Here we enter into a most sober consideration. It is not sober because of the reality of the case, but because of the proclivity of men. By "proclivity," I mean human inclination. When discussing a subject like this, men tend to lean on human wisdom rather than Divine prudence. More stock is placed upon human analysis than Divine utterance. It should not require much thought to see the danger of such an approach. In spiritual life, any approach that excludes God leads in the direction of perdition. It pushes faith into the background, and exalts the natural mind.

The Spirit affirms that God, in strict accordance with "the riches of his grace . . . abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence" (Eph 1:7-8). Unless one chooses to believe Scripture is excluded from His dealings with us, this indicates the careful involvement of God in everything aspect of salvation. If this is not the case, I do not see how faith or hope can ever dominate the heart and mind.

Nothing to Fear from Purported Scholarship

The believer has nothing to fear from scholarship. However, faith will not allow us to place our trust in human analysis--it demands that reliance be placed on Divine affirmation. That is fundamental to the concept of faith. The fact that God said it is the point--not how He said it, or when He said it, or under what circumstances He said it. The point is not how it got to us, but that God said it. God never says anything without intending to ensure it gets to the individuals to whom it is spoken. That is fundamental to the idea of communication. This does not rule out the consideration of how we received our Bible, it does prohibit making it a primary subject. When it is said, "He sent forth his word and healed them" (Psalm 107:20), it is godly to assume it arrived where it was sent!

A Brief Summation

At this point, a brief summation of our subject is necessary. I have affirmed the centrality of God's Word. Everything in the life of faith is measured by the Word of God. It is living, promotes life, and discerns the intentions of the heart. The emphasis of God has always been upon what is written. Believers live by every Word of God. We have been born again by God's Word. Scripture is able to completely equip us to live unto the Lord. These are arresting considerations. They lead us to an unavoidable conclusion. God would not communicate the essentialness of His Word if the slightest possibility existed of it not being precise in every way.

The authenticity and reliability of Scripture is thus established by the Lord's reference to it. Historicity is good, but not good enough to establish the integrity of God's Word. Linguistic studies have their place, but they do not add a single particle of weight to Scripture. Principles of interpretation and textual analysis may rank high among men, but they are not so ranked by heaven. Neither Moses nor the Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, nor the Apostles so approached Scripture. For this reason, and this reason alone, we dare not pioneer such an approach. That is such an elementary observation, it requires no further elaboration.