The Inspiration And Authority Of The Bible

Someone recently asked me: “Do I have to believe everything the Bible teaches? Can’t I believe the parts I want to believe and not believe the parts I don’t want to believe?”

My answer: “Yes. You must believe everything the Bible teaches”.

Here’s why:

The Bible Repeatedly Claims To Be Words From God That Come Together To Be “The Word of God”.

The phrases, “Thus says the Lord” and “the Word of the Lord” are used hundreds of times.

2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is inspired by God. This means that while human authors wrote the Tenach (the Old Testament), God was inspiring them so that the final product is the divinely inspired Word of God.

2 Peter 1:20‑21: No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. Just as no prophecy was made by mere human will, no part of the Bible was made by mere human will or mere human effort. It was written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 1:1‑2: God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. It was God who spoke to the Jewish people by communicating to the prophets of Israel in various ways. The Tenach records God’s words to the prophets.

And God spoke again to us, in a greater way, through the greatest of the prophets – His Son. The Old Testament and the teachings of Yeshua are God speaking to us though the prophets and through the greatest prophet – Yeshua, the Son of God.

Yeshua’s Teaching On The Bible: The Final Word

Yeshua taught the Old Testament was the Word of God, supremely authoritative and truthful about all things. He constantly quoted the Scriptures as being authoritative: “The Scriptures say”.

Yeshua taught that the entire Tenach, including the smallest parts of individual letters that make up the words that make up the Old Testament – is true and reliable and enduring.

Matthew 5:18: For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Yeshua taught the complete and absolute truthfulness of the Scriptures when He prayed to God the Father: Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17).

Your word is truth” means that the Tenach is the Word of God. And who is this One whose word is truth? God, who is all-knowing and perfectly righteous and can’t be mistaken or lie. Therefore God’s Word is truth – pure truth unmixed with any errors.

Yeshua taught that we are to believe the writings of Moses and we are to believe Yeshua’s own words. John 5:46-47: If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

He taught that we must believe everything Moses and the Prophets wrote, and that what they wrote is more reliable than great supernatural experiences: Luke 16:31: If people don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.

The Son of God, risen from the dead, who is all-knowing, expressed the same truth about the need to believe everything the prophets wrote when He said to two disciples on the road to Emmaus: You foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! (Luke 24:25).

Yeshua taught us that every part of the Law was to be obeyed – even the least of the commandments (Matthew 5:19).

He taught the law of Moses must not be broken (John 7:23).

He repeatedly taught the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

He taught the Scripture can’t be broken (John 10:35).

Yeshua constantly referred to the people and events in the Tenach as being real historical people and events.

Yeshua taught that God created everything in the beginning. He taught the historical reality of Adam; that God created us male and female, and male and female should become one flesh. He taught the historical reality of Abel, Noah, the ark and the Flood, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Lot and the supernatural destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; Lot’s wife turning to a pillar of salt; Moses and the burning bush; Moses and the bronze snake; David and Solomon and the queen of Sheba; Jonah was swallowed by a fish for three days; Elijah and Elisha. He taught the historical reality of Daniel and that the future abomination of desolation that Daniel wrote about would take place.

By the way, to those who denying that Moses wrote the Torah, or that Isaiah wrote Israel, or that Daniel wrote Daniel, the Son of God taught that Moses wrote the Torah (Mark 10:3, John 7:19), that Daniel wrote Daniel (Matthew 24:15), and that Isaiah wrote Isaiah (Matthew 13:13‑15, 15:7-8).

Yeshua taught that His teachings were true. So, what were some of Yeshua’s teachings?

Yeshua taught that He came from Heaven to Earth; that He was the eternal Son of God; that every human being had a fallen nature, was alienated from God and would perish; and that the only way they could be saved from perishing was by receiving a new nature, being born again, by believing in Him.

He taught that He would die to atone for the sins of humanity and be resurrected. He taught that He and the Father were one in nature, and that He perfectly reflected God; that the one who sees Him sees God.

He taught the reality of good and fallen angels, demon possession and exorcism, Sheol/Hades and Heaven and Hell, and that He would be the Judge of humanity on the Day of Judgment.

Yeshua taught us that His teachings, like the teachings of the Tenach, are true and enduring: Matthew 24:35: Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

He taught us to believe and practice everything He taught us: John 8:31-32: Yeshua was saying to those Jewish people who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word (we continue in His word by believing it and practicing it), then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That means that if we don’t believe all of Yeshua’s teachings and follow them, we won’t know the truth and will remain enslaved to false teachings and the dark powers that control humanity.

He taught us that if we don’t follow His words, which include His teachings on the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible, we don’t love Him: John 14:24: The one who does not love Me does not follow My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

He taught us that accepting His teachings is a matter of life and death, Heaven and Hell: John 12:48: The one who rejects Me and does not accept My teachings has one who judges him: the word which I spoke. That will judge him on the last day.

He taught us that God the Father would send the Holy Spirit to His disciples, and God’s Spirit would teach them all things and remind them of everything Yeshua taught them (John 14:26). That means that all the writings of the New Testament, like the writings of the Tenach, and like the teachings of Yeshua, are divinely inspired and true.

That means that the entire Bible, the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and all of the New Testament, everything from Genesis through Revelation, is the divinely inspired and authoritative Word of God.

So, if we claim to follow Yeshua, we must follow His understanding of Word of God.

