Himself and man by His death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).

4.
Each individual is responsible before God and must personally receive Christ as his or her Savior (Romans 6:23).

Without divine revelation we would not know any of these things. Revelation is both necessary and reasonable. It is our only basis of speaking meaningfully about God. If the Bible is the Word of God then what it says about any subject should be taken seriously.

Conclusion

The Bible is unlike any other book - it is Gods Word to humanity. Though the Bible was not dictated from heaven by God, it is a divine book. The human authors were led by the Holy Spirit with God supervising the writing of the original text. This includes the very words and phrases chosen. The Bible bears Gods seal of truth in all its statements including those of a scientific nature. It is, therefore, the final authority on all matters about which it speaks.
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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