The Bible: Infallibility by Ps Michael Podhaczky

This next feature involves the Bible never being at fault. This is called Infallibility, which is based on inerrancy. Although this word is not used in the Bible, it is crucial to an understanding of its trustworthiness as the only infallible principle of faith.[1]It deals with the reality that the Bible is “free from or incapable of error.”[2]

It proposes that the Bible is the only divine dependably true source of faith and doctrine (teaching). This truth is clear from verses like, (2 Sam 7:28; Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17; and Col 1:5). It is the only reliable, trustworthy and absolute basis of the believer’s faith and teaching. Jesus accepted the genuineness and trustworthiness of the Old Testament. In light of the infallibility of the Old Testament, He used it to reprimand Satan’s temptations, Lk 4:1-13.

Paul declared the Scripture to be from God, supporting its infallibility as God inspired all Scripture, 2 Tim 3:16,17. Paul quoted from what he called “the Scripture,” that is, “the writing,” (1 Tim 5:18). The two passages that made up this verse, one came from the Old Testament (Deut 25:4), and the other from the gospel of (Lk 10:7).

On this matter, Peter said that the Old Testament prophets spoke by the Holy Spirit, and specifically adds that they did not speak forthemselves, 2 Pet 1:21. In (2 Pet 3:16) Peter used the phrase “the rest of the Scriptures” probably referring to the Old Testament. So, at this point, Paul’s and Peter’s writing may include some of the New Testament. So, there is a mutual acceptance of the writings of the Old Testament and the writings of the apostles as both coming from the breath of God through the hands of people. So in the end,
“‘…the inward work of the Holy Spirit’ produces ‘our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority’ of Scripture.”[3]

[1] Geisler, Norman. Systematic Theology: Introduction and Bible. Vol. One. (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2002), 246.
[2]Hernando, James D. Dictionary of Hermeneutics: A Concise Guide to Terms, Names, Methods, and Expressions. (Springfield, MO: GPH, 2005), 161.
[3] Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 53.

The Bible: Inerrancy by Ps Michael Podhaczky

The truth of Inerrancy is based on inspiration. The reason for this is that God’s Word, spoken by Him, does not have any mistakes as it is complete.[1] That is to say, it,
“…signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”[2]
Accordingly, it is this inerrant Word of God that had its establishment on the “act of God, whereby the first writing of revealed truth was done without fault.”[3] This does not mean that translations of the Bible since the first manuscripts are entirely without copyist points of disagreement.

So, any issues regarding inerrancy deal with the original manuscripts of the Bible. They were written accurately, perfectly and reliably by God’s chosen writers. In other words, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance,they did not make mistakes in the process of recording His Word. Although inerrancy is claimed for the original writings, it does not negate the Holy Spirit using people to write the Bible under His guidance.[4]For example, this is seen in (Jer 36:2; Ex 4:12,15; Prov 30:5-6; 2 Pet 1:21; Rev 22:18-19).

It is sufficient to highlight the fact that, the modern translations are trustworthy. However, each serves a particular purpose thatneeds to be taken into consideration when answering the question of its use. Consequently, inerrancy describes the Bible’s nature.[5] So, concerning the matter of Inerrancy the Bible “makes good on its claims.”[6] It needs to be remembered that,
“The term inerrancy may be modern, but the concept is as old as the people of Bible days, including Jesus Himself: The Scriptures are the authority, and you can trust what they teach!”[7]

[1]God Speaks: A Workbook of The Bible. (Highbury, London: Grace Publication Trust, 1980), 1/4.
[2] Geisler, Norman. L. (ed.) Inerrancy. (Grand Rapids, MI: Acadmie Books, 1980), 500.
[3]God Speaks, 10/7.
[4] Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 57, 58.
[5]Vanhoozer, Kevin J.  “The Inerrancy of Scripture.” May 2018)
[6]Taylor, Justin. “Inerrancy and Infallibility: Truth Claims and Precision.” May 2018).
[7]Hart, Larry D. Truth Aflame: Theology for the Church in Renewal. (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2005), 59. The italics are Hart’s.

The Bible: Inspiration by Ps Michael Podhaczky

This next feature involves the Bible being given or spoken through the unique supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit. This involved God’s chosen people correctly writing God’s precise words. This is what is called Inspiration. That is, God the Holy Spirit has inspired the Bible, the very Word of God. In other words, God spoke breathing out His Words, which were carried by the Holy Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit through human authors produced an accurate record and revelation of God’s redemptive will, purpose and activity.”[1]

That is, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim 3:16). Namely, God breathed out His Word, cf. also 2 Pet 1:19-21. This divine inspiration of the Bible has already taken place. As with revelation, it needs to be strongly stated that, there is no more and never will be any newlyinspired writings on the same divine level as the Bible.

Inspiration is a flow from God to humanity then to the writing of the Bible. It is people in partnership with God to write down what God wanted to be written. As it has been said,
“Inspiration is a divine and supernatural action whereby God raises the human writer above his natural capacity in order to make them an instrument in the composition of the sacred books.”[2]
Inspiration, relates to the origin of the Bible’s authority, as it carries its own divine authority being God’s Word.