How do we know that Yeshua’s teachings are true?

He taught us that His miracles were evidence that God sent Him and approved of Him. The works that the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I am doing testify that the Father has sent Me (John 5). Ordinary human beings don’t do miracles. Normally, God will only allow someone who is very close to Him to do a miracle. And even among the Chosen People, only a few prophets in Israel’s long history ever did miracles – Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha and a few others. Yeshua’s miracles exceeded them all.

He turned water into wine; healed many who were sick; healed the son of a royal official; healed a centurion’s servant; healed Peter’s mother‑in‑law; healed a man who was an invalid and a man who was paralyzed; two men who were blind; another man who was born blind.

He restored the sight of Bartimaeus; healed a man who was unable to speak; healed a man’s withered hand; healed a woman who had been sick for 12 years; healed the ear that was cut off from the servant of the high priest; healed those who had leprosy.

He removed evil spirits from many; sent an army of demons into a herd of pigs; withered a fig tree; was involved in two miraculous catches of fish; was involved in catching a fish that paid the temple tax.

He fed 5,000 from a few loaves of bread and some fish; fed 4,000 from a few loaves of bread and some fish; stilled the winds and waves with a word; walked on water; raised the son of a woman in Nain from the dead; raised the daughter of Yair back to life; raised Lazarus from the dead.

The miracles of Yeshua are amazing. They are unprecedented in number and in greatness. They let us know that Yeshua was sent by God and approved by God, and therefore is who He claimed to be – the Messiah and the Son of God.

We know that Yeshua’s teachings are true because of His resurrection. Ordinary men are not resurrected. False teachers and false Messiahs are not resurrected. Yeshua’s resurrection is God’s seal of approval on Yeshua. His resurrection validates Him and His teaching. Yeshua’s resurrection means that Yeshua is Immanuel (God With Us), the risen Messiah, the Lord, the ultimate authority on truth, and the greatest teacher of humanity and the one and only Savior of humanity.

Evidences For Yeshua’s Resurrection (The following is taken from The Resurrection Factor by Josh McDowell)

The Evidence Of Prophecies About Yeshua’s Resurrection:

Isaiah 53:12, Zechariah 12:10, Daniel 9:24‑27, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 22, Psalm 118:22‑23.

The Evidence Of The Empty Tomb And The Unusual Circumstances Connected To It: The Roman seal which sealed the tomb was broken. The large stone covering the tomb was moved. The graveclothes covering Yeshua’s body were undisturbed but no longer contained His body. Jewish and Roman leaders admitted that the tomb was empty (Matthew 28:11‑15).

If Yeshua wasn’t resurrected, all the Roman and Jewish authorities would have had to do to end His movement – and they wanted to end His movement – would have been to produce Yeshua’s body. They never did because His body wasn’t available to them because it had been resurrected.

The Evidence Of Many Reliable Witnesses: According to the Bible, the resurrected Messiah appeared to many people on many occasions with widely varying conditions. He appeared to Mary (John 20:11‑18), to other women (Matthew 28:8‑10), to Peter (Luke 24:34), to the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13‑35), to ten of His disciples (Luke 24:36‑43), to eleven of His disciples eight days later (John 20:24‑29), to seven by the Kinneret, the lake of the Galilee (John 21:1‑23), to five hundred at once (1 Corinthians 15:6), to James (1 Corinthians 15:7). Finally He appeared to Paul (Acts 9:1‑16).

These weren’t visions or apparitions. Yeshua spoke to these people and ate bread and fish with them. He allowed Thomas to touch His wounds. When Yeshua appeared to some women, they fell before Him and held onto His feet.

If you were part of a jury and you had the testimony of hundreds of reliable witnesses who, in various circumstances, all said that they saw a certain man – wouldn’t you believe them?

The Evidence Of Yeshua’s Impact On The World – Especially Western Civilization: Yeshua has impacted the world more than anyone else who has ever lived. The following is taken from One Solitary Life by Dr James Allan Francis.

The young rabbi from Nazareth was born in an obscure village. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never raised an army. He never had a family of his own. He never owned a home. He never went to college. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was betrayed to His enemies, and went through a mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His only piece of property – His coat. When He was dead, His body was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today Yeshua is the central figure for much of the human race.

All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that have ever sat and all the kings that have ever reigned have not affected the lives of men as powerfully as this “One Solitary Life.”

Conclusion: The Lord is risen! Yeshua was resurrected from the dead!

Therefore, all of Yeshua’s teachings are true, including His teachings that the rest of the Bible is true.

Fallen, sinful creatures must not believe their own word or the word of a fallen world in rebellion against God – if it contradicts the Word of God.

Isaiah 55:9: As the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 66: 2: I will look to this one, to one who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who trembles at My word. May that be all of us. May we have so much reverence and respect for the Word of God that we tremble before it.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. We trust in the Lord with all of our heart and don’t lean on our own understanding when we believe His word and apply it to every aspect of our life.

A Final Thought: The One who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) taught that the Word of God is truth – truthful, accurate, no errors. If the Word of God is not truth; if any of the things in it or any of the things He taught are not truth, and He taught us it’s truth, then He’s wrong and He can’t be the truth. And if He is not the truth, He can’t be the Way or the Life. He can’t be our Savior. But, thanks be to God that Yeshua is the Truth!