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The Preacher and God's Word

Having recognized the primacy of the word in God's own dealings with the human race, it is not at all difficult to note the primacy of the word in that early Christian preaching recorded in the New Testament.

Peter's great sermon given on the day of Pentecost is an example. Peter and the other disciples had experienced a visible out pouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested by the sound of a rushing mighty wind and tongues of fire that had rested on each of the disciples (Acts 2:1-3). They had begun to speak so that others heard them in a variety of languages (v. 4). In addition to this, they had all just been through the traumatic and then exhilarating experiences of the crucifixion, resurrection, visible appearance, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. These were heady experiences. Yet when Peter stood up to preach on Pentecost, he did not dwell on his or anyone else's experiences, as many in our day might have done, but rather preached a profoundly biblical sermon centered on specific biblical passages. The format was as follows: First, there are three verses of introduction intended to link the present manifestations of the outpouring of the Spirit to God's prophecy of that even in Joel. These were a lead-in to the major text. Second, Peter cites the prophecy in Joel at length, giving a total of five verses to it. Third, there is a declaration of the guilt of the men of Jerusalem in Christ's death, which, however, was in full accordance with the plan and foreknowlege of God, as Peter indicates. This takes three verses. Fourth, there is an ex tended quotation from Psalm 16:8-11, occupying four verses. These stress the victory of Christ over death through his resurrection and exaltation to heaven. Fifth, there is an exposition of the sixteenth psalm, occupying five verses. Sixth, there is a further two-verse quotation from Psalm 11:1, again stressing the supremacy of Christ. Seventh, there is a one-verse summary.

The Witness of the Bible to Its Own Authority

Does the Bible actually assert its own inerrancy as the revealed Word of God? Does it really lay claim to freedom from error in all that it affirms, whether in matters of theology, history, or science? Are proponents of this view truly justified in their insistence on this high degree of perfection in Scripture, or are they actually going beyond what it affirms concerning its own authority? These questions have been raised by those who advocate a lower concept of biblical authority, and it is important for us to settle them as we seek to come to terms with the Bible's own witness.

Before we launch into an examination of specific passages in Scripture that bear upon this question, it would be well to define as clearly as possible the basic issues involved. Otherwise we may lose sight of the objectives of this type of investigation.

Inerrancy and Christology: The Ignored Paradox

Of the many supportive arguments for inerrancy,[1] one of the strongest is the character of Jesus Christ Himself.  Jesus Christ was God in human flesh.[2]  The fact of the incarnation, among other things,  means that because Jesus was God, He was sinless, including everything He said.  The character of Christ is an all important and comforting doctrine in many respects, but in relation to the Word of God, inseparable.  Many who might agree that Jesus Christ is sinless, deny inerrancy; but in doing so, they overlook an ignored inconsistency,[3] the fact that it is impossible to deny inerrancy and affirm the sinlessness of Christ at the same time. The fact that Jesus Christ is sinless is the mainstay that the Word of God is inerrant.

       The sinlessness of Jesus Christ is supported by both the Old Testament requirements of an unblemished sacrifice for sin and by the direct claims of Scripture.[4]  In fact, one of the very names of Jesus was the Word, and the Word became flesh referring to the fact of the incarnation and that Jesus is God.[5] In Revelation, Jesus is called the "Word of God:"

A Disastrous Hermeneutical Replacement

Hermeneutics is strictly the science of interpretation. It provides the guidelines or principles by which accurate interpretation occurs through biblical exegesis. Hermeneutics determines the rules by which the game of interpretation is played. It has enormous ramifications upon expositional preaching since proper interpretation is everything to exposition! Miss the biblical interpretation and a sermon is anything but biblical exposition. Thus hermeneutics is critical for exposition.

            Hermeneutics made glorious strides during the days of the Reformation Period as it shook free from allegorization.  Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. notes, “Meanwhile a Jewish believer, Nicholas of Lyra (1270–1340?), began to press the literal sense as the only reasonable basis for exegesis. The important role he played in the history of exegesis is apparent in the celebrated aphorism, ‘If Lyra had not piped, Luther would not have danced.’”[1] Kaiser continues:

Do We Have The Original Text?

12/3/2014 | Dr. Michael Kruger

Inerrancy & Church History

12/1/2014 | Derek J. Brown

A Historical Timeline of Inerrancy

11/17/2014 | Truth Remains

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