[1]Hernando, James D. Dictionary of Hermeneutics: A Concise Guide to Terms, Names, Methods, and Expressions. (Springfield, MO: GPH, 2005), 26.
[2]“Supernatural Character of the Bible.” May 2018).

The Bible: Revelation by Ps Michael Podhaczky

The way a person approaches the Bible can determine what they get from it. For example, if the Bible is merely a historical record, a book of answers for life, a self-help guide or seen as a theological textbook, then it will just have insights and proof texts. But if we see it as God’s revealed truth, then it takes on a whole new meaning.

I would like to review revelation, which has already taken place and cannot be repeated. So, there is no new biblical revelation. This process was used by God to make Himself and His ways known to humanity. It is the
“Act whereby God first taught people the truths He wanted them to know.”[1]
The flow of this action is from God towards humanity as He was willing to make Himself known. The application of this revelation of God is through the Holy Spirit. This process falls into two categories,
  • General Revelation: Through creation, providence, history and conscience
  • Special Revelation: Through Jesus and the Bible

General Revelation is the natural revelation that is accessible to anybody whether they believe in God or not. God supernaturally makes Himself known, as Paul said,
“For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20 ESV).
However, a person will not be saved through General Revelation. There are three ways that God has made Himself known through the natural created order. These are the external revelations of creation, providence and history, and the internal revelation of God consciousness or conscience.

Special Revelation is through Jesus Christ and the Bible (Heb 1:1-3; 2 Pet 3:1-2). This is the only way that anybody can know God’s means of salvation. Jesus is the final and ultimate revelation. God uses the Bible to reveal Jesus Christ. In Jn 1:18 we read that,
“No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is Himself God and is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us” (Jn 1:18 NLT).
That is, Jesus is the climax of God’s revelation.

[1] God Speaks: A Workbook of The Bible. (Highbury, London: Grace Publication Trust, 1980), 10/7.

The Canon of Scripture by Ps Michael Podhaczky

You may have heard the Bible being called ‘The Canon of Scripture?’ What does this mean? A definition of the word ‘Canon’ is “the collection or list of books accepted as an authoritative rule and practice.”[1] The Hebrew of the word means a reed or a stalk; these could be used as a measure or rule. It came to mean the rule of truth, especially for sacred books.

There were three things involved in the Bible as the Canon of Scripture,
·         God inspired and controlled the writing of each part of the canon.
·         God sovereignly oversaw the preservation and collection of the canon.
·         God divinely guided the Jews, and then the Church, in recognising the canon.

The Church discerned the canon of Scripture but did not make it. It recognised its authenticity but did not give it authenticity.
“It is important to remember that the Christian church did not canonize any book. Canonization was determined by God. But the early church needed to know how to recognize canonicity.”[2]
The authority of the Scriptures is not established on the authority of the Church. In fact, it is the Church that is established on the authority of the inspired Scripture.[3] So, then
16 “All Scripture is breathed out (inspired) by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17 ESV).

There were five measures for a book or letter being included in the Canon.
  1. Is the book authoritative: Does it claim to be from God? That is, did it come with the authority of God?
  2. Is it prophetic: Was it written by a servant of God? Namely, was it written by a person chosen by God?
  3. Is it self-authentic: Does it tell the truth of God about God, and humanity etc.? Specifically, did it tell the truth with no discrepancy regarding what was written?  
  4. Is it dynamic: Does it possess the life-transforming power of God? That is, did it come with the holy power of God?
  5. Is it received or accepted by the people of God: Is it recognised as being from God? Namely, was it accepted by the community of God?

Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over

[1] Wegner, Paul D. The Journey from Text to Translation: The Origin and Development of the Bible. (Grand Rapids: MI Baker, 2000), 101.
[2] Wegner, The Journey from Text to Translation, 147.
[3] Warfield, Benjamin B. “The Authority and Inspiration of the Scriptures.” May 2018).

How to Read the Bible - Part 2 by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Here is a simple technique for reading the Bible. Do not begin reading from the beginning of the Bible, i.e. from Genesis or even from Matthew. Instead, first read the gospel of Mark twice, since, it commences more with the public life of Jesus Christ.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1 ESV)
Once you have read Mark’s gospel twice, read the gospel of John twice. John actually explains some of the private life of Jesus Christ. Next read the first letter of John, i.e. 1 John. This letter underlines the truth of the assurance of faith that we can have in Jesus Christ to live a life of faith in practice.

Then and only then, go to the start of the New Testament and read it right through twice. Then once you have done this, go to the beginning of the Bible and starting with Genesis and read all the way through the whole Bible. Read it as God’s story, as a story made up of its various parts. These parts of God’s story deal with Him as He encourages a relationship with Him by broken people. His aim is to restore them and for them to come to Him as their Heavenly Father.

As you read and study each book, chapter and section of the Bible, it is important to learn to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you. When you read the Bible, it can be helpful to learn to read with a pen, pencil, iPhone or iPad to take notes. This skill of note-making will help you in your reading and prayingthrough the books, chapters or sections of the Bible. It can be these notes from what you have read and studied that may help you to remember what God has said to you. This could be a valuable thing for you into the future.
Pause in His presence for a moment and think this over…