Back to Bible Study 1:
Study 1 Objective:
To Discuss the Relevance of the Bible to the Christian
What does the Bible say about itself?
The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews has this to say about how God has spoken through the centuries of man’s existence:
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us through His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2, NKJ throughout except as noted).
The Old Testament
The concept of various times and various ways is important. The written word was not always available, and from time to time God would reveal His thoughts to patriarchs like Abraham, Noah, etc. through miraculous events. The book of Genesis records many of those early encounters between God and man. As time went on God would use
various approaches to get man’s attention (like the burning bush in Exodus 3:2), and would send messengers, such as Moses, Joshua, Deborah, etc. to bring His words to the people.
It appears that with the development of writing God began to use this medium to capture His message to us for posterity. He would inspire prophets and teachers to record what He wished to say to humankind.
Unlike many of the sacred writings of other popular religions, the set of books called the Old Testament, which comprises the Scriptures before the birth of Christ, claims consistently to be the word of God.
Jeremiah 1:9, Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11 & 13, Micah 1:1 and so many more passages indicate that the prophets understood their recorded statements to be as if God Himself was speaking.
In this way “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Paul refers to the Old Testament books as “the Holy Scriptures”, which have been given “by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:15-16).
The New Testament
This concept of inspiration is taken up by the New Testament writers. The New Testament is a collection of writings that claim, chiefly through association with those recognized as apostles before Acts 15, authority as Scripture. Note that the apostle Peter groups the epistles of Paul, “written according to the wisdom given to him”, with the “rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3: 15-16). After the death of those early apostles no book was written that was later accepted as part of what we now call the Bible. The apostles, such as John and Peter, who walked with Christ, recorded the highlights of Jesus’ ministry and teachings for us (1 John 1:1-4; John 21:24, 25).
They were “eyewitnesses of His majesty” and had the “prophetic word confirmed” to them, and they have made known to us “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:16-19).
Luke, a doctor and someone also regarded as a historian, collected stories from “eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” and wrote “an orderly account” so that we “may know the certainty of those things” in which we have been instructed (Luke 1:1-4). Jesus said that it would be the Holy Spirit who would remind the apostles of the things He said (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit, just as He inspired the writers of the Old Testament, would inspire the apostles to compose their books and letters for us and He would guide them into all truth (John 15:27, 16:13).