Is Scripture Self-Attesting?

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’ve lately been looking at the topic of presuppositionalism. Last time, we discussed some more about the Scriptures and how we will have to examine them to see which God is the one we should be serving or if any of them even can rightly claim that.

Now I don’t plan on making this a wholesale apologetic on defense of the Scriptures. That can be done and it has been done and I would be glad to recommend resources on the topic. For now, I’d mainly like to deal with the idea that the Scriptures are self-attesting. That is, that the Bible is all we need and the Bible will defend itself.

In a sense, the Bible is self-attesting. It makes the claim itself to be the Word of God. Does that mean that it is the Word of God? No. However, at the same time, it doesn’t rule it out. We should consider that if someone describes themselves to us in a certain way, we can consider that as evidence of their nature. If someone claimed to be a perfect pipeline to God, for instance, we could consider that that is the case, or we could consider it as evidence that this person is quite arrogant.

I am also not wanting to deny that there is a great beauty in the Bible that we ought to recognize. For instance, as someone who has done research on the cults, when finishing reading the Book of Mormon, I found I had a greater appreciation for the Bible as the Book of Mormon is a book written to have the appearance of Scripture and frankly, it doesn’t pull it off well. The Bible’s own writing is quite different.

However, I do not accept the claim that the Bible is the Word of God because it says it is the Word of God. After all, the Koran makes some high claims about itself. Why should I believe one Scripture over another if both are making identical claims about themselves? The answer is that we need to actually look outside the Scripture.

This is what the early church had to do and what people had to do before there was any Scripture. For the early church, all they had was the Old Testament as we see it today. They didn’t have the letters of Paul or the gospels for a couple of decades. They saw the Bible as the Word of God based on the authority of Christ and they were convinced that he had risen from the dead by the testimony of the eyewitnesses and the working of miracles.

I also do not believe we can simply see what Scripture has to say about itself and then go from there. It’s part of the evidence, but it’s not all of the evidence. In our day and age, we simply must give a defense of the Scriptures and their authenticity, which is also what the early church did. Now does the Wisdom of God confound the world? Yes. What does that mean? It simply means that the way that God chose to do things was not the modus operandi the world would use. For them, to say a crucified man was meant to be the king of the world and save mankind was nonsense, but it was the way God worked.

Now does that mean that we can never trust the power of Scripture? No. If someone wants to become a Christian by hearing Scripture alone, then great. If not and we need to defend the Scriptures and show their authenticity, then we are prepared to do that also.

We shall continue next time.


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