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Did Jesus View Scripture as Accurate, Inspired Authority?

Did Jesus view the Bible as accurate, inspired, Divine Authority?Many people doubt or deny the accuracy or authority of the Bible. Did Jesus believe in the accuracy of Creation, Noah's flood, and Jonah? Did He believe the Old and New Testaments were inspired by God as authority and a standard to guide people to know and obey the word of God? May we take a middle-ground position that we are followers of Jesus but we doubt some Bible teachings?

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“Scripture” means “that which is written.” In the Scriptures themselves, God’s people usually referred to God’s written message as “Scripture” or simply “it is written.”

Some people deny the Scriptures are an authoritative revelation to guide men’s lives.

Some say the writers wrote some helpful thoughts, but no one intended their writings to be collected, copied, and respected as an authoritative pattern people should follow.

Many people who believe this also claim to be followers of Jesus and respect Him as a great religious and moral teacher.

The purpose of this study is to determine how Jesus treated Scripture.

By Jesus’ lifetime, the Jews had collected, copied, and circulated the Old Testament books and used them as religious authority like we today use the New Testament books.

What was Jesus’ concept of Scripture? Did He consider the Scriptures to be inspired by direct revelation of God? Did He respect Scripture as a pattern or standard of religious authority? Answering these questions will show us how we should view Scripture.

Jesus Confirmed the Accuracy of the Scriptures.

Jesus Confirmed the Authors of the Old Testament.

Many people today deny that many Old Testament books were written by the men who are believed to have written them. But Jesus instead affirmed the authors.

Moses as the author of the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)

Many today deny or doubt Moses revealed these books. What did Jesus say?

Mark 12:24-27 – Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage…?

Mark 7:10 – Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”

John 5:46 – Jesus said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.” But if Moses did not write these books, what evidence would this be for Jesus? Jesus believed Moses wrote these books and they confirmed who Jesus is.

(See also John 7:19; Luke 5:14, 16:29, 16:31, 24:27, 24:44; John 1:17; 5:45,46)

Isaiah as the inspired prophet for the whole book of Isaiah

Some claim different men wrote different parts of the book of Isaiah. But Jesus quoted from different parts of the book of Isaiah and attributed it all to Isaiah.

Matthew 13:14 – And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled (Isaiah 6:9,10)

Mark 7:6-13 – Well did Isaiah prophesy (Isaiah 29:13).

(John 12:38-41 compare Isaiah 6:9,10; 44:18-20; 53:1)

Daniel as the source of the book of Daniel

Many deny Daniel was the source of prophecies in his book, but Jesus had no such doubts.

Matthew 24:15 – The “ abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

Jesus Confirmed Many Historical Events that People Today Seek to Deny.


Matthew 19:4-6 – Jesus confirmed the creation account including things many today deny:

* God at the beginning made them male and female. This confirms Genesis 1:27,28. Some claim that people developed by evolution, but Jesus confirmed creation. Some say there are many different genders but Jesus confirmed the Old Testament teaching that there are only two.

* God created woman to be a companion to man and these two become one in marriage. This confirms Genesis 2:18-24. So Jesus confirmed the existence of an original man and an original woman. And marriage was ordained by God to be a union of one man and one woman, not two women, not two men, or not one man with several women.

* Jesus also confirmed that this means divorce is contrary to God’s will (except when one divorces his spouse who has been guilty of fornication – verse 9).

Noah and the Flood

Matthew 24:37-39 – The coming of Jesus is compared to the suddenness in which people were slain by the flood in Noah’s day. Many people doubt or deny the flood but Jesus affirmed it. If the flood never occurred, why would Jesus compare it to events He prophesied?

Sodom and Gomorrah

Matthew 10:15; 11:23,24; Luke 17:28-30 – The destruction of Sodom was a warning of punishment for sin.

Luke 17:32 – Remember Lot’s wife.

Many doubt the Bible account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Why would Jesus use the event as a warning to others unless He was certain the event occurred?

Moses’ miracles

Mark 12:26,27 – Jesus confirmed God spoke to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:6). He used this as proof of the resurrection. If the burning bush was just a legend or myth, why would Jesus refer to it as evidence for the resurrection? (Luke 20:37)

John 3:14 – Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness. Jesus compared this to His death and our salvation through Him.

