Jesus, John And The Scriptures
In a previous article we studied the synoptic gospels and how they viewed the Scriptures. We also saw how Jesus viewed the Scriptures. In this article we shall study the gospel according to John to see more about Jesus’ view of the Scriptures, as well as examining John’s view of the Scriptures.
“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:17)
“When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:22)
Notice that Psalm 69:9 is quoted as prophecy, and it seen to be of the same force as Jesus’ own words.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15)
Here Jesus is seen as accepting Numbers 21:1-9 as a reliable historical narrative.
“Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46)
Jesus and the Jewish leaders of His day believed the Old Testament to be authoritative. Jesus also understood the Old Testament to be speaking of Himself.
“Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (John 7:42)
Both 2Samuel 7 and Micah 5:2 recognized to be authoritative prophecy.
“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.” (John 8:17)
Deuteronomy 19:15 quoted as authoritative.
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:34–36)
Psalm 82:6 is cited as being part of the law. Though not in the Pentateuch, the “law” was evidently a euphemism for all of the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Word of God came to Israel, Jesus said in reference to this Psalm. The statement may even be a broader statement that speaks of all of the Old Testament Scriptures.
Not only does Jesus view the Psalms as the Word of God, but He also states that the Scripture cannot be broken. That is, the Scriptures are the Word of God and cannot be destroyed or rendered of none effect.
This shows that Jesus viewed the Scriptures as infallible, because they will not pass away. He also viewed them as inerrant, as they will not be voided in any manner.
“But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37–38)
Isaiah 53:1 is quoted as having been authored by Isaiah and to have been predictive prophecy concerning Jesus.
“For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” (John 19:36)
“They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.” (Numbers 9:12)
These verses are laws that are contained in historical narratives, yet they are cited as predictive prophecy. This demonstrates John’s firm belief in the reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures.
“And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.” (John 19:37)
Zechariah 12:10 is viewed as reliable predictive prophecy.
“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:9)
Is we compare Acts 2:25-32 with Psalm 16:10 and Acts 13:34 with Isaiah 55:3, we have a hint of the Scriptures to which John was referring.
We can be certain, however, that John was convinced of the reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures.
If we but allow Scripture to speak for itself we find that the evangelists and Jesus viewed the Scriptures to be the Word of God, reliable in both prophecy and in historical narratives, and without error in that which it affirms.