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Page 95

The Bible's Qualities

As the one, only, infallible, inspired Word of God, the Bible and only the Bible - has the following four qualities:

1. The Authority of the Bible - The Bible is the absolute and final authority for all matters of faith and practice. The church with its doctrinal standards, rules, and practices only has authority from the Bible. The church does not stand alone nor next to Scripture, but under it.

2. The Necessity of the Bible - The Bible is necessary for salvation. God the Holy Spirit must apply the truths of the Bible within the soul of a person; without this he is lost.

3. The Clearness of the Bible - The Bible is clear and plain in all matters necessary unto salvation.

4. The Sufficiency of the Bible - The Bible provides all things necessary for the moral and spiritual needs of all people. It contains the complete revelation needed for man's salvation.

What qualities of Scripture are illustrated in the following story?

    After the Reformation, a Roman Catholic priest was condemning an Irish farmer for trying to read and understand the Bible on his own. He said, "The Bible is for the church - for the priests to read and understand - not for individual people."

    "I was just reading in Psalm 78 that God commanded fathers to explain His Word to their children," the farmer answered. "This cannot mean only priests because they have no children."

    "Mike, the church will teach you. It has received God's Word and it will give you the milk of the Word," the priest explained.

    "Yes," replied the farmer, "but I would rather keep the cow and milk her myself!"

    What did Mike mean with his final answer?


So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

- Romans 10:17

And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

- 11 Timothy 3:15

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.

- John 5:39

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

- Romans 15:4

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.

- Isaiah 8:20

Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

- Deuteronomy 4:2


How does this story illustrate that the priest was denying, and the farmer was believing, in the four qualities of the Bible?

Has the Roman Catholic Church changed its view toward the private reading of Scripture? Has it changed its four views regarding the Bible's qualities, however, as explained in the chart on the following page?

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