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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: The Final Word *
Introduction: How accurate is the Bible? Can we, as some group of so-called Bible scholars have done, go through the Gospels and decide
what is true and what is not? When we read the fantastic stories of
the Old Testament, can write them off as metaphors and illustrations
intended for a primitive people? Are these stories not to be
believed by sophisticated people like us? What is the logical result
of deciding that we have the authority to accept or reject sections
of the Bible as we see fit? Let's jump into our Bible study this
week and see what we can learn about these questions!
- Bible Authority
- Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17. What authority does Paul tell
Timothy is contained in the Bible? (He says the Bible is
- What is the benefit of Bible study? (It will make us
wise and teach us about righteousness.)
- Let's consider this "God-breathed" idea. What do we
know about God's breath?(Read 2 Peter 3:5-7. God's
breath, formed into words, has the power to both
create and destroy our world.)
- Read Genesis 2:7. If God's breath both created us and
the universe, and has the power to destroy us and the
universe, how seriously should we take the power of
- Read John 1:1. Who is this "Word" of God? ( John 1:14
explains that this is Jesus, who became human and lived
- The fact that Jesus is called the "Word" suggests
what about His power and authority?
- What does it suggest about the accuracy of what
Jesus said while here on earth?
- Read Mark 10:6. What is Jesus' view of the literal
Creation account as opposed to the evolutionary theory?
(Jesus says God created men and women, and He did so "at
the beginning of creation." This is in contrast to
evolution which has humans coming at the end of the
- Read Matthew 24:37-41. What is Jesus' view of a literal
flood? (Jesus not only refers to a literal flood, He uses
it to illustrate a literal Second Coming and a literal
judgment! Talk about blowing a huge hole in the theories
of the metaphor crowd - who are as uncertain about a final
judgment as they are about a literal flood.)
- Read Matthew 12:39-40. What is Jesus' view of that
"obviously impossible" fish swallowing a guy story? (Jesus
indicates it is literally true because He says that in the
future He will be in the grave three days.)
- If Jesus, the Word of God, both believed and taught a
literal creation, a literal flood, and a literal Jonah and
the fish story, where does that leave those "scholars" who
believe none of this was literal? (It leaves them without
the power of God. It leaves them with their own power.)
- What about you? If you believe in Jesus, will you take the
Bible accounts literally?
- If the Bible is "God-breathed," and God's word can
create and destroy this world and everything in it,
what authority and power to you bring to the table to
say that some of God's word is not true or
- What Constitutes the Authoritative Bible?
- Read 2 Peter 3:14-16. How does Peter say that Paul wrote
his letters? (With the wisdom of God.)
- How does Peter characterize Paul's letters? (As
- Are Paul's letters on the same level with the
Old Testament? (Yes. Two things. First, Peter
refers to "other Scriptures," thus ranking
Paul's writings with other sections of the
Bible. Second, A Commentary, Critical and
Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments,
points out that in the 50 places this term
appears, it always refers to the Old or New
- What is the danger of misunderstanding Paul's
writings? (Understanding Scripture properly is
important to having eternal life.)
- Who decides what inspired letters (like Paul's) or other
statements of prophets become part of the Bible? Should
the Bible be considered the same as, or superior to, the
visions, statements and dreams of those prophets whose
writings are not part of the Bible? (These questions are
just to get you thinking. The historical/theological
answer to this question is beyond the scope of this short
study. However, we turn next to the beginning of this kind
- Prophets and The Bible
- Joel 2:28-29. What is the source of the prophesies, dreams
and visions of these people? (The Holy Spirit.)
- How do these things compare with the writings of
Paul? Is there a difference between what is accepted
as "Scripture," and the inspiration of the Holy
Spirit today (or a hundred or five hundred years
- Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21. Would you test the Bible?
(If we accept the Bible as God's word, according to our
prior discussion, we have no authority to "test" it.)
- How does this text say we should approach
prophecy? What does it mean to "test" a
prophecy? (The first statement is that we should
approach what may be prophecy seriously. We
should then "test," it in some unspecified way.
After we test it, we hold onto what is good.)
- Read 1 John 4:1-3. What test of prophecy do we find here?
(Whether "the spirit" acknowledges Jesus.)
- Read Deuteronomy 13:1-3. What is the test stated in this
Old Testament text? Is it whether the prophet is
accurate? (No. It is whether the prophet leads you towards
or away from God. This seems to be the same test as we
read in 1 John 4:1-3.)
- Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22. What test of prophecy is given
here? (Whether the prophecy comes true.)
- Does this contradict Deuteronomy 13:1-3? (This adds a
second part to the test. A true prophet will always
lead us to God and will, when giving a message about
the future, always be right.)
- Are you comfortable with the idea that you accept the
Bible as without error, but you are required to test
- If you fully accept an "outside the Bible prophet,"
are the words of that prophet as binding as
Scripture? (This is a topic about which we will study
more this quarter.)
- Conflict Between the Testaments?
- Read Exodus 21:23-25, Leviticus 24:19-20 and Deuteronomy
19:16-21. What would you conclude is the Biblical standard
to be applied to anyone who harms you?
- Read Matthew 5:38. This is Jesus speaking. Where are the
people likely to have heard an "eye for an eye, and a
tooth for a tooth?" (They would have likely read it in the
- Let's read on. Read Matthew 5:39-42. How can you explain
this apparent conflict between Jesus and the Old
Testament? How can both be true?
- If Jesus contradicts the Old Testament, doesn't that
ruin everything we have learned so far - that the
Bible is inspired by God and without error?
- Read Leviticus 19:18. How can you reconcile this with
Leviticus 24:19-20? (This is where we are called to
be students of the Bible. If you study the context of
Exodus 21:23-25, Leviticus 24:19-20 and Deuteronomy
19:16-21, you will see that these are all
instructions for judges and community leaders in
making judgments on cases before them. The common
teaching of the Bible is that when it comes to
personal offenses, we are not to seek revenge. But,
when it comes to the state (or community) deciding on
criminal matters, then "payback" is God's standard.)
- Friend, the Bible has power for your life! Will you commit
to studying your Bible? As we progress through this series
of studies, we will look in more detail at the issues we
have begun to explore.
- Next week: Bible Prophecy Fulfilled.
* Copr. 2007, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.