John 6:47-51 – Jesus compared the manna Israel ate in the wilderness to His promise of eternal life. But if God never gave manna, why should we believe He can give us eternal life?

(See also Matthew 8:4; 19:7,8; Luke 16:29; Luke 11:51; John 8:56-58; Matthew 8:11.)

Jonah and the fish

Matthew 12:39-41 – Jesus confirmed as historic fact that Jonah existed and preached to Nineveh and Nineveh repented, but also that he lived three days and nights in the fish. Jesus compared this to His resurrection: three days and nights in the earth! If the story of Jonah was not real, why would Jesus use it to confirm His resurrection? (Luke 11:29-32; Matthew 16:4)

Jesus Confirmed the Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.

The writers of Old Testament scripture repeatedly claimed God gave them their message. Hundreds of years later, first-century Jews still used those Scriptures as authority.

Jesus often rebuked religious leaders for teaching man-made rules. If Old Testament writers falsely claimed to be inspired or if the first-century Jews were wrong in following the Scriptures as Divine authority, Jesus should have rebuked them and corrected their errors. He surely should never have used Scripture authoritatively if God never intended it to be so used.

Jesus Cited Scripture as Authority.

Matthew 4:4,7,10 – Jesus answered the Devil’s temptations by quoting Scripture saying “It is written.” Jesus recognized the authority of Old Testament Scripture. Even Satan knew better than to argue against the authority of Scripture in Jesus’ presence.

Matthew 15:3-9 – Jesus opposed Jewish tradition and human doctrines. But what did He say about Scripture? He said it was God’s command, and He rebuked people for transgressing it (verses 3,4,6). He further said Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in the people of His day.

Matthew 22:29-32 – Sadducees tried to trap Jesus by appealing to Moses’ teaching. Did Jesus say Moses’ writings should not be viewed as authority?

Instead, Jesus Himself quoted a statement Moses wrote saying to the people that it was spoken “to you by God.” Further, He said the people were in error because they did not know the Scriptures (verse 29). So Jesus used Old Testament Scriptures as authority, and He expected people to study and follow the Scriptures.

Matthew 22:43 – He said David wrote by the guidance of the Spirit.

Jesus Taught People to Obey Scripture.

Matthew 19:4,5 – When asked about divorce, He quoted the teaching of Genesis 1 and 2 about the creation of man and woman and the origin of marriage.

Matthew 22:36-40 – When asked about the greatest command, Jesus quoted Scripture and said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Luke 10:25-28 – When asked how one can inherit eternal life, Jesus asked what was written in the law. When the law was quoted, Jesus said to obey it in order to live.

Luke 16:29-31 – Jesus said, to correct their lives, the rich man’s brothers should listen to Moses and the prophets.

John 10:35 – Jesus said, “the Scripture cannot be broken.” No one can state more clearly the authority of Scripture.

So, Jesus confirmed that the Old Testament Scriptures were authoritative in the first century just like we consider the New Testament to be authoritative today. He confirmed they were the doctrinal standard that people should read and study and obey as God’s revelation.

When people really believe in Jesus and follow Him as their Master, they will respect the Scriptures as the inspired word of God. To doubt or deny the inspiration and authority of Scripture is to doubt or deny the inspiration and authority of Jesus.

(Matthew 13:13-15; 21:13,16,42; 26:24,31,54,56; Mark 1:2,3: 14:49; Luke 2:23,24; 4:17-21; 18:31; John 5:39,46; 8:17; 12:14-16; 15:25; 19:24,36,37)

Jesus Claimed that He Fulfilled Scripture.

By claiming He fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, Jesus acknowledged the validity of the Old Testament. How could the prophets have predicted events in Jesus’ life unless they were inspired? And how would their prophecies validate Jesus if they did not speak from God?

General Statements

Luke 4:17-21 – Jesus read a prophecy in Isaiah and then spoke of Himself saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Matthew 11:10 – Malachi 3:1 prophesied the coming of a messenger who would prepare His way. This was fulfilled by John the Baptist, who came to prepare the people for Jesus’ coming. (Malachi 4:5,6; Isaiah 40:3,4)

John 5:39 – You search the Scriptures … and these are they which testify of Me.

