Why is the Bible so important? Part 1
Interesting question as it actually has many answers.
I suppose it has to do with authority. By authority I mean, what is it that informs what we believe and why we believe it? Some rely upon tradition, others on feelings, others on what someone has told them, and still others rely upon their rational. All these are based somewhat upon upbringing, culture, natural demeanour and a host of other internal and external affects. And all of these are different for different people, a fact recognised in our post-modern world. Forgive the word ‘fact’ and ‘post-modern’ in the same sentence! Because it is our post-modern society that says there are no facts, no grand narrative, no one authority. This makes it convenient to believe whatever we believe with no justification necessary as you believe what you will believe and I will believe what I believe and both can live in unison despite its tensions and often diametrically opposed truths.
There is one authority, though, that has not changed, is neither ancient, modern nor post-modern but is present no matter what the era. And that is the Bible. The Bible speaks down through the ages to every people, culture and language. The Bible is its own authority. It speaks the truth. It is the Word of God. It is what God is saying.
Some say that the Bible contains the Word of God meaning that somewhere in its pages are words that can pertain to God but other pages where it does not. When I say the Bible contains the Word of God I mean from cover to cover every Word is given by God and is from God. This makes the decision about what is my authority very easy: it is the Bible. For those who think that only part of it should be our authority then pickers will be choosers. Who is to say what part is and what part is not? For those who choose which parts are and what parts are not have actually made themselves the authority. Some make it sound very spiritual and say that it is Jesus who is their authority. If this is the case then they would know that Jesus Himself made Scripture totally authoritative.
It is clear we either take the whole of the Bible with its difficulties that should not be glossed over or we take none of it. The only way we know what we believe and why is because God has revealed it to us through human writers sometimes through dictation (Thus says the Lord…) or, as usually was the case, using the writer’s humanity but without error.
This is called plenary inspiration, the view that all Scripture (the Bible) is inspired by God and thus is without any inaccuracy, mistake, fault or error. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NKJV) — 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
[Glossary: ‘plenary’ means ‘full and complete’]
If it is found to have inaccuracies, mistakes, faults or errors then we have nothing to rely upon for truth. Jesus regarded Scripture to be authentic even in those parts that are hard to believe like Jonah. And who am I or you to argue with the Author of our Salvation?!
[A more in depth article will be written in due course]