SCRIPTURAL INERRANCY PART TWO

Why The Christian Must Accept Scripture As Inerrant (continued)

The skeptic of Scriptural inerrancy enjoys none of the benefits belonging to the committed Christian. In the rather brief time that he might choose to read Scripture, he also will encounter a passage that appears to contradict another passage or some understanding he may have about the world around him. But the skeptic will not expend the energy to struggle with it. Maintaining a superficial approach to his understanding, he immediately concludes that the contradiction is real. His initial judgment in that direction may have addressed a relatively minor matter, so the skeptic may choose, for a while, to consider himself to be a Christian. But other apparent contradictions inevitably will crop up, and they will pose serious threats to his faith in God. The skeptic will automatically impose upon these more serious issues his earlier judgment with regard to Scriptural error. His continuing supposition of error reinforces itself, maintaining his understanding of God at a shallow level and paving the way for his skepticism to turn into unbelief. The unbeliever, bereft of the counsel of an indwelling Holy Spirit, is unable to understand either God or Scripture at even a superficial level. Cursing, he closes the Bible, never to open it again.

He departs the Church that he attended, convinced that it’s all hogwash. If he darkens the door of another church, it will be one of the many that teach God as a jolly Santa, or one that teaches a different religion, or one that represents a perpetual self-improvement seminar. Either that or he will embrace the secular belief system and, consumed with his self-adoration, reject the spiritual world and eagerly partake of the physical pleasures that society has to offer.

If he does join one of the churches that misrepresent Christianity, he’ll depart that one also if the growing negative perception of the world at large of Christians in general reaches his community. He’ll be unable to withstand the secular world’s opinion that faith is intolerable, being against the tolerance required for the understanding and acceptance of the variety of beliefs, both religious and secular, to which the majority of the world’s inhabitants adhere. To the secular mind, the religious individual is restricted by his faith to the most rigid, unrealistic and backward perception of the world, even amounting to intellectual cowardice, a need for a psychological crutch. Possessing in himself insufficient reason to maintain a Christian pose, the skeptic will flee from anything Christian, even a Santa-Claus church.

The unbeliever, whether he attends a false church or rejects religion altogether, has sold his soul to Satan. Having embraced the secular belief system, he warmly accepts its attempt to limit the domain of God to purely moral matters. Then, after having allowed the encroachment of the secular upon Christianity to that extent, he isn’t content to let it remain that way. Soon he will wish to remove the authority of Christianity with regard to moral matters as well. Ultimately, he will consider the notion of God to be irrelevant to the world, and will consider His continuing presence to be an offense against mankind.

It is in the will of God that the committed Christian must share his world with the unbelieving masses, both as a witness against sin and its effects and for the prospect of saving some. It is realistic to expect that the unbelievers eventually will outnumber the committed Christians. The resulting dominance of self-serving individuals will bring in a governmental system that will necessarily be repressive to maintain order. That is not the untenable situation for the committed Christian that the rest of the world thinks it to be, for the Christian lives not for himself but for his savior, Jesus Christ. To him it will be a joy and an honor to show the light of Jesus to a dark world.

Noting the upward ascent of the committed Christian with regard to his respect of Scripture and the downward spiral of the skeptic, the Christian must realize that faith demands his full trust in Scripture. It is plain, then, that one must appreciate that there is no perceived error in Scripture that is incidental.

The ultimate authority on this matter of Scriptural truth is Jesus Christ who, as our Creator also personally claimed to represent absolute truth. Jesus identified Himself with Scripture. He told the world that Moses and the prophets had written of Him. He referred to Jonah and Daniel as well. He read the Book of Isaiah in the synagogue, claiming to have fulfilled a portion of what that prophet had written about him. He referred to Himself as the Son of David and quoted Psalms.
Scripture records numerous instances of His quoting directly from it. Moreover, in Matthew 5:17 and 18 as has already been noted earlier, and in John 10: 35 and 36, He claimed that Scripture had the authority of God behind it:

“If he called them gods, unto whom the world of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest ; because I said, I am the Son of God?”

At the very beginning of his Gospel, John claimed that by the power of God Jesus, as the Living Word, was the physical embodiment of the Word of God. As John wrote,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. . .For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

John’s Gospel describes the Word as the substance of Creation Itself, for he wrote boldly that

“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him nothing was made that was made.”

In addition to its necessity of being inerrant and our assurance by God that it is indeed free of error, Scripture also is demonstrably just that. There are a number of confirmations of its truth and accuracy that are every bit as logical and reliable as the most rigorous geometric proof. Furthermore, the perception of its truth does not depend on an allegorical interpretation. Instead, a natural, primarily literal, interpretation is sufficient for its interpretation, the use of allegory being required only in those rare cases where the context explicitly demands it. Not only is the inerrancy of Scripture required for our sakes, it is inerrant as to its own nature.

