CRSA Bibliology: Session 4 – Christ’s Bible

In this lesson, we will talk about CHRIST’S BIBLE when He was on earth.

As we continue this great doctrine, let us start with Important Reminder. We all need teaching; but, generally speaking, we love to teach — rather than to be taught. We instruct others — but neglect ourselves. We must take heed to what Paul says in Romans 2:21 “You, then, who teach others — do you not teach yourself?” This is true of preachers and Bible teachers especially. Let us endeavor for once to be impartial, and look at this point closely, soberly, and seriously.

The old testament was Christ’s Bible

What was the Bible for Jesus and the Jews? THE OLD TESTAMENT! Whatever doubts men may have concerning the value and trustworthiness of the Old Testament, those doubts were not shared by our Lord. He never doubted the OT Scriptures.

For example, a young man asked how he could obtain eternal life, and Jesus pointed him to the Old Testament (Matthew 19:16-22). Another is a lawyer who questioned Christ about the law, and in reply our Lord quoted directly from the Old Testament (Matthew 22:34-40). Lastly, the Pharisees tried to trap him with hard moral questions about divorce, and again Christ directed them to the Old Testament (Matthew 19:3-6).

Our Redeemer delighted Himself in using the OT Scriptures always. He used it to introduce Himself (Luke 4:16-21), to fight Satan (Luke 4:1-12), to silence his enemies (Matthew 15:1-9), to instruct his hearers (John 6:25-34), to warn his disciples (Matthew 26:31) , and to teach salvation (John 3:14).

He also used the Old Testament on the cross (Matthew 27:46) and after His resurrection (Luke 24:27). Here, we see that Jesus affirmed the Christological nature of the Old Testament. He constantly quoted it and without question accepted its accuracy and authority. He used it without reservation.

Christ has no problem in using the Old Testament Scriptures. According to Craig Bloomberg, Jesus’s view of the Scriptures was similar to his contemporaries—accepting their completely divine origin, reliability, and authority in our lives—but also markedly different—seeing their judgment of ethnocentrism, their Christological nature, and their implications for the Levitical purity laws.

THE Old testament’s mark of divinity

There are at least 36 different passages in the Old Testament, taken from 13 OT books. This is how Jesus introduce the Old Testament. For example, Matthew 5:5 from Psalm 37:11 & Psalm 73:1, Matthew 21:33-41 from Isaiah 5, Luke 19:44 from Psalm 137, Matthew 24:31 from Exodus 19:16; Zechariah 2:6; 9:14; Daniel 7:2 & Deut. 4:321.

No one who has any knowledge of the OT can doubt that Christ’s thinking was full of its words and phrases: he used them all the time, indirectly or directly, and never did he give his approval to anything other than the words of the Old Testament. Most of the direct quotations were introduced by a special phrase that underlined the authority of what He was about to say. He cited OT Scriptures with the words “it is written”.

Now, we ask how did Christ employ ‘It Is Written”? In 18 different occasions, He used, “The Scriptures,” “the Law,” “the Prophets” and the “Law and the Prophets” – He was always introducing the Old Testament. He never used these phrases except to refer to the Old Testament. This makes the apocryphal books not part of the canon since Jesus never use d to cite it with “it is written”.

What did the Jewish rabbis do with the Law? They added 613 laws (248 positive –  to perform an act (mitzvot aseh); 365 negative –  to abstain from certain acts (mitzvot lo taaseh)). Many of them are ridiculous. Jewish Talmud, 2nd century A.D. collection of writings of the rabbis – 24 chapters on Sabbath-keeping. Our Lord gave no authority to such nonsense additions. In addition, He refused to accept the pharisaic OT abuses and misinterpretations (Matthew 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38 and 43).

Both of these verses use “word” (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3). It is in singular form. Our Lord here is showing the value of the whole Scripture. He takes the whole Scripture as one unit. “Every word,” not “words” – Our Lord was prepared to accept the authority of every single word that God had given. Description: ”

It is this that gives the words of Scripture their special authority because it comes from the mouth of God.

