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#70 - Is the entire Bible "the Inspired Word of God?"
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
The entire basis of the Christian faith is based on the assumption that the entire Bible is the Inspired Word of God. I have not come across proof of this as of yet.
I know the historical and archaeological accuracy of the Bible; but any spiritual being could have provided those details even the fulfilled prophecies cannot be used because they could have been provided by a capable being although unlikely. What the Bible says cannot be used as proof because it is the object being tested.
Those facts do not leave us with much. Faith seems the only recourse. I am missing something; please advise.
If "the entire basis of the Christian faith is based on the assumption that the entire Bible is the Inspired Word of God," then Christians during the first three centuries had no basis for their faith. "The Bible" as we know it had not yet been defined or compiled. Even today there are still differences in what constitutes the Christian Bible. Does it include the Apocrypha, as do the Roman Catholic Bibles and the original King James Version? Or does it exclude the Apocrypha, as do most Protestant Bibles today? Or is neither of these positions really important to the Christian faith.
For more info on the Christian canon, which defines what comprises "the Bible," you can browse:
Let me suggest some other bases of "the Christian faith," which go beyond the debate about the Christian canon:
According to the Fourth Gospel (the Gospel of John), Jesus said:
"...The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father." (Joh 14:12, NRSV. See also Joh 14:15; Joh 15:10-12; Mar 11:25; Mat 7:21 and all of Mat 5-7; Mat 10:8; 1Co 2:1-5; etc.)
According to the Apostle Paul:
1 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing... 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1Co 13:1,2,13, NRSV)
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; 3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant [KJV reads "new testament"], not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2Co 3:2-6, NRSV)
The Christian "faith" is a living faith. The New Testament bears witness to that faith, and the Old Testament puts that faith into context, but the entire Bible neither contains or confines or defines that faith. Nor is the entire Bible consistent with that faith.
Jesus taught, "Love your enemies" (Mat 5:43, 44; Luk 6:27, 28, 35), but much of the Old Testament taught "the righteous" to hate and kill enemies. The Old Testament taught, "Do not commit adultery" (Exo 20:14, Deu 5:18), but Jesus taught that it was wrong not only to commit adultery but also even to look on another woman with the desire (Mat 5:27,28). Yet the Old Testament also taught to stone an adulteress to death (Lev 20:10), but Jesus exemplified the public rebuke of the hypocritical and self-righteous and the private rebuke of the privately immoral and adulterous (Joh 8:1-11).
The theological evolution of the Old Testament needs to be viewed through the full salvation exemplified in the life of Christ Jesus and its continuing fulfillment through the Holy Spirit, which even today continues to teach us all things (Joh 14:26).
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer