Christ and the Bible
E. L. Lovering, Ilfracombe
I. Christ's Testimony to the scriptures
The attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Bible is a matter of first importance, for, seeing that He is our Exemplar, our attitude should be precisely His.
(1) It is one of confidence In its Inspired pages. In support of this consider some of His own utterances.
(a) To God — "I have given them Thy word … Thy word is Truth" (John 17. 14-17). His ministry on earth completed —part of which, and the power of which, lay in giving His hearers the word of God—He lifts up His heart in prayer to His Father with satisfaction of a mission fulfilled: "I have given them Thy word,” find with the assurance of Its worthwhileness, “Thy word is Truth.” There is confidence in this.
(h) To Man — "the Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10. 35), We must remember that the Bible of the Lord Jesus Christ was the Old Testament, described on one of its pages as "The Scripture of Truth" (Daniel 10. 21). Such confidence had He in "the Scripture of truth" that He roundly asserts that it cannot be broken. But it is also well to remember that all the utterances of our Lord Jesus Christ, necessary for our enlightenment, and further to be unfolded by His apostles, have been incorporated in the New Testament, and concerning these He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24. 35),
Thus His attitude to both the Old Testament and the New Testament was one of the uttermost confidence; and we need not be surprised, therefore, at its logical outcome.
(2) His confirmation of its reliability. The logical out come of Christ's confidence in the Bible as being the Truth was that, to Him, the characters, of the Old Testament were real, not mythical; its stories were history, not allegory; its laws wore binding, not optional; its prophecies were reliable, not fanciful; and the whole was of deep moral and spiritual value.
(a) He believed in the actual existence of the Old Testament characters. His references to them, and the way He referred to them, rule out any other conclusion, as for example: Abel, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Isaiah, etc.; and to make assurance doubly sure. Ho not only believed that they lived once, but that they live now (see Matthew 22. 32, quoting Exodus 3. 6).
(b) He believed in the historical accuracy of the Old Testament records. Consider two examples. He believed in. the Flood—"For as in days that were before the flood they were eating mid drinking, marrying and giviug in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark and knew not until the flood came and took thorn all away; so shall also the coming of the son of Man to be" (Matthew 24. 38, 30).
He believed in the story of Jonah - "… Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly” (Matthew 12. 40).
(c.) He believed that the laws of God were binding. "Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to lifts troy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in “nowise pass from the law until all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5. 17, 18).
(d) Be believed in the certain fulfilment of prophecy. Unlike many intellectuals of the present day, He appears to have had not the slightest difficulty about the book of Daniel; He did not try to discredit it, but actually quoted it in support of His own words—"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand) …" (Matthew 24, 15). And again, "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24. 44).
There may be difficulties which at the moment we are unable to explain; but we may draw vast comfort from Christ's own confidence in, and confirmation of, the Scriptures; and, without fear for the Book, quietly await the day when all difficulties will be cleared up and the Bible will be finally vindicated, us to-day, it is being vindicated, as "the Scripture of truth."
Part II. "Christ's Use of the Scriptures" will appear in the March-April issue.