Foremost among the proofs of Scripture’s absolute truth is the proven accuracy of the Biblical prophets. In Isaiah 53, for example, the very purpose of Jesus’ mission on earth as a man is detailed in startling accuracy. Isaiah 54, the sequel to Isaiah 53, foretells the mystery that Paul described almost a millennium later in Ephesians 5, that of the marriage of the Church to Jesus Christ. In Chapters 44 and 45, Isaiah called Cyrus of Persia by name over a century before he was born.

But long before Isaiah, the Law in its rituals and observances also pointed directly to Jesus. The Passover ceremony, in which the Passover lamb was chosen and kept long enough for attachments to be formed, after which it was killed, pointed so strongly to Jesus that it is a wonder that this feast wasn’t universally understood for what it was. God, in killing the firstborn of Egypt, would pass over every house for which the lamb’s blood was sprinkled on the lintel and posts of the door. The Passover ceremony, of course, was but a shadow of the coming of the Lamb of God, who died for our sins on the cross on the day of Passover preparation, when other lambs were being slaughtered for the ordained feast. Reckoning a thousand years as a day according to Psalm 90 and 2 Peter 3:8, Jesus was resurrected on the fourth day of God. The timing of His resurrection was prophesied by Jesus Himself, who waited until the fourth day to resurrect Lazarus, Jesus being the Light of that fourth day in eerie fulfillment of Genesis 1:14. Jesus was also the Light of the first day according to Genesis 1:3-6 and Revelation 3:14. Well before the Law, the very clothing of Adam and Eve, covering by the death of a sacrificial animal their fallen natures, pointed to the cross, as did the animosity between their sons Abel and Cain over their gifts to God. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, contains so much information about Jesus, in fact, that it is often named among the Gospels. Included in this information are moving accounts of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses in which facets and sometimes the entireties of their lives preenacted Jesus’ sacrificial love, His death and resurrection, and His marriage to His Church, with startling precision. This theme is also presented elsewhere in the Old Testament, as in the story of Jonah, in such depth that, again, it is remarkable that Jesus was not immediately recognized for His Old Testament credentials by everyone who came into contact with Him either by His physical presence or by reading of Him in Old Testament Scripture.

The claim within Scripture itself of its supernatural inerrancy also has been confirmed historically by the supernaturally precise dating of future events such as Daniel’s dating to the very day of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and Ezekiel’s pinpointing of 1948 as the date of Israel’s restoration as a nation.

The prophet Daniel foretold in the sixth century B.C. that Jesus would come to Jerusalem 69 weeks of years (173,880 days, reckoning on the basis of 360-day prophetic years) after a decree was issued permitting the Jews to rebuild the holy city. On the 173,880th day after the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus issued his decree in 445 B.C. (at least 50 years after Daniel’s prophecy) permitting Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem to rebuild it, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

The late Bible scholar Grant Jeffrey discovered quite recently another astonishingly accurate ancient prediction, one which would have brought Bible skeptics who understood Jeffrey’s logic to speechless consternation with an inability to rationalize away the supernatural element. According to him, the prophet Ezekiel, a contemporary of Daniel who lived half a millennium before Christ, was told by God to lie on each side for a number of days, on his left side for the iniquities of Israel and on his right for the iniquities of Judah. The relevant passage is in Ezekiel 4 and the total time, for which God would punish Israel and Judah a year for each day, amounted to 430 years. The search for significant events following a 430-year period failed to yield anything of note until Dr. Jeffrey happened to link this period of punishment with the chastisement foretold in Leviticus 26, wherein if, after Israel’s punishment had been completed, it continued in its disobedience, the punishment period would be multiplied by a factor of seven. Recognizing that Israel and Judah remained disobedient for the most part after the initial captivity, Dr. Jeffrey then subtracted the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity in Babylon from the initial 430-year period of Ezekiel 4, and multiplied the resulting 360-year period of punishment by seven, yielding a time period of 2520 years from the end of the initial 70-year period, between 535 and 536 B.C. Reckoning by 360-day prophetic years, the remaining punishment period would occupy a duration of 907,200 days. Observing the lack of a 0 B.C., the date of the prophesied restoration of Israel is calculated as some time within the year 1948 A.D. It is common knowledge that Israel became a modern nation May 14-15, 1948. Numerous other Old Testament prophecies, including Isaiah 66 and Ezekiel 36 and 37, also predict the restoration of Israel as a modern nation. Of these, the most startlingly accurate are those of Hosea 4:4 and 5 and 6:2:

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king,and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim; Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord, their God, and David, their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.”

“After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”

[to be continued]

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by estherdwumaa on March 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing and I understand that you believe in scriptural inerrancy and at one time I was of the mind that if people didn’t believe in Jesus before a certain time, or at least I thought I did, they would end up in eternal condemnation, (and I suppose you could say that I am one of those people who some Christians think have strayed away from the faith, because I argue with some of the doctrines which are considered to be scripture), because I can no longer take what is considered to be scriptural teaching at face value. I understand that most Christians think that morality is nothing without Jesus and perhaps I have to agree. Yet I have to ask you what your view of a Christ-centred life looks like?

    Reply

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