Recent Posts
Lowell Brueckner

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Doctrine Number One: The Bible is the Word of God


Before anyone can profit from the riches of the Christian life, that person must obtain the firm conviction that the Bible is the Word of God. There is no way to enjoy, learn and grow in faith without this truth burned into his heart. In the book of Acts we read again and again that the apostles and other evangelists went from one place to another, preaching the Word.

We need to believe that the Bible is the Word of God in order to form the foundation upon which we can build our lives. We must be convinced that the Bible is the maximum authority that decides every question that has to do with Christian living. In the first place, we will take into account the Old Testament, because it forms the basis for the New Testament. For this reason, no Christian can say that he understands the New Testament, if he has not studied the Old. He cannot have a clue about many things that Jesus and His disciples taught.  

The Old Testament: We begin by quoting what Paul wrote in Romans 3 with respect to the Old Testament: “What advantage then hath the Jew?”, he asks in v.1. He answers his own question in v.2: “ Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the  oracles of God.”  This is a very important declaration, because it indicates that there was a body of Scripture, divinely inspired with authority that was delivered through the Jewish nation. Peter teaches us concerning the Old Testament saying “that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pt.1:20-21).  In the same way in which  the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to write, there were also godly Jews, whom the Holy Spirit led to discern which scriptures were truly inspired. The Sovereign God, who watches  over His Word, took charge of this work throughout Jewish history.

Before the church age, the Jews, by God’s authority, established what would be or would not be the scriptural canon. In New Testament times, the canon of the Hebrew Bible consisted of a precise number of books that had been ordered according to a certain structure. This fact proves that long before the time of Christ, the Jews had already determined and closed the canon. About this fact, Jesus and his disciples were in agreement with the religious leaders of Israel. In that time there were 22 books, but by our time, some of these books have been divided and that is the reason that there are now 39 books in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, all the Scripture that we have today is included in those original 22 books of the Jews.

I recently heard someone speaking to almost 2,000 people in a conference that we do not need Old Testament teaching. I know of at least one movement, which has been recognized as a cult, precisely because they do not study the Old Testament, claiming that it is not for us today. They could not be more mistaken! It is a major error that robs Christ’s disciples of great riches that God has kept in store for them. I’m not going to ignore such a claim and, in fact, all true Christians should rise up in arms to contest it. It is true that the ceremonies, animal and grain sacrifices, and the observances of certain days have reached their fulfillment in Christ. That is clear and no ones should deny it. But even the study of these symbols will enrich the believer in his knowledge of what has been accomplished in the cross. I will give you four more reasons… strong reasons, I believe… as to why the Old Testament is for the Christian today:

One:  It contains many prophecies, living word that it is, that are coming to completion in our days and many have not yet been fulfilled, but will be fulfilled in the future… possibly some of us will still be alive to experience their fulfillment. Is it wise to ignore these?

Two: The complete canon of the Old Testament was not for the people that lived in the Old Testament times! The patriarchs never read the Psalms. David never studied the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Isaiah didn’t live during the years of captivity y Jeremiah didn’t witness the return of the Jews to their land, the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the temple. For whom, then, was the Old Testament intended, if not for us?

Three: We can know that what was established through the Jewish nation, was also accepted in the heavens, because Jesus Himself based his teaching on these Scriptures and also recognized the three divisions ordered by the Jews: The Law of Moses (five books), the Prophets (thirteen books), and the Psalms (four books). Read Luke 24:27 and see that Jesus recognized the first two divisions (Moses and the Prophets) and in Mark 12:10 He quotes a Psalm as Scripture. When Jesus referred to these three volumes in His teaching, all the Jews knew to which books he was referring. Jesus recognized them as the Word of God:  “Have you not read that which was spoken unto you by God…” (Mt.22:31), He said to the Sadducees, citing a passage from Genesis. Contesting the devil in the days of His temptation, Jesus said, “It is written” (Mt.4:4-11), showing plainly that what was written in these books was generally recognized as the Word of authority given by God. Even the devil recognized it!

Four: The writer of Hebrews gave credit to the Holy Spirit as the Author of these Scriptures in three different passages: “Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts” (Heb.3:7-8),  “The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holy place hath not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle is yet standing  (Heb 9:8),  “The Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us; for after he hath said, This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws on their heart, And upon their mind also will I write them” (Heb.10:15-16). Is it possible that the Word by God, the Holy Spirit, should lose at any time one iota of its importance or authority?

The New Testament:  In forming the canon of the New Testament, the early church gave three criteria that would determine, whether or not a document could be truly recognized as the word of God:

1)      Apostolic authority: The document must have been written by an apostle or an associate of one of the original apostles. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42).

2)      The rule of faith: The writings must conform to what had already been considered and recognized, in general, as the basic and normal doctrines upon which the church had been founded.

3)      Utility and continual acceptance: It must be a document accepted from the beginning by the church in general and used for indoctrination. For example, the four Gospels are confirmed, because thousands of copies were circulated among the churches. To this day, there exist 5,600 manuscripts of the New Testament, the oldest dating back to the year 125 A.D., only 35 years after the original document was written!

These manuscripts were quoted by the earliest fathers of the church and were already recognized as the Word of God. Even Peter, in his day and in his second epistle, recognized the work of Paul as among the Scriptures: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Pe.3:15,16). Therefore, in this manner, the New Testament, consisting of 27 books, was formed and recognized, along with the 39 books of the Old Testament, as the Word of God.

The New Testament was written in Greek. The epistles of Paul, the Gospels of Mark and Luke and the book of Acts were written between 45 and 63 A.D. The Gospel of John and his Revelation were written, probably, at the end of the first Century! Why do I mark the last sentence with an exclamation point? Because the invasion of the Roman army into Jerusalem took place in 70 A.D., and this is well established in World History. Then, what John wrote in the Revelation has nothing to do with that invasion, but is a persecution yet to come… The Great Tribulation! Also Jesus spoke of that future persecution, beginning with the “abomination of desolation” (and expected that the reader would understand of what He was speaking… Matthew 24:15).

As mentioned earlier there are today more than 5,600 very old manuscripts in New Testament Greek. The oldest were written on papyrus and the later ones upon parchment (animal skins). The oldest manuscript (already mentioned, but worth repeating) was copied around 125 A.D., less than 35 years after the original document was written! Others of the oldest are from 200, 250, 350 A.D. The one which dates to 350 A.D., is called the Codex Sinaiticus and it contains the entire New Testament and almost all the Old Testament in Greek. It was discovered in 1856 in a monastery near Mount Sinai.

LET IT BE KNOWN:  God watches over His Word to keep it faithfully and surely for us in this 21st Century. Let us then respond by taking advantage, as never before, now that we approach the end of all things. His Word will never pass away, although the heavens and earth be removed!


Post a Comment