Biblical authority

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The term biblical authority refers to the extent to which commandments and doctrines within the Old and New Testament scriptures are authoritative over humans' belief and conduct, as well as the extent to which Biblical propositions are accurate in matters of history and science. The case for biblical authority stems from the claim that God has revealed himself in written form through human authors and that the information contained in canonical books is not of human origin. It entails, but is not exhausted by, questions raised by biblical inerrancy, biblical infallibility, biblical interpretation, biblical criticism, and Biblical law in Christianity.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a debate over biblical authority arose between Jack B. Rogers and Donald K. McKim, on the one hand, and John D. Woodbridge, on the other. Rogers and McKim, in their 1979 book, The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible: An Historical Approach, advanced the view that the Bible has authority over social endeavors (issuing imperatives for conduct, for church organization, and for articles of faith) but isn't necessarily reliable in its reportage of historical events and scientific facts. The belief that Scripture is "inerrant" in matters of history and science, argued Rogers and McKim, constituted a 19th-century innovation. Woodbridge challenged this thesis in his 1982 book Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal,[1] arguing that for each of those categories, God's Word has authority and is without error. Moreover, Woodbridge asserted that this particular view of biblical authority had been the normative, orthodox position throughout the history of Christianity.


  1. ^ Woodbridge, John D. (1982). Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. ISBN 9780310447511. Retrieved 2017-12-04.

See also[edit]

biblical inspiration, biblical inerrancy, biblical interpretation, biblical infallibility, biblical criticism
Clarity of scripture, Sola scriptura

External links[edit]