The answer to this question is really quite simple. The New Testament is true and accurate because it is God-breathed!
That certainly is a simple answer, but what does it mean?
This term comes from Paul’s second letter to Timothy:
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…
And let’s always remember why it was given:
2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
When Paul wrote that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” he spoke only of the Hebrew Scriptures. Most of the New Testament Scriptures had not been written at that time. And what had been written (some of Paul’s letters and perhaps Acts) had not been gathered together as Holy Scripture.
So is the New Testament also “God-breathed?”
First, understand that “God-breathed” explains that the New Testament writers’ words were not simply from their own minds. The words penned could not have been simply from recollection because the things they had seen and heard took place more than 25 years prior. So how could they have remembered the details so well? It’s because God gave them (and all His children) a Helper to remember. Jesus promised this:
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This verse, John 14:26, is self-proving because John wrote his Gospel account circa 85-90 AD; He would have been a very elderly man then. So how did he remember the words of Jesus? Just as Jesus said. The Holy Spirit brought them to his mind.
Sent by God
John 14:26 tells us that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, but so also did Jesus, who is God, send Him:
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of me
And again, it is the Holy Spirit who brought the words and works of Jesus to the minds of the disciples — and does so for us also:
John 15:27 And you [the disciples] also shall bear witness [by the teaching and power of the Holy Spirit]…
Inspired by God
All of the New Testament writers had a “ghostwriter,” that is, the Holy Ghost-writer. He is, was, and always will be the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). Significantly, the Spirit of Truth brought to their minds all they needed to remember to write an accurate account. And He also inspired them to put pen to paper (actually, to put pen to parchment)!
So technically, we don’t have the New Testament because of faithful men. We have it because a loving and gracious God was faithful to inspire and empower faithful men to remember and to write everything we need to know. And God also promised to preserve His words; and is faithful to do so.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.
We can trust that the Bible is the true, trustworthy, and preserved Word of God!
Martin Luther said, “It wasn’t the writer [the human writer], it was the wrote [what was written and preserved].
By that, Luther was saying it’s not the writer’s recollection in which we put our trust. Nor is it the writer’s work of recording the messages and events. We put our trust in God– all three Persons of the Trinity — who gave us the written Word. The Father and the Son gave it through inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
So we thank God for His Word and His preservation of it. And yet, we should also thank God for the faithful men who wrote. They were chosen and prepared by God to pen all that we need to know about who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for us, and how we can come to faith in Him, be forgiven and saved, receive eternal life, and live by faith in and for Him.
If you want to dive deeper into this, read our explanation of how the Gospel writers could remember all the words Jesus spoke.
Read about how the Gospel writers Remembered all the words Jesus spoke and what is a better answer than 2 Timothy 3:16 for the Bible being God’s Word.
About the Bible
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- Bible Versions or Translations?
- Has God Preserved His Word? (video)
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- God At Word In Us
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- The Oracles Of God
- How Can We Be Certain the Bible was Inspired by God?
- What are the Mysteries in the Bible?
- How Did the Gospel Writers Remember all the Words Jesus Spoke?
- How Can We be Certain the New Testament is True and Accurate?
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