I have been thinking a fair bit about what does the Bible mean as being God’s word. And what do we mean by the Bible being inerrant. Within this context, I have been thinking about how can the Bible be the word while Christ is THE WORD!
Often Paul’s injunction to Timothy that all Scripture is God breathed is proof texted by many to state that all of Scripture is God’s word. While I totally believe that the Bible is God’s word, we have to be careful as to how we understand it as God’s word and what it means for us today.
Firstly , we need to acknowledge that Paul is talking about the Old Testament. There is little to no evidence to prove that he considered any of the NT writings to be Scripture, including his own. Secondly we have to also understand just what the Scriptures are that Paul is saying are God breathed. To do this, we have to ask the question; “Does Paul understand all of the OT as being God breathed?”
And it is here where I will depart from the majority of evangelicalism to say that I don’t believe that Paul does believe that all of the OT is God breathed. While we ourselves will state with great conviction that all of the Scriptures including the New Testament are firmly inerrant and God breathed; we need to also acknowledge that Paul states that one of his instructions to the Corinthians was of himself and not coming direct from God, though he commended himself to them as being a Godly person, who was worthy of making such a statement.
Paul also turned away from the law, clearly stating that cursed are those who follow the law. Therefore can we so confidently state that the law of Moses was indeed God breathed. Now we are faced with a quandary. Just what did Paul mean by Scripture being God breathed. And to answer this, we have to ask who was central to Paul’s faith?
God inspired many over the eons to speak of the coming Christ. And its within these we find the inspirational breath of God in Scripture. The Apostle John begins his Gospel account by calling Christ, “THE WORD” of God. And its within this context that we can build the framework of what Paul means by God breathed. He is talking about the Scriptures that point to Christ. For here we we find the true breath of life. For it is Christ who is THE inerrant word. It is Christ who is perfect and without any impurity of any kind. And it is in Christ whom we will find life. Pure life. Eternal life.Perfect life.