The authority of the Bible rests on its bearing the imprimatur of Christ, who is our supreme authority. So plain is this that there can be no question of the authority of Christ being dependent on the word of the Bible: it is rather the authority of the Bible that is dependent on the word of Christ. And this is true not only of the authority of the Old Testament. The crucial factor is certainly the authority of the New Testament, because the authority of the Old Testament, seen in the Christian perspective of fulfillment and consummation, stands or falls with the authority of the New Testament.
How, then, is the authority of the New Testament to be established? The answer, already indicated, must be: only by the supremely authoritative word of Christ. And this particular word has been preserved for us in the pages of the New Testament itself.
St. John tells us how, during those sacred hours in the upper room prior to his betrayal and crucifixion, our Lord assured his apostles that after his departure the Holy Spirit, who is the very Spirit of truth, not only would be sent but would actually dwell in them; that he would bear witness to Christ and glorify him, declaring the things of Christ to them; and also that he would bring to their remembrance all that he had taught them (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:13 ff.). This explains the transformation in the apostles after the Day of Pentecost, as seen in the Acts and the Epistles, compared with what they were before Pentecost, as seen in the Gospels. The privileged but uncomprehending years at the feet of Christ were not wasted; what before they had failed to grasp they now understood and expounded with assurance. Their teaching was not their own; it was Christ’s, under the guidance ...1
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