The Accuracy of the Bible

By Dr. Jack Graham

The third testimony from Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 says this: “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (verse 19). In other words, Jesus’ expectation of His followers is that we would honor the accuracy and importance of every single commandment offered in Scripture, and that we would teach others to do the same.

In our culture today, great weight is placed on the “biggest and the best.” Some is good, more is better, all is best. The smaller something is, the less significance it carries—in our carnal eyes, at least. The bigger it is, the more important it must be. The biggest car, the biggest house, the biggest following, the biggest resume, the biggest bank account—the biggest people are the ones more worthy of our attention and admiration.

But this is the exact opposite of Jesus’ position in Matthew 5.

According to Jesus Christ, nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus believed that the Scriptures are accurate, not just in the broad stroke of history, but down to the minutest detail—things like the tenses of verbs and whether a noun is singular or plural. Both in ancient times and still today, it’s Jesus’ example that Bible students follow when they learn to study the Bible in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages. Precise grammatical form was used to write the Bible, and it’s critical that those who want to learn from Scripture learn Scripture as it was originally written.

There are many other evidences of Jesus’ confidence in the accuracy of Scripture. For example:

  • He believed Adam and Eve were literal people (Matthew 19:4).
  • He believed the story of Jonah and the great fish was a literal occurrence (Matthew 12:40).
  • He believed that Daniel the prophet wrote the book of Daniel (Matthew 24:45).
  • He believed that Noah, the ark, and the flood happened just as Genesis says it did (Matthew 24:37–38).
  • He believe that Sodom [and Gomorrah] were literal cities that were buried under fire and brimstone from heaven (Luke 17:29).

Why was Jesus confident appealing to things such as grammar and biblical history to convey truth? Because He knew that the tenses of verbs and the numbers of nouns and the records of history in the Bible were inspired by God. He knew that God is in the details as much as He is in the broad brushstrokes of life.

You and I have a choice to make, based on three options that exist: We will choose to believe that there are errors in the Bible of which Jesus was unaware, which would mean that He wasn’t all-knowing in the end; we will choose to believe that there are errors in the Bible—stories, fables and legends that Jesus did know about but didn’t bother to tell us about, which would make His testimony one plagued with dishonesty; or we will choose to believe that the Bible indeed is the Word of God and that it is 100-percent accurate, without any mixture of error, just as Jesus testified. May you and I wisely choose the third option, every day of our lives.

Dr. Jack Graham serves as Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and most dynamic churches in the country.