Revolt against the Authority of the Bible

Concerning the authority of the Holy Scriptures there has bean much debate. Let us have a look on what is written about the Power of God’s Word and its authority in a well-known encyclopedia of the Bible.

The Power of God’s Word.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...
The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bible remains the most extensively printed, widely translated, and frequently read book in the world. Its words have been treasured in the hearts of multitudes like none other. All who have received its gifts of wisdom and promises of new life and power were at first strangers to its redemptive message, and many were hostile to its teaching and spiritual demands. In every generation its power to challenge persons of all races and lands has been demonstrated. Those who cherish the Book because it sustains future hope, brings meaning and power to the present, and correlates a misused past with the forgiving grace of God, would not long experience such inner rewards if Scripture were not known to them as the authoritative, divinely revealed truth. To the evangelical Christian, Scripture is the Word of God, given in the objective form of propositional truths through divinely inspired prophets and apostles, and the Holy Spirit is the giver of faith through that Word.

Carl F. H. Henry

Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 300). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Bible, Authority of the.

View that the Bible is the Word of God and as such should be believed and obeyed.

Image from the Book of Kells, a 1200 year old ...
Image from the Book of Kells, a 1200 year old book. Category:Illuminated manuscript images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. Parental authority, marital authority, political authority, academic authority, and ecclesiastical authority are all being deeply questioned. Not only particular authorities — the Scripture, the pope, political rulers, and so on — but the concept of authority itself is vigorously challenged. Today’s crisis of biblical authority thus reflects the uncertainties of civilizational consensus:

Who has the power and the right to receive and to require submission?

Revolt Against Biblical Authority.

As the sovereign Creator of all, the God of the Bible wills and has the right to be obeyed. Judge of men and nations, the self-revealed God wields unlimited authority and power. All creaturely authority and power is derived from that of God. The power God bestows is a divine trust, a stewardship. God’s creatures are morally accountable for their use or misuse of it. In fallen human society God wills civil government for the promotion of justice and order. He approves an ordering of authoritative and creative relationships in the home by stipulating certain responsibilities of husbands, wives, and children. He wills a pattern of priorities for the church as well: Jesus Christ the head, prophets and apostles through whom redemptive revelation came, and so on.

The inspired Scriptures, revealing God’s transcendent will in objective written form, are the rule of faith and conduct through which Christ exercises his divine authority in the lives of Christians.

Revolt against particular authorities has in our time widened into a revolt against all transcendent and external authority. The widespread questioning of authority is condoned and promoted in many academic circles.
Philosophers with a radically secular outlook have affirmed that God and the supernatural are mythical conceptions, that natural processes and events comprise the only ultimate reality. All existence is said to be temporal and changing, all beliefs and ideals are declared to be relative to the age and culture in which they appear. Biblical religion, therefore, like all other, is asserted to be merely a cultural phenomenon. The Bible’s claim to divine authority is dismissed by such thinkers; transcendent revelation, fixed truths, and unchanging commandments are set aside as pious fiction.

In the name of humanity’s supposed “coming of age,” radical secularism champions human autonomy and creative individuality. Human beings are lords of their own destiny and inventors of their own ideals and values, it is said. They live in a supposedly purposeless universe that has itself presumably been engendered by a cosmic accident. Therefore human beings are declared to be wholly free to impose upon nature and history whatever moral criteria they prefer. In such a view, to insist on divinely given truths and values, on transcendent principles, would be to repress self-fulfillment and retard creative personal development. Hence the radically secular view goes beyond opposing particular external authorities whose claims are considered arbitrary or immoral; radical secularism is aggressively hostile to all external authority, viewing it as intrinsically restrictive of the autonomous human spirit.

Any reader of the Bible will recognize rejection of divine authority and definitive revelation of what is right and good as an age-old phenomenon. It is not at all peculiar to the contemporary person “come of age”; it was found already in Eden. Adam and Eve revolted against the will of God in pursuit of individual preference and supposed self-interest. But their revolt was recognized to be sin, not rationalized as philosophical “gnosis” at the frontiers of evolutionary advance.

If one takes a strictly developmental view, which considers all reality contingent and changing, where is the basis for humanity’s decisively creative role in the universe? How could a purposeless cosmos cater to individual self-fulfillment?

