What Does the Bible Say About Itself?
We live in a world filled with opinions. And it is easier than ever—thanks to social media and technology—to read and share said opinions. Everyone has something to say about everything. And, to be honest, I kind of like it (although I can see how some find it rather exhausting). It makes the world interesting. I’m glad we are different and that the world isn’t filled with several billion versions of myself. I don’t always agree with those differing opinions—and find some of them extremely hurtful, sinful, and destructive—but I have come to appreciate the opinions of other people (even if some are just a little too quick in sharing them).
In particular, people seem to be very opinionated about the Bible—both Christians and non-Christians. Some extol it as the very words of God, while others refer to it as a book of fairy tales. But, in all honesty, our opinion of the Bible doesn’t matter very much.
I’m not saying that our view of Scripture isn’t important, but that what the Bible says about itself is much more important.
It’s kind of like how we don’t appreciate others putting words in our mouths. We want to speak for ourselves and find it appalling when something we didn’t say is attributed to us as if we did. So, let’s take a moment to put our opinions aside and examine, “What does the Bible say about itself?”
The Bible is perfect.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.” (Psalm 19:7)
The Bible is right; the Bible is true.
“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 33:4)
The Bible imparts the right understanding concerning all of life.
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)
The Bible will last forever.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
The Bible is the highest and ultimate source of truth.
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 5:39)
The Bible is from God.
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
The Bible is life-giving.
Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
The Bible changes lives and nothing can stop it.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
The Bible is about Jesus.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me...” (John 5:39)
The Bible can speak to and impact each individual human life.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
This is only a sampling of the claims the Bible makes about itself. Psalm 119 alone spends 176 verses declaring how trustworthy, pure, and good God’s word is. When you flip through the pages of Scripture, look for the additional claims. Then ask yourself, “Do I treat/view the Bible this way?”
Your View Matters
Here is where your opinion really matters. How should a person view and treat the Bible? As a Christian, the most healthy approach to arriving at your opinion of Scripture is to find out what the Bible says about itself and treat that as absolutely true. If you are a non-believer or someone who struggles with the authority of the Bible, Jesus would like to help you out.
Spend time in the Bible learning about who Jesus is and why his death and resurrection are so significant.
All your questions may not get answered, but the first step in viewing the Bible as true is to develop a relationship with the person that the Bible is about.
Revelation vs. Speculation
The fact that the Bible makes these claims concerning itself means we don’t have to speculate about the biggest issues we face in this life and the life to come. The Bible addresses all those issues. The answers have been revealed—no need for guesses. And God is not trying to take anything from us when he presents his Word as true, authoritative, and as commands to live by—he is giving. The Bible gives us answers to our most sincere longings, calms our biggest fears, and is able to lead us into the deepest joys we can experience (on this side of eternity at least). It warns us and is honest concerning what will destroy our souls and lives. The Bible truly is a precious gift—but that’s just my opinion.