Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Part Two: How Jesus' View Of The Bible Ought To Inform Our View Of The Bible


       In our last post here, we began to considerJesus' view of Scripture and why His view of  Scripture ought to be our view of Scripture. We noted three expressions Jesus used when talking about the Old Testament. First we observed His use of the phrase "it is written". Then, we witnessed His use of the term "the scripture", and where He deems the words of the Old Testament as God's voice in written form. Put another way, to say the phrase "Scripture" is to equate the words of the Bible as being tantamount to talking to God face-to-face and hearing Him speak. We demonstrated how those phrases point the reader to conclude that Jesus viewed the words of the Bible as without error or totally true - i.e. "inerrant", as well as incapable of error - i.e. "infallible". 

       In today's post I want us to consider two more phrases used by Jesus in His descriptions of how He viewed Scripture as further testimony of what the view ought to be of everyone that professes to follow Him.  

a. "Truly, Truly, I say to you"

     In addition to the phrase I alluded to above ("it is written", "the scriptures"), the next set of phrases that Jesus used to teach about the Bible was where he would either say "but I say" or "truly truly". These particular statements refer to Jesus's own self understanding of his Divine Authority as delivering the very words of God. He would often contrast himself with the Jewish traditions as found in the teachings of the Pharisees and Scribes. Hence, Jesus used the phrase "truly truly" in John 1:51; 3:3, 5, 11; 5:19, 24, 25; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58; 10:1, 7; 12:24; 13:16, 20, 21, 38; 14:12; 16:20, 23 and 21:18. 

       We then find Jesus using the phrase "I say" with reference to his own Divine Authority in Matthew 5:18, 22, 22, 26, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44; 6:2, 5, 16, 25, 29, 8.10, 11; 10:15, 23, 29; 11:23, 24; 12:43; 13:30, 37: 14:9, 14, 18, 25, 30 / Luke 4:24 and Luke 5:24. In Luke 6:25, Jesus would use the phrase "but I say" to contrast himself to the Jewish traditions, as seen in Luke 7.9, 14, 26, 28, 47.10:12; 11:8, 9, 51; 12:5, 22, 27, 37, 44. 

       As Jesus proclaimed His own self understanding, He claimed the ability to forgive sins (Luke 7:47; 12:8) which is something the Old Testament taught that Yahweh, Jehovah God, could alone do (see Isaiah 43:10,11; Jonah 2:9-10). Jesus Christ came into this world with an unprecedented air of authority and self-awareness of He Himself being "God in the flesh". As only Jesus could achieve, His self-understanding as God-incarnate never came across as arrogant or out of place. Finally, we see this phrase "but I say" used in John 1:51 and in Matthew 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44 / Luke 6:27 / John 5:34, expressing everything I just noted about our Lord with respect to how He perceived Himself as the Eternal Son of God who came as the virgin-born, incarnate Savior - Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:21-23, "God with us or Immanuel"; John 1:14, "The Word made flesh"; Colossians 2:9, "He being the fullness of the Godhead bodily"). 

b. "Word of God" 

         The final major term that Jesus used to describe the scriptures was the phrase "the Word of God". Whenever we use the phrase "Word of God" to describe either the writings of the Old and New Testament or Jesus Himself, we are describing something or someone who speaks in God's place. Thus, Jesus used this phrase "word of God" in places such as Matthew 4:4; 15:6 / Mark 7:13 / Luke 8:11, 21; 11:28 / John 3:34; 8:47 / John 10:35.  In John 10:35, Jesus uses the particular phrase: "the Word of God cannot be broken" to refer to scripture's infallibility (that is, it's incapability of ever being wrong or ever failing to be right).

Closing thoughts

    We have labored to show through an exhaustive survey of the four Gospels the view of the Bible held to by Jesus. We noted the major phrases He used when referencing the Old Testament: "it is written", "the Scripture", "I say to you", "truly, truly", and "the Word of God". We discovered that such descriptions revealed what Jesus thought about Himself as God in the flesh. We also noted how such phrases demonstrated Jesus' high-view of Scripture as being totally true or "inerrant" and totally trustworthy or "infallible". Jesus' use of the Greek and Aramaic translations of His day expressed that He saw the inerrancy and infalliblity of the original manuscripts still having relevance in how those translations still carry with them the words and meanings of those originals. Finally, we concluded that Jesus'view of Scripture came to represent what would be the uniform view of the Apostles. Consequently, this high view of Scripture ought to be the view of the church at large - since Jesus Himself taught it as so. My hope is that these posts reinforce a revival in proclaiming and defending the Bible as God's authoritative Word - infallible, inerrant, and the final authority on all subjects pertaining to this life and the one to come. 

No comments:

Post a Comment