The Scripture Cannot
"Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" -- 2 Peter 1:21
The tendency to question the divinity and authority of the Old Testament Scriptures is very widespread in these dark and ungodly times. And
it is not just the unbelievers who reject God's inspired Word.
Even the majority of professed Christians, especially those of "higher" learning who consider themselves modern and enlightened, say that
most of the incidents recorded in Genesis are not historical facts, but simply stories written to reach certain lessons.
This class of critic is the shallow, vulgar, blatant blasphemer, who speaks evil of the things he understands not, contradicting the Word of
God and attributing to fallible men the inspired record of truth.
So few really read and prayerfully study the Bible for themselves. Most are content like sheep to accept the superficial assertions of the Bible's shallow critics. Could anything be more foolish in a matter of life and death?
There are many ways of showing that the views of such critics are contrary to both reason and truth. Perhaps the strongest and most direct as far as dealing with professed "Christians" is concerned, is to go direct to Jesus and the apostles in order to get their views on the Old Testament (the only "Scriptures" existing in their day, for the New had not yet been recorded).
We confidently use Jesus as our greatest and ultimate authority.
He claimed to be the Son of God and to speak the words of God, and proclaimed himself to be the divinely appointed "Way and Truth and Life."
And these were not just empty claims because he proved them by the wonderful works that he did, and his testimony was confirmed by God in
raising him from the dead to sit at His right hand. Therefore Jesus' value as a witness is of paramount importance.
The scribes and Pharisees, who had drifted very far from the truth and understanding of the Law, were giving more authority to their own
traditions than they were to Moses and the prophets, though, like the religious world today, they professed to believe
Therefore, when they heard the message of Jesus which was really in perfect harmony with the message of the Old Testament, they thought he
was a deceiver and a blasphemer.
But Jesus clearly assured them of his unswerving loyalty to the Old Testament Scriptures when he said (Matt. 5:17) --
"Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to FULFIL.
If the Old Testament writings were fables and folklore, there would be nothing for him to fulfill!
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled."
For Jesus' view of the Old Testament, let us join him, after his resurrection, as he meets two of his disciples on the way to Emmaus. First he reproves them for their slowness to believe ALL that the prophets had spoken: then --
"Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27).
Later on he appeared to the eleven as they were gathered together in Jerusalem, and said to them (Luke 24:44) --
"These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you.
Could any words be stronger or clearer? Further evidence of his complete faith in the Old Testament as the Word of God comes before us during a clash with his persecutors, when he said (John 5:45-47) --
"That ALL THINGS MUST BE FULFILLED which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me"
"Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father.
On another occasion, he gives striking evidence of his simple belief in the word-for-word inspiration of the Old Testament, not just the hazy, evasive "general" acceptance of it in "principle" that we find so prevalent in modern Christendom.
"There IS one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
"Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me.
"But if ye believe not HIS WRITINGS, how shall ye believe my words?"
He bases his whole argument on one single word in Psalms (John 10:34), and summing up he says (v. 35) --
"THE SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN."
In full harmony with his Master, we likewise find Paul basing an argument, not just on a single word, but on a single letter -- on the fact
that a word occurs in the singular and not the pural (Gal. 3:16) --
"He (God) said not, 'and to seedS,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to thy Seed!'"
To further illustrate the absolute confidence Jesus had in the divinity and historical accuracy of the Old Testament records (which modern
Christendom calls myths, legends, garbled traditions), let us look at 4 more striking incidents.
In the first we see that the man-invented theory of "evolution" had no place in the belief and teaching of Jesus. Speaking of the Genesis record
of the creation of the first man and woman, in answer to a question of the Pharisees, he said (Matt. 19:4-5) --
"Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said --
We find this form of address very prominent in Jesus' teaching: "It is written" -- "Have ye not read?"
"For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh."
To him -- God's Son, the Word made flesh -- the Scripture was the final, conclusive authority. Do we stand unashamedly with him, in the face of
all modern self-wise presumption to the contrary?
The next historical event we consider is the Flood in the days of Noah, which moderns scoff at as manifestly untrue and unbelievable legends.
But notice how Jesus speaks of it with a confidence beyond dispute or doubt, and couples it with the destruction of two cities in the plain
of Jordan --
"As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given
in marriage, till the day Noah entered the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all.
One of the most thrilling experiences in the life of Moses was when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of
a bush that was not consumed (Ex. 3).
"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot. They did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. But the same day that
Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-29).
Jesus brings this into his conversation with the Sadducees as a cardinal point of proof when he silences them concerning the resurrection
"Now, that the dead are raised even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the 'God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'
The final case we present is that of Jonah. Here is a record that many who claim to follow Christ (and therefore should know better) like to assail with the scornful laughter of an assumed superior wisdom.
For He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him."
BUT NOT SO WITH JESUS! In fact, he specifically uses it as the one great and outstanding sign of his own death and resurrection, and does so with unqualified confidence, without restriction or limitation--
"As Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth' (Matt. 12).
NO! The Old Testament is NOT composed of "myths, legends, and garbled traditions." It is the infallible WORD OF GOD, and His glorious
message of grace and life to the human race. Wise indeed is he who so accepts it!
A humble, reverent reader of the Old Testament will soon discover that it contains the very foundation of the Christian faith, and the subject
matter of the Gosple preached by Jesus and the apostles. Paul said, defending his preaching before Agrippa (acts 26:22) --
"Having obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing to small and great, saying NONE OTHER THINGS THAN THOSE THE PROPHETS AND MOSES DID SAY SHOULD COME."
And when he arrived in Rome, a prisoner in chains for Christ's sake, he called the chief of the Jews together --
"And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging to whom he expounded and testified the Kingdom of
Persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the Prophets, from morning till evening" (Acts 28:23).(based on BC68p97)