Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Final Authority--Scripture or Something Else?

The Bible asserts in several key scriptures that because the Bible is the word of God it carries the authority of God. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey the scriptures is to disobey or disbelieve God. For instance, in John 17:17, Jesus declares in His prayer to God that “Your word is truth”. In doing so, He uses the Greek word “alethia” (225) which is translated “truth” and is a noun. In other words, the scriptures are not true (measured by another standard) but are themselves truth (the standard). This is further evidenced by the character of God as always telling the truth. For example, Balaam declares in Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Also, because God’s word is truth, resulting from the fact that God speaks truth, His word carries authority because it is effectual—it accomplishes the purposes God intends for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).

In contrast, people who reject the authority of scripture use various substitutes as their basis for final authority. For example, some people, particularly Catholics, substitute the traditions of the church for the authority of scripture. However, because church tradition is not inspired it is not adequate as a source of final authority. Also, some people use human experience and observation as the measure of final authority. However, there are limits to what people are able to perceive and understand and therefore human experience and observation are unreliable as sources of truth. Further, some people use science and philosophy as their final authority. However, because humans are not able to know all facts their conclusions cannot be 100% accurate. Finally, some people declare that, based on personal autonomy, they can decide absolute truth for themselves. However, no person is truly autonomous to the extent that they can decide what is true for themselves in a vacuum.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


If you are searching for the truth about God and His plan for mankind, where should you look? What is the only trustworthy source to find God's truth? Would it be creed books, Bible commentaries and a variety of other written works of men?


Jeremiah 30:1-2 This word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 "Thus says the Lord, saying, the God of Israel, 'Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.

The Lord did not tell Jeremiah to check with Billy Graham, Joesph Smith Jr., Gandhi or Saint Augustine and write down their words.

Exodus 24:3-4 Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!" 4 Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord.......

Moses did not write down everything that John Wesley, Brigham Young, and Buddha had said.

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!"

Jesus said live by every word that comes from God. He did say say live by every word that comes from Pope Benedict XVI, Martin Luther, and Jerry Falwell.

Luke 10:25-26 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying. "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" 26 And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"

Jesus did not answer the lawyer by asking him "how does what is written by Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa and Benny Hin read to you?"

Acts 17:2-3 And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."

The apostle Paul did not reason from the writings of Max Lucado, Pope John Paul II and John Calvin.

John 20:30-31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

The writings of John McAthur, Jack Van Impe, Bill Hybels and Charles Swindoll were not written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.

2 Peter 3:15-16 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures...

Peter said Paul's letters were by wisdom from God. Paul's letters were Scriptures.

Where does Peter say creed books, catechisms, Bible commentaries, books about the Bible, and other writings of men are Scriptures?


(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

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