Though being the most reprinted and most translated book many people doubt the authority of that bestseller of all times.
Not all people are convinced it has something to say for them. Even lots of Christians never took the time to read the Bible from A to Z. Lots of people do think it is from the old times and as such ‘passé’. They have no idea how the Bible is still best for contemporary use. Much more people should come to see that it is really a book to cherish because it offers many lessons for life and sustains future hope, bringing meaning and power to the present.
In the previous message we said already that Western civilization is in a severe “authority crisis” which is not confined solely to the realm of religious faith, nor is it specially or uniquely threatening to Bible believers.
We should be much aware that our look at the bible can influence our society very much. Too many people do forget that regard for the Bible is decisive for the course of Western culture and in the long run for human civilization generally. People should come to recognise that there is more behind the human writers who scribbled down many words, not of their own. Many wise words they never claimed to be their own. They even say that what they wrote down is not written down from their own inspiration but form the Higher Being which directed them.
Let us therefore have a look at what an encyclopedia of the Bible says about this library of books its own view.
The Bible’s View of Itself
The intelligible nature of divine revelation — the presupposition that God’s will is made known in the form of valid truths — is the central presupposition of the authority of the Bible. Much recent neo-Protestant theology demeaned the traditional evangelical emphasis as doctrinaire and static. It insisted instead that the authority of Scripture is to be comprehended internally as a witness to divine grace engendering faith and obedience, thus disowning its objective character as universally valid truth.
Somewhat inconsistently, almost all neo-Protestant theologians have appealed to the record to support cognitively whatever fragments of the whole seem to coincide with their divergent views, even though they disavow the Bible as a specially revealed corpus of authoritative divine teaching. For evangelical orthodoxy, if God’s revelational disclosure to chosen prophets and apostles is to be considered meaningful and true, it must be given not merely in isolated concepts capable of diverse meanings but in sentences or propositions. A proposition — that is, a subject, predicate, and connecting verb (or “copula”) — constitutes the minimal logical unit of intelligible communication. The OT prophetic formula “thus saith the Lord” characteristically introduced propositionally disclosed truth. Jesus Christ employed the distinctive formula “But I say unto you” to introduce logically formed sentences which he represented as the veritable word or doctrine of God.
The Bible is authoritative because it is divinely authorized; in its own terms, “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tm 3:16 NIV). According to this passage the whole OT (or any element of it) is divinely inspired. Extension of the same claim to the NT is not expressly stated, though it is more than merely implied. The NT contains indications that its content was to be viewed, and was in fact viewed, as no less authoritative than the OT. The apostle Paul’s writings are catalogued with “other scriptures” (2 Pt 3:15, 16). Under the heading of Scripture, 1 Timothy 5:18 cites Luke 10:7 alongside Deuteronomy 25:4 (cf. 1 Cor 9:9). The Book of Revelation, moreover, claims divine origin (1:1–3) and employs the term “prophecy” in the OT meaning (22:9, 10, 18). The apostles did not distinguish their spoken and written teaching but expressly declared their inspired proclamation to be the Word of God (1 Cor 4:1; 2 Cor 5:20; 1 Thes 2:13).
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 298). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
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