There are two pillars that support the historic Christian view of the Bible. The first concerns what Jesus Himself taught - which is the focus of this post. The second considers the Biblical documents themselves, their claims of Divine inspiration, demonstration of inerrancy, fulfilled prophecies, preservation of their words in the thousands of manuscripts and translations, and demonstration of their reliability from archaeology and historical studies. This second "pillar" fits under the theological study of the doctrine of Scripture that is called "Bibliology". Bibliology is important in its own right, since despite centuries of scrutiny, the Biblical text continues to show its character as totally true or without error. Bibliology, rightly understood, complements what we learn from the first pillar of our understanding of the nature of Scripture - namely Jesus' teaching.
Dr. Michael Kruger, an eminent Biblical scholar and expert in the history of the Biblical text, has this to say of the importance of Jesus' view of Scripture,
"One need only consider Jesus' own view of the Old Testament. Time and again, Jesus appeals to Old Testament passages and always receives it as truth, never correcting it, criticizing it, or pointing out inconsistencies. Indeed, He not only refrained from correcting the Scriptures, but He also affirmed the Scriptures "cannot be broken" (John 10:35), and that "[God's] Word is truth" (John 17:17). It is unthinkable that Jesus would ever have read an Old Testament passage and declared, "Well, this passage is simply wrong."
We will argue that whether we consider Jesus' approach to Scripture or go the second route of establishing the preservation, reliability, and prophetic claims of the Bible itself, both methods arrive at the same conclusion - Biblical inerrancy (that is, without error as oriignally revealed) and infallibility (that is, incapable of being wrong as originally revealed). By focusing on how Jesus treated and understood the Old Testament Scriptures of His day (the New Testament had not yet been composed during His earthly ministry), we can establish what I call "an argument to inerrancy".
Jesus taught that the scripture is inspired, inerrant and revealed by God.
There were of course copies of the Hebrew text, however, very few Jewish people knew Hebrew. Despite various translations of the Old Testament in circulation by Jesus' day, His view of the Divine authority carried by such translations did not alter. As we shall see below, Jesus viewed the translations of His day as carrying forth the authority of inerrancy and infallibility of the originals from whence they were translated. This point is vital, since it shows us how to treat and regard English translations that are translated from the underlying Hebrew and Aramaic Old Testament and Greek New Testament.
a. "It is written"
Jesus would sometimes use the phrase "it is written" to assert the Divine authority of the Old Testament (Matthew 4:4, 6, 7, 10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24, 31 / Mark 1:2, 7:6, 9:12, 13; 11:17; 14:21, 27 / Luke 4:4, 8, 10, 17, 7:27; 10:26; 18:31; 19.46; 20.17, 22, 22:37; 24.44, 46 / John 6:31,45; 8:17; 10:34; 12:14, 16; 15:25; 19:19, 20, 22. At least 16 times in the Old Testament do we find this phrase used to refer to the words of other Old Testament books as being God's Word.
Jesus used another closely associated term, "Scripture", to describe the Old Testament (Matthew 21:42, 22:29, 26:54, 56/ Mark 12:24, 14:49 / Luke 24:27, 32, 45, John 5:39). In these instances, Jesus describes the scriptures as fulfilled, having Divine authority, without error or "inerrant" (Matthew 22:29) and incapable of failure or "infallible" (John 10:35). This reminds us of that trait of the Bible possessed by no other book in the world - historically verified fulfilled prophecy.