For Jesus the words of Exodus were not simply a record of what God said to his people in the past, but a word that God was continuing to speak to people who were living 1,500 years later. And although the Sadducees evidently either didn’t understand or didn’t believe the words that they read, God had spoken to them nonetheless, and Jesus holds them accountable for the message that they had received from their Creator.
When we open our Bibles, who is speaking to us through the words that we read? Is it God himself, or do we just have the thoughts of people like us who lived a long time ago? Could it be, as Muslims say, a word that originally came from God but was corrupted by copyists over the centuries? Or should we be even more sophisticated and say that the Bible isn’t God’s word but that it contains God’s word, or that it can become God’s word when he chooses to speak through it?
Well before we go and ask the theologians, let’s pose the question: what did Jesus think about the Bible?
But when I say “the Bible,” I mean Scripture, and you don’t have to spend much time in the gospels to see that Scripture is a big deal to Jesus. What I want to know is, according to Jesus, what is the nature of Scripture? Whether you have five books as Joshua did, thirty-nine books as Jesus did,1 or sixty-six books like we do today, who is (ultimately) the author of the books that you have? Are these merely the thoughts of men, or are we holding the word of God?