Monday, November 18, 2013

Academic Paper: Biblical Authority

Justin Steckbauer
Biblical Authority

(This is a short academic paper I wrote on Biblical authority.)

The Bible claims to contain the written word of God transmitted through the revelation of his truth, communicated (inspired) through human writers. 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The Bible claims within it's pages to be breathed out by God himself. The Bible's authority comes from God himself in his communication of timeless truth. The message in the Bible stands out from all other books ever written in that it's words provide a link to the supernatural, and the result is transformed lives.

There are many reasons to believe the Bible is in fact the truthful word of a supernatural creator. The Bible is highly accurate historically, when compared to events cited in outside sources historically. The Bible has sold the most copies of any book ever written. It's also important to note that every human being on the planet seems unable to find fulfillment in human endeavors. This seems to suggest that we are created with eternity in our hearts, and need a connection to a loving higher power to satisfy us. The best evidence for the Bible is probably in the perfect life of Jesus Christ. His words cut through the most obstinate readers, and communicate the perfect lifestyle for all humans to follow.

The Bible was written by normal people of various occupations and lifestyles, but it is also the perfect word of God. 2 Peter 1:21 (ESV) states, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Inspiration means that the Holy Spirit works through divinely chosen individuals to communicate God's truth accurately. There is no flaw in that process, no possibility for the human to make a mistake, so what's written is considered utterly truthful and authoritative. There are no flaws in the Bible. It is correct historically, geographically, and scientifically. The Bible itself teaches that it is inerrant (2 Timothy 3:16). Jesus Christ viewed the Bible as without flaw (John 10:35 ESV). The Old Testament prophets indicated they were communicating God's truth (Exodus 4:14-16). The Bible has always been considered accurate until recent times, historically the church has regarded it as inerrant. If the Holy Spirit does communicate without flaw the truth of God to divinely chosen human writers, then it must be inspired as well as inerrant.

Since the Bible is true and without flaw, then I need to accept God's authority over my life. I don't recognize the Bible's authority over my life, that would be biblolatry. I do recognize God as sovereign, my personal Father. It's not by his law or even by his written word that I'm able to follow his commands. It's by the reception of his son Jesus Christ as savior, that I then undergo a trans-formative process through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I learn of God through the Bible. It effectively transmits a perfect message, but my Father is the only authority. There is no way for me to obey even some of his commands without the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for me to live eternally without Jesus Christ. I just try to improve a little bit everyday on this Christian journey, and instead of doing it alone, I constantly pray to my Father for support and guidance.