Only the biblical alternative of the Creator-Redeemer God, who fashioned human beings for moral obedience and a high spiritual destiny, truly preserves the permanent, universal dignity of the human species. The Bible does so, however, by a demanding call for personal spiritual decision.
The Bible sets forth the superiority of humans to the animals, their high dignity (“little less than God”—Ps 8:5) because of the divine rational and moral image that all bear by reason of creation.

English: Print 3330 in volume 27 of the Bowyer...
Print 3330 in volume 27 of the Bowyer Bible in Bolton Museum, England. From page 12 of Volume 1 of “A-Z of Artists in the Bowyer Bible” by Phillip Medhurst. Photo 4 of 117. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the context of universal human involvement in Adamic sin, the Bible utters a merciful divine call to redemptive renewal through the mediatorial person and work of Christ. Fallen humanity is invited to experience the Holy Spirit’s renewing work, to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and to anticipate a final destiny in the eternal presence of the God of justice and justification.

Contemporary rejection of biblical tenets does not rest on any logical demonstration that the case for biblical theism is false; it turns rather on a subjective preference for alternative views of “the good life.”
The Bible is not the only significant reminder that human beings stand daily in responsible relationship to the sovereign God. He reveals his authority in the cosmos, in history, and in inner conscience, a disclosure of the living God that penetrates into the mind of every person (Rom 1:18–20; 2:12–15). Rebellious suppression of that “general divine revelation” does not wholly succeed in suspending a fearsome sense of final divine accountability (Rom 1:32).
Yet it is the Bible as “special revelation” that most clearly confronts our spiritually rebellious race with the reality and authority of God.

Title page from the Great Bible published by G...
Title page from the Great Bible published by Grafton and Whitchurch in 1539. It depicts an enthroned Henry VIII receiving the Word of God and bestowing it upon his bishops and archbishops (top third), who in turn deliver it to the priests (middle third). Finally, the laity hear the Word and loyally recite, “Vivat Rex” and “God save the kynge” (bottom third). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Scriptures, the character and will of God, the meaning of human existence, the nature of the spiritual realm, and the purposes of God for humankind in all ages are stated in propositionally intelligible form that all can understand. The Bible publishes in objective form the criteria by which God judges individuals and nations, and the means of moral recovery and restoration to personal fellowship with him.

Regard for the Bible is therefore decisive for the course of Western culture and in the long run for human civilization generally. Intelligible divine revelation, the basis for belief in the sovereign authority of the Creator-Redeemer God over all human life, rests on the reliability of what Scripture says about God and his purposes. Modern naturalism impugns the authority of the Bible and assails the claim that the Bible is the Word of God written, that is, a transcendently given revelation of the mind and will of God. Attack upon scriptural authority is the storm center both in the controversy over revealed religion and in the modern conflict over civilizational values.

Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (pp. 296–298). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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Preceding:

Are there certain books essential to come to faith

Life and an assembly of books

Reliability of message appears from honesty writers

The Bible a book of books

Continued with: The Bible’s View of Itself

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Additional reading

  1. God does not change
  2. God wants to be gracious to you
  3. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  4. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  5. Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments
  6. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  7. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  10. The business of this life
  11. Importance of parents 2
  12. Control your destiny or somebody else will

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Further reading

  1. Why study prophecy? And what does apocalypse really mean, anyway?
  2. Church Shopping: Engraved
  3. Spiritual Sucide
  4. Church Shopping: Renovation
  5. A Simple Case for Postmillennium
  6. Warnings to 7 churches are so relevant today
  7. How to Destroy the Faith in Five Easy Steps
  8. The Baptist Confession of Faith
  9. They All Point To Him
  10. Sovereignty
  11. The Authority
  12. Delegating authority: a two-way traffic
  13. Positioned to Reign
  14. Rant: Debating People that have Authority Over You
  15. Aphorism of the Day: Ideas + Force = Force
  16. The Power of Words
  17. Life essentials: bite my tongue
  18. Book Review: “All Authority”
  19. Article: Authority in Spiritual Direction Conversations: Dialogic Perspectives, by David Crawley
  20. Governor of the Jews
  21. Hannah Arendt: The Solution to Conscience
  22. Light Up The World
  23. Lines of Flight: For Another World of Possibilities
  24. You Are a Ruler
  25. The Authority of Jesus
  26. Society…what happened?
  27. We sit ignorant of the authority given
  28. God’s Will > Your Will
  29. Digging Deeper Into Worship: Jude’s Doxology
  30. Kingdom Life and the 21st Century

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Reliability of message appears from honesty writers

In the previous posting we could see that it was God Who spoke to certain men who were favoured by God. Though like all people they were descendants from the people who had gone against the Will of God and as such bore the possibility to sin (going against the Will of God) in them.

