Logically, to know anything with absolute certainty one must know everything about everything through all time to know with certainty that no new information will debunk what is known about something; unless, someone who does know everything about everything with absolute certainty conveyed to us some true facts about the universe. Of course, the only being with unlimited power to ascertain such unlimited knowledge would necessarily have to be God.
In this light we see the necessity of the Word of God, since the only way in which we can know anything with absolute certainty is special revelation from Him. Just as if we were living within a painting, everything else we know about the world can only hint at God's (the painter's) existence and only disclose aspects of His character through general revelation and the moral law written in our hearts. In the same way, we can only ascertain the meaning or purpose of this life (the painting) if God (the painter) tells us in a way that we could understand. To do this, God entered the world (the painting) as the man Jesus Christ to simultaneously reveal His plan of redemption (Romans 10:13-17) through the cross and our purpose to bring all people into fellowship with God in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
Intrinsically, the only one who knows everything about everything with absolute certainty speaks with authority. A natural distinctive of an omniscient authority is that His words would be free from error, and hence in complete unity free from contradiction (Psalm 119:89). Hence, any mistakes within His words could only occur via human failure when the words were recorded. However, instead of “reading over” to double check the work, a fully powerful God could preserve the recording of His message by human hands through the plenary verbal inspiration of the Holy Spirit to ensure the first manuscripts were inerrant (Proverbs 30:5). Thus, the inerrant Word of God recorded as scripture through inspired human authors would serve as our highest authority (John 17:17). At first glance this argument seems circular, because record of God's word attests to itself as being the record of God's word. Yet, what else can the highest authority appeal to for proof if it is the highest authority? If God was on trial what could He swear by other than Himself? So in this sense the Word of God's authority is necessarily circular like any other system of human thought (i.e. reason), otherwise true authority would exist in whatever the system appealed to. However, the authority of God's Word escaped the circular argument when Jesus Christ (who as God knows everything about everything with absolute certainty) affirmed the complete divine authority of scripture and the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) to help guide the completion of special revelation to serve as our authoritative standard, or canon, through His teachings.
With Christ's approval of the authoritative standard, we can rest assured that the Word of God in its entirety is sufficient. The first part of the Canon of scripture consists of the Old Testament, which closed around the time of Ezra and the completion of the second temple. The early historian Josephus, the Septuagint (Greek LXX) and the The Qumran community (Dead Sea scrolls) confirms the same books (the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and Historical) that we still use today. Even more importantly, Jesus Christ never raised any doubts regarding the Jewish Hebrew texts as he quoted and referred to them in throughout his teachings around 30AD. (The Jewish community did not affirm the Apocrypha as God's Word for a number of reasons [errors historical and geographic, and religious fiction], and were only declared as part of the Catholic bible by the Roman Catholic Church in 1546 at the Council of Trent as part of the Counter Reformation against Luther and the reformers). The second half of the canon, the New Testament, was penned by Christ's Apostles themselves and other 1st and 2nd hand witnesses inspired by the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ promised them would reveal additional truth (John 16:13-14). It consists of Jesus life and ministry (Gospels), a history of the Apostles acts in establishing the church (Acts), letters from the Apostles to the newly planted churches as they struggled with various issues (Epistles), and the final revelation about the end to close the canon by the last living Apostle (John's Apocalypse). As the early church was persecuted, only the inspired texts worth dying for weren't surrendered to the fires of Rome's imperial police. First century Christians later collected the texts and lists of “canonical” authors were recognized. Amazingly, despite over 300 years of isolation the texts officially canonized (397AD council of Carthage) by the churches of the western Mediterranean world virtually matched those accepted into the Syriac Bible (only the final books of 2 Peter, 2&3 John, Jude, and Revelation weren't included probably due to the churches early date of separation) by the churches to the east. Thus, it is clear that all believers everywhere recognized God's revealed word as sufficient to answer their questions.
Just as all the Jewish (Deuteronomy 6:6) and then early Christian believers (Philippians 1:1) found the Word of God understandable and crucial to their daily lives, so too should all current believers recognize its clarity and engage with God's Word. It is true that modern readers experience some distance from God's recorded word in context of language, history, and culture, but the primary reasons people have misunderstood the scriptures is due to the noetic effects of sin (1 Corinthians 2:14). Unbelievers sincerely seeking salvation and believers seeking God's aid in understanding experience illumination (Luke 24:45) when the Holy Spirit overcomes the effects of sin. Even though scripture in itself is written clearly, well meaning believers over the centuries have wrestled (Acts 15:7) with properly interpreting them and applying them to their daily life (excluding false teachers who twist scriptures to their own destruction [2 Peter 3:15-16]). Sadly, most of these disagreements (which have spawned various denominations over the years) indirectly attest to the scriptures clarity, since more often than not they contend with what Scripture doesn't say as opposed to what it does say. However, due to the overwhelming clarity of God's Word as it attests to its own essentials, only the distinction that God's Word is infallible (accurate regarding matters of faith and practice, but possibly erroneous in other areas such as historical or scientific details) is acceptable to true believers regarding the dogma of Bibliology. Even so, it is still far more logical to side with the one knows everything about everything with absolute certainty and chose to convey to us some true facts about the universe than trust in information that could be debunked since we can't know anything with absolute certainty because we don't everything about everything through all time.
Brett Yardley: Warrior for Christ. Devoted Husband. Proud Father. Martial Artist. Hopeful Philosopher & Theologian. Aspiring Teacher & Writer.