Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.
—Matthew 5:18

Some people say that the Bible never claims to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Instead, only religious fundamentalists make such assertions. Yet consider what the Old and New Testaments claim about themselves.

Hundreds of times the Old Testament includes the phrase “The Lord said” or something similar (Exodus 20:1; Isaiah 1:2). When the apostle Paul declares, “All Scripture is inspired by God,” he is referring primarily to the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16). The apostle Peter was also primarily referring to the Old Testament when he explained that “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21).

Jesus Christ also believed in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. During Jesus’ ministry the Old Testament was already in written form. Jesus quoted from Genesis in explaining God’s blueprint for marriage (Matthew 19:4-5) He used Jonah as an illustration of His coming resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40). And He linked Noah’s flood with the certainty of His Second Coming (Matthew 24:37-39). If the story of Noah and the great flood is a myth, then the Second Coming of Christ is also a myth.

Jesus’ belief in the inspiration and inerrancy includes every word used in Scripture. He said, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). The smallest letter in Hebrew is “yodh,” which is approximately the size of an apostrophe in English. Jesus claimed that every letter of the Hebrew Old Testament has a purpose that is to be fulfilled, and therefore, every letter in every word is inspired by God.

What about the inspiration and inerrancy of the New Testament? There are many historical, archaeological, and bibliological reasons to trust the New Testament. But do the New Testament writers claim the same degree of inspiration for their own writings as they do for the Old Testament? The New Testament writers labeled some of their contemporaries’ works as “Scripture” (1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Peter 3:15-16).

Some argue that to use the Bible’s claims about itself as evidence for its trustworthiness is to engage in circular reasoning. “The Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.” Nevertheless, it is important to realize that when we declare that the Bible is inspired and inerrant we are not claiming any more than Jesus and the biblical writers claimed.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know the Bible Is True?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.