Normally when authors write an autobiography they prefer to make themselves to come of it the best as possible. For the Holy Scriptures we can see that they did not cover their sins or did not hide what they did wrong or what went wrong because of their fault.

The scribes who presented the words spoken by God really did everything to take care that everything got notated in the order or in the way God wanted it to be written down. Taking in account what those writers did not hide for the readers, the book shows the honesty of the writers and is part of showing its reliability.

We may not neglect concerning these things that God Himself always let them write it down when He is saying something, so that we can see the difference of whom is speaking. It were men like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jesus and others that the Words of God were manifested to us. It was not just to tell some pleasant stories or fables that they made known to us what happened in the past, but also warned for things to happen in the future.

Those writers of the Books of the Bible received from God the honour and glory, His Voice having been brought first to men of God but with the intention that all people would be able to hear it.

For the Gentiles it was also to be an opening to him whom belonged majestic glory, That Holy Speaking One saying,

This is my son the beloved, in whom I take pleasure in.

And this voice the apostles heard from heaven brought with him being on the mountain, affirmation of the prophetic words; knowing, that every prophecy of scripture by private explanation does not take place. For not by will of man was borne at some time or other prophecy, but by spirit holy being born spoke the holy or set-apart of God to men. (2 Peter 1:12-22)

The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...
The title page to the 1611 first edition of the Authorized Version Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exodus 4:14  (RNKJV)
And the anger of יהוה {Jehovah} was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

Numbers 20:12  (RNKJV)
And יהוה spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

2 Samuel 11:27  (RNKJV)
And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased יהוה.

1 Kings 11:9  (RNKJV)
And יהוה was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from יהוה Elohim of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,

Jonah 1:1-3 (RNKJV)

Jonah 1
1 Now the word of יהוה came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of יהוה, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of יהוה.

Mark 14:66-72 (RNKJV)
66 And as Kepha was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67 And when she saw Kepha warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Yahushua of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Kepha, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Kepha called to mind the word that Yahushua said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (RNKJV)
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But יהוה hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and יהוה hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath יהוה chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in the Messiah Yahushua, who of יהוה is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in יהוה.

1 Corinthians 10:11  (RNKJV)
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Romans 15:4  (RNKJV)
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 (RNKJV)
10 But יהוה hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of יהוה. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of Elohim knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Elohim. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of יהוה. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Daniel 2:30 (RNKJV)
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

 

English: Jonah, as in Jonah 2:10, "And th...
Jonah, as in Jonah 2:10, “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”;watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Are there certain books essential to come to faith

Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe

Next talking about those writers who did not hide anything about themselves:

Life and an assembly of books

The Bible’s View of Itself

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Additional reading:

  1. Best intimate relation to look for
  2. A voice and a Word given for wisdom
  3. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  4. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 7 Getting understanding by Word of God 5
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  7. True God giving His Word for getting wisdom
  8. Words God speaks unto all and the Spirit that quickens
  9. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  10. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  11. Challenging claim
  12. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  13. Challenging claim 3 Inspired by God 2 Inerrant Word of God
  14. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  15. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  16. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  17. Great things being heard and seen, sings of God
  18. God Statements recorded in a book
  19. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  20. True God giving His Word for getting wisdom
  21. Written down in God’s Name
  22. Bible, God’s Word to edify (ERV)
  23. Bible, helmet of salvation, God’s Words put in the mouth of prophets for perfecting, to reprove and correct
  24. Bible, sword of the Spirit to come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man
  25. Eternal Word that tells everything
  26. Great things, Voice of God and terrors
  27. The Need to Understand Genre
  28. Genre – Playing by the Rules
  29. Corruption in our translations !
  30. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8

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