Principles of Interpretation: Infallible and Authoritative
We have begun a series of lessons regarding some fundamental principles of Bible interpretation. Yesterday, we noted the importance of remembering that the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language and the New Testament in Greek.

Today, let us focus on this vital principle: The Bible is the infallible, and divinely inspired, word of God. We must have true faith in the supreme authority of the Scriptures. God's word must be the final authority in our lives.

God wants us to have true faith or genuine confidence in the authority of His word. If we desire a reliable anchor and guide in life, we will find such in the Bible--but only if we really believe that all Scripture originates from deity. Paul affirmed in II 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."

To affirm that the Bible is infallible is to state that the Bible is without error. Although many claim that the Scriptures are "full of errors", no errors have ever been proven to exist. When I find myself in a conversation with an unbeliever who insists the Bible is nothing more than an erroneous document from men, I demand that he provide an example--just one example--where the Bible is shown to be mistaken or inaccurate. Friends, that challenge has never been answered (and I set forth that challenge again today to any unbelievers who may be considering this lesson)! Many, who have hardly even read the Bible and examined the evidence for themselves, are convinced that the Bible simply cannot be the word of God. Although they are unable to provide even a single, reasonable explanation as to why the Bible cannot have its origin with God, they still refuse to believe it. This is tragic.

Those who have no confidence in the integrity of the Scriptures as the very words of God, will fail to come to a proper understanding of many things about the Bible (if they ever examine the Scriptures at all, that is). Many so-called critical scholars of our day do not believe in the infallibility or authority of the Scriptures. They believe the Bible contains errors and that it is a mere product of men. Is it any wonder that the interpretations they offer are often far removed from the truth (e.g., the claim that the miracles of the Bible can be explained away naturalistically, etc.)?

If the Bible isn't divinely inspired, then it is not the word of God. If this is the case, we are without any absolute, objective standard for living, and there is no ultimate authority to regulate human behavior. Without such, mankind is ruled by subjective feelings of what is right and wrong.

Additionally, those who deny the inspiration of the Scriptures must somehow account for characteristics in the Bible such as: detailed prophecy and fulfillment, the marvelous unity displayed from cover to cover, the lack of contradictions, historical accuracy, scientific accuracy and foreknowledge, etc. The Bible is the only book that manifests all of these qualities. Complete inspiration is the only conclusion one can logically accept!

For more information regarding the infallibility and inspiration of the Scriptures, please refer to our feature lessons entitled: "Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God" (01/29/05; 02/05/05; 02/12/05).

Dear listeners, is the Bible the final authority in your life? Do you believe it to be inspired and without error? If you don't, the other principles we study in this series will be of little use to you.