Project Description

Getting to truth on spiritual authority is absolutely critical. If we can’t come to grips with what guides and instructs our spiritual journey then we are lost.

In a world of fake news and confusion about where to turn for “truth” we could listen to our heart — but that would be a mistake.

We’ve collected some basics on authority. They are highlights from our BSF library and the answers are linked directly to the question for full Scriptural detail.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Revelation 22:18-19

sound doctrine: authority

What’s the Bible’s authoritative claim?

The Bible’s own claim is that it is from and of God1,2. It also claims that all Scripture (Old Testament and New Testament) is inspired and from God1. In fact, Jesus himself was the personification of God’s word – in effect, the “living word.”2

Is there reason or room to give heed to other sources of authority?

The Bible’s own claim is that it represents the complete revelation of God1,2,6,7,9. While there was a time God spoke to man through prophets5,8, that time was replaced by the gospel revelation through His son, Jesus Christ and His time on earth5 and His appointed apostles9.

As of the first century, God’s word had been proclaimed throughout the whole world4,6,8. If the word was sufficiently complete in the first century to save individuals1,3,4,6,8,9, how is it any less complete now and why would it be necessary for God to reveal more? Is the foundation9 really still being laid? (No, of course not!)

Are some parts of the Bible more important than other parts?

There is no precedent in Scripture for “Scripture Weighting.” Quite the contrary. All Scripture is divine and perfect1,7; they are His words5. God, is the sole author1,5. Further, it is only when taken in its entirety that we get a complete picture2,7. It is consistently put forward as equal weight since “all” is always the standard for understanding — Old4,6 and New1,3. Never has God said, “Read it all, but you really only need to focus here.”

May we never scripture weight – whether by authorship, testament or presupposition – but instead seek to gather all that Scripture has to say on the matter and only then make careful conclusions.

What about Jesus’ own words?

The words of Scripture are in fact the words of God – all of them, regardless of who spoke them.1 It’s not that Jesus or the apostles were speaking/teaching something different from person to person, but that they all were united in and through the words of God (and it was the same with the prophets — speaking God’s literal word). All disciples, regardless of who taught them,2,3 are to continue in God’s word.

getting to truth on authority is more than a little important, agreed?

Connect with us if you think we’re missing it….our souls depend on it too!

get all of the questions about authority

answered by scripture with the Bible Study Framework

  • Understanding the Bible

    What do you need for understanding the Bible?

    Understanding the Bible can be difficult. For many centuries, the Catholic Church taught that the Bible could only be understood by an ordained priest. In modern times, people like N.T. Wright and other well-credentialed theologians are often held up as having profound (even special or unique) insights into God's word [more]

  • Ten Commandments

    Are Christians under the Ten Commandments today?

    The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20. They were given to Moses by God and written on tablets of stone. According to IMDb, the classic 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments" (staring Charlton Heston) is the seventh highest grossing film of all time! The Ten Commandments were central to the [more]

  • God's Messengers

    Who are the messengers of God?

    God has relied on messengers throughout history, but tracking the messengers of God through Scripture reveals some interesting things about God's character and His word. It also has implications for those that make claims about their own supposed "anointing" by God to speak His words today. God hasn't always [more]

  • Interpreting Bible Prophecy

    Can we interpret Bible prophecy?

    How we interpret Bible prophecy presents a unique challenge, at least to the extent that the question should be asked...Is Bible prophecy even something we can interpret? interpret (verb): 1-to explain or tell the meaning of : present in understandable terms. 2-to conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment, [more]

  • Biblical apocrypha

    Did Jude quote from the book of Enoch?

    Some maintain that Jude quotes from the apocryphal book of Enoch. Often, this is put forward as a statement of fact in order to move forward to the much "larger" discussions regarding the meaning of extra-Biblical quotes, their place in Scripture, and the question of their inspiration. The book of [more]

  • Miracles

    Do miracles still happen today?

    "It's a miracle!" That's an exclamation we hear often and have probably uttered ourselves. It might be used to describe passing a test you didn't study for or to sum up a great, come-from-behind victory. For example, the great Olympic victory by the U.S. Men's Hockey team is known [more]

  • God's revelation

    Is the Bible the complete revelation of God?

    Whether or not the Bible is the complete revelation of God has profound implications on Christianity today. If the Bible isn't the complete revelation of God, then the door remains open to "other" revelation. "Other" could be other scriptural authority such as the Quran or the Book of Mormon. [more]

  • How we worship

    What does worship to God look like?

    How worship to God happens and what it actually looks like varies around the world. In fact, others' offering of worship to God in your own community may look completely different from how you worship. Of course there are differences in how people dress and things they might [more]

  • Scripture Weighting

    What is Scripture weighting?

    Scripture weighting is not a term you will find in Scripture. However, it's a practice you may recognize when coming to conclusions about Scripture. Fundamentally, it's the practice of ignoring Scripture. That might sound egregious -- but it's fairly rampant in the world of Bible study and theology. [more]

  • Cathedral at Notre Dame

    Does it matter where we worship God?

    Where we worship God has often been debated through the years. Some hold to the idea that worship must occur in a cathedral -- an often ornate structure dedicated to the worship of God. Others don't take much stock in the structure at all, whether an official worship [more]

  • False teacher

    How were false prophets identified?

    The children of Israel were surrounded by prophets that claimed to be speaking for God but they were actually false prophets. In fact, by most accounts in the Old Testament, most "prophets" were false prophets and there were two kinds. First, there were prophets associated with other gods. For [more]

  • Bible

    Is the Bible the word of God?

    The word Bible is from the Greek and Latin meaning "book" or "books". The Christian Bible as we know it is made up of two Testaments or Covenants (Old and New) and might also be referred to as the Holy Writ, Holy Scriptures or Word of God. It is [more]

  • Scripture interprets Scripture

    Should ‘Scripture interprets Scripture’ be our standard?

    Scripture interprets Scripture is built on the belief that all Scripture is from God. Essentially, if all of the Bible is from an unchanging God then it must also be inerrant and without contradiction - being from one, divine author. Therefore, the goal should be to let Scripture interpret [more]

  • Follow your heart

    Should you follow your heart?

    It's a common refrain from those in the world. "Follow your heart." Or maybe you've heard someone say, "the heart wants what the heart wants." It's usually meant to be aspirational and reassuring, giving the individual confidence to do whatever it is they have a mind to do. [more]

  • Does God change

    Does God’s character change?

    Has the God of the universe changed over time? Is God's character subject to "evolving" the same way that you and I would develop over time? God's character not changing is sometimes described as the immutability of God (defined by as "not mutable; unchangeable; changeless"). However, some struggle [more]

  • Sinners Prayer

    How is the sinner’s prayer used in scripture?

    The sinner's prayer is something frequently referred to by preachers today. In fact, at the close of every sermon from Joel Osteen he asks those that are not saved or have fallen away to pray with him. The prayer is asking Jesus to "come into their lives." He [more]

  • Judging others

    Should we be judging others?

    "Judge not, that you be not judged." (Jn 7:1) Right out of Jesus' sermon on the mount and one of the most quoted phrases from scripture. It speaks to the issue of judging others. Jesus' statement in John is usually uttered when someone is criticizing another's actions. Specifically, it's typically [more]

  • Red letter Bible

    Are Jesus’ words (Red Letter Bible) more important than other Scripture?

    You've probably seen the red letter Bible -- in fact, you probably own one. These Bibles place all of Jesus' words in prominent red letters in order to stand out from all the other recorded words in Scripture. This is obviously a man-made introduction to Scripture, along with [more]