2 Peter 1:19 "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts."
What makes the Bible worthy of the title "Book of God"? These last couple of posts have dealt with the doctrine of sacred scripture. We have looked at the character of the Bible as "The Holy Bible". We also considered practical reasons why anyone ought to retain the attitude of the old children's song: "The B.I.B.L.E, yes that's the book for me". Today's post will attempt to unpack Peter's words here in 2 Peter 1:16-21 by noting three reasons why we can consider the Bible as God's Book. Notice first of all that the Bible is the....
Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:16-18 of how he and his apostolic associates did not follow "cleverly devised tales" nor deliver to his readers second-hand information. Rather, everything is written from an eye-witness perspective. The Bible as the Book of Books is set-apart by God as His authoritative written revelation.
As we have seen already in previous posts, the Bible throughout its history was treated as a set-apart or holy Book. As each book of the Old and New Testament was revealed, inspired and delivered to God's people - they immediately or almost immediately received it as God's authoritative, written revelation. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 explains this idea of Biblical authority in its first article: "It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried."
When one reads the early church records of the early church fathers like Irenaeus of Lyons or Eusebius, we discern several ways in which the people of God recognized the 27 books of the New Testament and the 39 books of the Old Testament as God's authoritative, inscripturated record.
a. Was it composed by a prophet/apostle or an associate
b. Correspondence with earlier revelation
c. Containing prophecy and evidence of fulfilled prophecy
d. Converting power for the soul
e. Clearly show Jesus Christ
Jesus Himself viewed the Old Testament in this fashion as seen by how He explains it as revealing things about Himself (Luke 24:44) as well as setting it over and against the traditions of men (Matthew 19). Paul too took the scripture to be the authoritative embodiment of God's voice to the people of God in shaping their lives and his preaching (Ephesians 2:20; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). Then of course we see Peter codifying the New Testament letters of Paul as being on par with respect to their authority to that of the Old Testament in 2 Peter 3:16.
Tomorrow we will consider how the Bible is the Book of God by virtue of it being an alive book.
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