Can a Christian Accept Jesus and Reject the Bible?By Frank Harber
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One of the greatest reasons for believing that the Bible is true is that Jesus believed in the truthfulness of the Scriptures. To reject Scripture is in essence to reject Jesus. It would be very unusual for someone to believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord and yet believe that Jesus was wrong on the issue of the Scriptures. Jesus used the Old Testament to validate who He was (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5). He believed that the Scripture could not be broken (John 10:35). Jesus held that every word and letter was important (Matt. 5:17-19). He believed that doctrinal error came from misunderstanding the Scriptures and rebuked the Pharisees for making their traditions equal with the Scriptures (Matt. 15:6).
In controversies, Jesus simply quoted the Scripture to end the debate (Matt. 4:4-10; John 8:17). Jesus authoritatively answered His critics with questions like: "It is written," "Have you not read," and "Search the Scriptures." Jesus even used Scripture to overcome the temptations of Satan (Matt. 4:4).
The writings of the New Testament make it clear that Jesus did not believe the Old Testament to be a collection of legends. Jesus never questioned the integrity of any Old Testament book. He believed the writers were those whose names were on the writings.
The New Testament verifies the historicity of over 40 Old Testament people, not counting the genealogical lists. It is difficult to say that one could accept the New Testament as historical but not the Old Testament. If one truly believes the New Testament, one cannot reject any of the Old Testament. Jesus believed in the accuracy of the Old Testament and believed it to be the Word of God.
It is illogical to affirm Jesus as the Son of God but assert that the Scriptures contain falsehood. If it were true that there is falsehood in the Bible, there are only four possibilities regarding the statements of Jesus.
The first possibility is: Jesus was a fraud and lied about the Scriptures. It insults the intelligence of the reader to think for one moment that Jesus was a devious, evil, sinister liar. Jesus loved humanity. The entire life of Jesus was of kindness. The character of a person goes hand in hand with the claims of a person. This possibility is unthinkable for the Christian. It contradicts Scripture by attributing the sin of lying to Jesus.
The second possibility is: Jesus knew there were errors but covered them up to accommodate the beliefs of his day. This is known as "The Accommodation Theory." This theory holds that Jesus went along with erroneous views in order to present His message to listeners. This theory is not consistent with the gospels which show that Jesus never accepted the mistaken views of His time. Jesus often refuted wrong traditions saying, "You have heard that it was said. . . . But I say to you . . ." (Matt. 5). If Jesus had taught error as being truth, He would have been guilty of deception. However, the New Testament asserts that Jesus never sinned nor said anything that would not be trustworthy (1 Pet. 2:22). This possibility is seriously flawed.
The third possibility is: There were errors in the Bible but Jesus was ignorant of them. If Jesus was mistaken, He certainly was not who He claimed to be and was a fraud. If the errors were in the Bible and Jesus was not aware of them, He could not have been the Son of God as He claimed. This viewpoint cannot be the belief of someone who believes in the Deity of Christ.
The fourth possibility is: Jesus had the correct view of the Bible. Jesus correctly believed the Scriptures to be the authoritative word of God. Thus it is illogical for a believer of Jesus to reject the truthfulness of Scripture. The truthfulness of Jesus and the truthfulness of the Bible are inextricably linked. For the Christian, the authority of Christ settles the issue of the truthfulness of the Bible
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