Luke 24:25-27 – He rebuked men for not believing the prophets. Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

(Mark 1:2,3; 9:12,13; Luke 1:16,17; 7:27; John 1:23; Matthew 11:10; 17:9-13)

Prophecies of Jesus’ death

Luke 18:31-33 – Jesus told the twelve that all things written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. He would be killed and rise again on the third day.

Matthew 26:24 – The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him,

Matthew 26:53,54 – Jesus could have called more than twelve legions of angels to prevent His arrest, but how then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?

Luke 24:44-46 – He said, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.”

One of the major proofs that Jesus offered to confirm His claim to be the Son of God was Old Testament prophecy. But if Old Testament Scripture was not authoritative revelation from God, how could it confirm Jesus’ claims?

Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God goes hand-in-hand with the claim of Scripture to be the word of God. If we deny one, we deny the other. To accept one requires us to accept the other. They stand or fall together.

(Luke 22:37; Matthew 26:56)

Jesus Confirmed the Inspiration of New Testament Writers.

So Jesus repeatedly confirmed the inspiration and authority of Old Testament Scripture. But what about the New Testament?

Claims of New Testament Writers

New Testament writers often claimed they were inspired by God just like Old Testament prophets. But they warned against men who falsely claimed to speak for God or taught myths and fables instead of Divine truth.

2 Peter 1:16,20,21 – Specifically, Peter claimed that the apostles did not follow cunningly devised fables when they made known the power and coming of Jesus Christ. Prophecy never came by will of man, but holy men spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 7:15 – Jesus warned about false teachers.

Galatians 1:8-12 – The gospel did not come from man, but was revealed from Jesus. To preach another gospel is to be accursed.

1 Corinthians 14:37 – If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

Consider the application of these principles to such teachings as the Qur’an or the Book of Mormon. They claim to be Divine revelations, but those claims are false. So we properly conclude that we cannot take a middle-ground position. We must not say they are good books but not from God. We conclude they are not good books at all but are fakes and frauds.

So what about the New Testament writings? Would Jesus' teachings confirm their claim to be from God, or would He teach us to reject them altogether?

(1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Jesus Confirmed the Inspiration and Authority of New Testament Writers.

John 16:13 – Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. (John 14:26)

Matthew 10:19,20 – The Holy Spirit would give them what and how to speak.

Luke 10:16 – He who hears the apostles hears Jesus; he who rejects them rejects Jesus and rejects God Who sent Jesus. (John 13:20)

John 12:48 – Jesus said his words would judge people on the last day. But He did not write any of the words Himself. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide His inspired apostles and prophets to write it. If we are to be judged by Jesus’ words, then the New Testament Scriptures must be an infallibly inspired record of His words just like Old Testament Scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So Jesus confirmed the inspiration of the New Testament just as clearly as He did the inspiration of the Old Testament. When we understand what He believed and taught, then we too must believe that all Scripture – Old and New Testaments – constitute authoritative revelation from God.

(2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Conclusion: There Can Be No Middle Ground Regarding These Claims.

The claims of Jesus and Scripture are such that we cannot take a middle-ground position. We cannot say, “I believe the Bible, but I do not believe Jesus was the Divine Son of God,” or “I believe in Jesus, but I do not accept all that the Bible teaches.” The Bible claims to be God’s own word, and Jesus confirmed those claims.

The teachings of Jesus eliminate the middle ground. The claims of Jesus and the Bible stand or fall together. If we accept the claims of Jesus to be a true prophet and the Son of God, then we must accept the Bible as the infallible inspired word of God because that is what Jesus taught about it. And if we accept the Bible as an inspired revelation from God, then we must accept Jesus as the Divine Son of God and Savior of the world because that is what the Scriptures say about Him.

If Jesus is true, then the Bible is true. And if the Bible is true, then Jesus is true.

(1 Corinthians 2:4,5; Revelation 22:18,19; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4; Jeremiah 14:14; Ezekiel 3:26,27 (Jeremiah 23:16,26; Ezekiel 13:2-7,17).

Click/tap here for other evidence that the Bible is inspired.

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2022;

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