Yesterday we saw the beginning of just how much Scripture was a part of Jesus’ life here on earth. We saw that gospels record him quoting the Old Testament time and time again. Over the next few days we will consider together; why is Scripture so important? Does it really have an influence on our lives? Can we read Scripture for ourselves? How do we study it and understand it? ‘ Today however we will deal with the question ‘Is the Bible really true?’
There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of the divine inspiration of Scripture and these evidences are many and varied. Unfortunately today most people have not read any off these books, while many people (including Christians) have not even read the actual Bible itself. This has led to the belief that the Bible is full of mistakes and liberal theology which believes the bible is not relevant for today. Nevertheless the Bible claims to be the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree.
As mentioned above there is a variety of evidence that point to the Bible being true. These normally fall into the follow categories:
- The unity of Scripture
- Fulfilled prophecy
- Historic accuracy
- Scientific accuracy (against popular belief the Bible is not anti-science)
We however are looking at ‘Living like Jesus’ and even a casual perusal of the Gospels shows that Jesus accepted the statements of the Old Testament Scriptures as historically accurate and factually true. He obviously believed that the Hebrew Scriptures had supreme and unquestioned authority in matters of faith and morals.
We can begin to see this by Jesus’ statement ‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. 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 5L17-18). Jot in this verse refers to the little Hebrew letter ‘yod’, which looks like an apostrophe. It is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Tittle is believed by many to refer to the little horn appearing on Hebrew letters. These show us clearly that Jesus considered the smallest detail to be God’s inspiration.
We also see that Jesus appealed to the Old Testament Scriptures as a source of doctrinal truth, historical fact and spiritual force, just take a look at these verses (if reading online, hover over the references) Matthew 7:12, 12:40, 13:14, 15:4; Mark 14:27; Luke 4:4, 8:24-27). He accepted as fact such accounts as the creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-5), the flood in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39), the destruction of Sodom (Luke 17:28-29) and the swallowing of Jonah by a great fish (Matthew 12:40), which many question today.
In John 17:17 Jesus says ‘Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth’. In this broad and comprehensive statement Jesus was more reaffirms that all that God had given through the prophets was truth- truth unmixed, truth unadulterated.
Lastly, we see that Jesus affirmed the infallibility of Scripture. In John 10:35 he says ‘Is it not written in your law, I have said that you are gods, If He calls them ‘gods’ to whom the word of God came – and the scripture cannot be broken’. The ‘Scripture cannot be broken’ is a powerful statement. This means at least three things:
- Scripture cannot be divided because it is unified
- Scripture cannot be disputed because it is true
- Scripture cannot be destroyed because God has pledged to preserve his Word for ever. Jesus sais, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will be no means pass away (Matthew 24:35).