Biblical authority is foundational to all the other doctrinal distinctives of biblical Baptists. This teaching is straight forward, and I think it is fairly safe to say, without controversy. The Bible alone is God’s completed Word of God and final authority for man. The Bible is God’s Word, not man’s word. The Bible makes certain and definite claims that do not appear in any other “holy book”.
The Bible Claims to be Eternal
It Stands Forever
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Is. 40:8)
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1Pet. 1:24-25).
The Bible Claims to be Without Error
It is Inerrant or Infallible (there are no mistakes in it)
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2Sam. 22:31 and Ps. 18:30)
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Ps. 19:7)
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Ps.12:6)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Prov. 30:5).
The Bible Claims to be the Breath of God
It is plenary (i.e. all, or every portion of it) and verbally (i.e. the Holy Spirit lead in the choice of each word) inspired (i.e. lit. breathed out from God)
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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim. 3:16-17).
This doctrine has been called “Sola Scriptura” which means that the Bible alone (and in its entirety) is the Word of God; this applies to all 66 of the canonical (recognized) Books from Genesis 1:1- Revelation 22:21.
There are many warnings in the Scriptures not to trifle with its sacred contents. Yet there are those who feel that parts of the Bible can “become” God’s Word as one reads them. The idea that there are select portions that are, and other portions that are not, God’s Word does not jell with what the Bible itself states in 2Tim. 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” The Bible not only contains God’s Word, it is God’s Word through and through.
The Bible is the supreme truth: over-ruling human reason, tradition, experience, and knowledge. All other writings and experiences should be evaluated as they line up with the Bible. No one has a special “inner light” or anything else that can replace, add to, or take away from, what is already revealed in the Bible. There is no authority given to any organization, clergy leader which goes beyond, above, or equal to the authority of the Bible. This includes extra books and writings, so-called visions, dreams, tongues, and feelings or thoughts which some groups call “direct revelation from God”. None of this is authoritative, the Bible alone is.
Check out my post on How God Communicates and please leave a comment or question here or there. All are welcome including those who are theological liberals, neo-orthodox, charismatic, and spiritualist. Perhaps you’re one who doesn’t like the idea that God reveals Himself through the Bible, or you have some other authority to govern your life. This is a good place for courteous dialogue. Q&A is always welcome.
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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In His fellowship,