by Gary Habermas
Central to a Christian world view is the conviction that Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments, comprises God's word to us. What sort of basis can be produced to back this tenet? In this article, we will produce a major argument in favor of this doctrine. Then we will mention another avenue of defense that might be pursued. Interestingly, the latter might actually turn out to be the strongest argument.
Before we begin, we must state a few crucial foundational truths that cannot be argued here and thus must be assumed for the purposes of this article. But they are well-established, as shown elsewhere in a host of publiΣations.1 It must be stated simply that Jesus was raised from the dead.2 As a result, a strong case can be made in favor of the principle that God thereby verified Jesus' message.3 Therefore, if Jesus taught the inspiration of the Scripture, then this would be a powerful argument for believers to do the same.4 Further, the Gospel texts, in particular, are at least generally reliable documents when they relate Jesus' teachings.5 We will now move on from here, outlining a couple of paths toward such a case for the inspiration of Scripture.
JESUS' TEACHINGS ON THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE
Jesus' Teachings on the Old Testament
If God verified Jesus' message by raising Him from the dead, then perhaps the chief issue concerns whether Jesus taught the inspiβation of Scripture. And certainly the Gospels agree on a variety of fronts that Jesus had total confidence in the text of the Old Testament. Assuming the reliability of the texts, as we just menδioned, we are told that Jesus made many statements regarding the trustworthiness and even the inspiration of Scripture. An inductive examination of Jesus' teachings provides a clear indication of this.
One of Jesus' strongest statements concerning the Old Testament Law was His affirmation that heaven and earth would pass away before even the smallest portion of a letter (Matt. 5:17-18). Jesus also taught that these fractions of letters would never fail (Luke 16:17). Further, after citing a particular text in Psalm 82:6, Jesus stated that Scripture could not be nullified (John 10:35). These comments are striking reminders regarding the extent to which Jesus thought Scripture spoke the truth.
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