What did Jesus Believe About the Scriptures?

stormsDr. Sam Storms:

The question: “What think ye of the Bible?” reduces to the question: “What think ye of Christ?” To deny the authority of Scripture is to deny the lordship of Jesus. So what did Jesus think of the Scriptures (or at least of the Old Testament)?

Consider the people and events of the OT, ambulance for example, whom/which Jesus frequently mentioned. He refers to Abel, Noah and the great flood, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, Isaac and Jacob, the manna from heaven, the serpent in the desert, David eating the consecrated bread and his authorship of the Psalms, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha,, and Zechariah, etc.

In each case he treats the Old Testament narratives as straightforward records of historical fact. But, say the critics, perhaps Jesus was simply accommodating himself to the mistaken beliefs of his contemporaries. That is to say, Jesus simply met his contemporaries on their own ground without necessarily committing himself to the correctness of their views. He chose graciously not to upset them by questioning the veracity of their belief in the truth and authority of the Bible.

• Jesus was not at all sensitive about undermining mistaken, though long-cherished, beliefs among the people of his day. He loudly and often denounced the traditions of the Pharisees and took on their distortion of the OT law in the Sermon on the Mount.

• Jesus challenged nationalistic conceptions of the kingdom of God and the coming of the Messiah. He was even willing to face death on a cross for the truth of what he declared.

• In referring to the OT, Jesus declared that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Again, “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the law” (Luke 16:17). See also Mark 7:6-13; Luke 16:29-31. He rebuked the Sadducees saying, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Mt. 22:29).

• When faced by Satan’s temptations, it was to the truth and authority of the OT that he appealed (Mt. 4:4ff.). Note especially his words: “It has been [stands] written.”

• Jesus didn’t hesitate to deliberately offend the religious sensibilities of his contemporaries when he chose to eat and socialize with both publicans and prostitutes.

Jesus held to an extremely high view of the Bible’s inspiration and infallibility, and therefore so do I.