ALL SCRIPTURE – Scripture (graphe = writing). Some say Paul is talking about the Old Testament. Paul could not possibly single out only the Torah as God-breathed. All scripture means all the writings they have up to this point. Not just the Old or not just the New… ALL SCRIPTURE.
GOD-BREATHED – Written by men but inspired by God. Peter tells us, “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
AUTHORITATIVE – If all scripture is from God then it carries weight. God is the author and every word is supremely authoritative. Paul says that it is “useful”. I would prefer using the term vital. Since all scripture is from God it is vital that we use it to learn about God and His ways and as a standard to know right from wrong.
INERRANT – Because God is the author, we can know that everything in scripture is without error. Yes, it was written by man and man can err. We must understand that God did not place man in a trance and mechanically use the hands of men to write the words. Rather, the same Spirit that has been working in you worked in these men to write God’s word. That’s why there are personality traits and unique perspectives in the different books, because God used men to write it. It’s the same with my writings, your writings and Billy Graham’s writings. We can all write about God, but we will have different versions and experiences. It doesn’t mean we’re lying nor does it contradict but it comes from a different perspective, each led by the same Spirit. All the more it’s a miracle to see how man has written words that not only claim to be the word of God but has proved itself to be reliable, factual and life changing.
INFALLIBLE – Since God is the author, it will never fail us. What God said 2000 years ago still applies today. God never lies and His promises endure forever.
CANON – The canon means the standard or rule. When speaking of the Canon we are referring to the 66 books that make up our Bible. There are thousands of different ancient writings. How do we know which is from God? The OT canon was agreed upon by Jewish Rabbis and leaders before Jesus came on the scene. By the time of Jesus, they already had the 39 books of the Old Testament. These books (scripture) were written by the leaders of the day, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, etc., and also the prophets. Every word proved to be the word of God by its accuracy. These writings became the standard for all other writings. When reading scripture, notice how Jesus, Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc. quote OT and other NT scripture. Throughout the Bible one author will quote another. These are evidences of the canon of scripture. We use the same criteria today… how do you know if something is of God? Well, it has to be found in scripture. How do we know how to interpret scripture? Scripture interprets scripture. Everything we claim to be of God has to come from the established canon of scripture, the 66 books of our Bible.
CREDENTIALS – The Bible is a unique book. Actually, it’s not a book, its 66 books, written by over 40 authors from 40 generations over a period of 1500 years. These writings are written in three different languages from three different continents and are historically and archaeologically accurate. There are over 600 fulfilled prophecies and they speak on hundreds of controversial topics with complete harmony. The Bible is not a book that a person could write if he tried nor is it something a person would write if he could. The bible is unique and stands on its own as the actual inerrant and infallible word of God.
I hope this builds your trust and knowledge of scripture, but this only scratches the surface. There’s so much more to learn. Keep digging. Keep growing. Keep learning. Using God’s word to govern our lives and the church is the second pillar of the Christian faith.