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The question: “What think ye of the Bible?” reduces to the question: “What think ye of Christ?” Continue reading . . . 

The question: “What think ye of the Bible?” reduces to the question: “What think ye of Christ?” To deny the authority of Scripture is to deny the lordship of Jesus. So what did Jesus think of the Scriptures (or at least of the Old Testament)?

Consider the people and events of the OT, for example, whom/which Jesus frequently mentioned. He refers to Abel, Noah and the great flood, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, Isaac and Jacob, the manna from heaven, the serpent in the desert, David eating the consecrated bread and his authorship of the Psalms, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha,, and Zechariah, etc.

In each case he treats the OT narratives as straightforward records of historical fact. But, say the critics, perhaps Jesus was simply accommodating himself to the mistaken beliefs of his contemporaries. That is to say, Jesus simply met his contemporaries on their own ground without necessarily committing himself to the correctness of their views. He chose graciously not to upset them by questioning the veracity of their belief in the truth and authority of the Bible. However,

• Jesus was not at all sensitive about undermining mistaken, though long-cherished, beliefs among the people of his day. He loudly and often denounced the traditions of the Pharisees and took on their distortion of the OT law in the Sermon on the Mount.

• Jesus challenged nationalistic conceptions of the kingdom of God and the coming of the Messiah. He was even willing to face death on a cross for the truth of what he declared.

• In referring to the OT, Jesus declared that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Again, “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the law” (Luke 16:17). See also Mark 7:6-13; Luke 16:29-31. He rebuked the Sadducees saying, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Mt. 22:29).

• When faced by Satan’s temptations, it was to the truth and authority of the OT that he appealed (Mt. 4:4ff.). Note especially his words: “It has been [stands] written.”

• Jesus didn’t hesitate to deliberately offend the religious sensibilities of his contemporaries when he chose to eat and socialize with both publicans and prostitutes.

Jesus held to an extremely high view of the Bible’s inspiration and infallibility, and therefore so do I.

1 Comment

Thanks Dr. Storms. I think, however, you have left out two important foundations of the critics view. The first would be the fact that Jesus was a first century Jew, and like his view of the mustard seed, for example, his knowledge was thoroughly Jewish and human. The critics, therefore, tend to emphasize his humanity and Jewishness to help explain things. The second reason relates to the first point, in that Jesus' use of the OT was utterly midrashic and in line with his contemporaries, so once again, this contextualized understanding ought to give us a more accurate perspective of what was going on. Finally, I think it's important to add that the critics also tend to make a point of saying: "the author of a particular gospel writing what Jesus said" as opposed to "what Jesus said".

Those who make these points believe that this notion of a "high view" of the bible is a relatively modern construction. The points I made above are used as a rationale to deconstruct what they believe is a modern, man-made doctrine.

Thanks again for your post, it certainly is an important, live discussion within Christendom.

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