JESUS' THEOLOGY OF SCRIPTURE

There certainly is a spectrum of views today on how involved God was in the writing of Scriptures. While we have many thoughts on what exactly the Bible is, it’s safe to say that Jesus had a higher view than any of us.


Matthew 5:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 


The only Bible Jesus’ knew was the Old Testament. In Judaism, there had been a gap of 400 years since a prophet was in their midst with a fresh message from God. While his ministry, death and resurrection would proclaim a new covenant agreement with God and man, Jesus did not simply set aside the old text and come up with a more humane human version of thought.

Jesus was not conflicted with God as revealed in the Old Testament. He never once said, “That doesn’t count, because it’s Old Testament.” What he did do was reveal how the Old Testament leads us to Himself. He fulfilled (met the requirements of) the Law. He fulfilled the Messianic vision of the Prophets. The Old Testament matters to us in its preparing the way of the Lord, a straight path through the bumpy desert leading us to God.


Luke 16:
16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.


Dr. Gary Habermas, professor of philosophy and theology wrote:

Jesus referred to the Old Testament not simply as a time-honoured human doc­ument. Rather, He called it the very command and words of God. True, humans like Moses and David penned the text, but God still spoke through them. In citing the Scriptures, Jesus believed that He was reporting the very message of God. The Word of God was the expression of God's truth.
Seen from various angles, this is indeed a high view of inspira­tion. We conclude that Jesus definitely accepted the inspiration of the Old Testament. It is very difficult to do otherwise.[1]


So what about the New Testament? If Jesus only had the Old to refer to, would he approve of the New?

Dr. Habermas makes the case for the inspiration of the New Testament with four key ideas:

1.     Jesus taught his disciples that they were his designated witnesses and spokesmen.
2.     Jesus also promised His disciples the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
3.     As the New Testament writers penned their words, they recognized that they were inspired. They claimed Jesus' twofold promise.
4.     Comparing a quote from the Law to one found in the teachings of Jesus, and calling them both Scripture, is certainly significant, and for more than one reason. It shows some conviction that the existing canon of inspired texts, consisting only of Old Testament writings, is not the end of the matter.[2]

Time and skill do not permit me to expand these to Dr. Habermas’ full writing on the subject. You can research this on his website if you want to dig in. I simply bring his scholarly thought to bear on the matter of inspired Scripture.

When you meditate on Scripture, you are entering the world of God at work. While we do not idolize the book that contains the writings, we worship the One who inspired the writers and the text. The message emanates from and leads us back to God. For that, we become students and disciples and call this Bible holy.

I leave you with the words of Paul to his protégé in the faith Timothy:


2 Timothy 3:
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.



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