It is a striking statement of inspiration, since it is another way of explaining the word theopneustos (God-breathed) – 2 Tim. 3:16. Our Lord accepted without question that every word of Scripture had come from God. This is a belief in verbal inspiration!

The OLD TESTAMENT’S eternal and binding authority

In Matthew 5:17-19, the Living Word Himself gives warning against abolishing or cancelling the Law. He says, God said, not Moses said. He treat Moses words as God’s words. This means that He came to carry the Law out in every detail. Christ had clearly no doubt that the law is binding forever.

On the Law of God, the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith states (ch. 19. par. 5),

The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

In the following verses, Christ ascribes authority to the OT Scriptures

  • Matthew 15:4 – God said, “Honor your father and mother… In quoting from exodus our Lord did not say, “Moses said,” but “God said.”
  • Matthew 19:4-5 – this is an exposition of Moses and yet Jesus referred to it as the word of God. He said the Creator said. Christ introduced the words of Genesis 2:24 with the phrase, “The Creator said…” But in Genesis the words are not directly the words of the creator, yet our Lord said they are the words of God.
  • Quoting from Psalm 110:1, Christ commented, “David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit declared…” (Mark 12:36).

When the Scripture speaks then nothing can be added to it.

Furthermore, Christ never contradicted the Old Testament in Matthew 5:21-43. Jesus Christ expounded the OT since they reduce the law to outward action. Christ also undoubtedly used the History of the Old Testament. Christ never doubted the historical accuracy of the OT. He always used the OT to teach important truths (Matthew 12:40-41)

See the chart below for the references:

ReferenceHistoryOT referenceTeaching
Matt. 19:4-5Adam & EveGen. 1:27; 2:24Marriage
Luke 11:51Cain & AbelGen. 4:8Judgment
Luke 17:26-27Noah & the FloodGen. 6-8Second coming of Christ
John 8:56-58AbrahamGen. 15-25Deity & eternity of Christ
Luke 17:28-32; 10:12Sodom & Gomorrah & Lot’s WifeGen. 19Second coming of Christ
Matt. 8:11Isaac & JacobGen. 25Heaven & hell
Mark 7:9-10Moses & the 10 CommandmentsExod. 20:12; Lev. 20:9Family duty
John 6:31-51Manna in the wildernessExod. 16Eternal life

ReferenceHistoryOT referenceTeaching
John 3:14The serpent of brassNum. 21Salvation
Mark 2:25-26David & the consecrated bread1 Sam. 21Sabbath
Matt. 12:42Solomon & the Queen of Sheba1 Kings 10Judgment
Luke 4:25-26Elijah & the widow of Zarphath1 Kings 17Miracles
Luke 4:27Elisha & Naaman2 Kings 5Miracles
Luke 11:51Murder of Zechariah2 Chron. 2Judgment
Matt. 12:39-41Jonah/fishJonahResurrection of Christ and judgment

Christ, without hesitation applied the OT to Himself. In Luke 4:16-21, Christ applied Isaiah 61 to Himself. Christ’s challenge the people in quoting Psalm 110 (Luke 24:25-27; 44-47, Mark 14:27, 49 & John 13:18; 17:12). He also said that “These are the Scriptures that testify about me…Moses wrote about me” (John 5:39-47).

Later, whilst he was teaching in the temple courts, Christ quoted the first verse of Psalm 110 and challenged his listeners to explain who it was that David was writing about; he himself spelt out David’s clear implication: “If David called the Messiah ‘my Lord’ then the Christ must be much more than simply a descendant of the great Israelite king himself!”


If a critic of the Bible like Rudolf Bultmann could accept that Christ believed in the inspiration and authority of the OT, no one can have good cause to deny that that is what Christ did believe!

But Bultmann considered Christ was mistaken in this belief. We are left with one remaining question: Do we take Christ, or a German theologian as our final witness to the inerrancy of Scripture?


*This blog post is based on our notes on Bibliology provided by our pastor. 

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

3 thoughts on “CRSA Bibliology: Session 4 – Christ’s Bible

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