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Truth Column

The perimeter of “all truth”

The Bible is complete

At times, an OT quote may have been taken to illustrate, or develop into, a totally new teaching in the NT. One example is the teaching of “an eye for an eye” as it seems that “loving your enemy” has replaced it (Mt. 5:38). Can this be the principle for God to disclose His truth more and more as each generation passes?

Every teaching of the Bible, be it in the OT or the NT, has its relevant application. The “an eye for an eye” rule, likewise, was given on the ground of civility (Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21). Since it is a civil law, a violation of it on the part of a person would be recompensed with a punishment equal to the degree of damage inflicted upon the sufferer. These verses focus on those who are in authority with an obligation to look after the welfare of the people. At the same time, for the people of God, it serves as a deterrent from infringing on the rights of their fellow countrymen to live in peace.

In the NT, Jesus shifts the focus to the sufferers themselves, who must show great strength in their faith to love their enemies. In fact, this has been the spirit of the OT Scriptures (Lev 19:18), which is part of the moral law. This practice of Jesus is done to foster the ultimate context of the Bible and make it complete.

If we have the complete Bible, it must mean that it contains the “all truth”. Is there any proof that the Bible we have is complete? There are two similar internal pieces of evidence, i.e. the two main purposes of the Bible. First, the Holy Scriptures (in this case the OT), which were given by inspiration are to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15f). Second, through the Scriptures (the OT) we might have hope (Rm. 15:5b), which is Jesus Himself (Col. 1:27).

The Scriptures (the OT) were written for believers from the apostolic times and today (Rm. 15:4). The Bible is consistent. These purposes are found in the core messages of Jesus (cf. Jn. 5:39f-40) and the apostles in great length and magnitude in the NT. Unless we can prove that what the Bible has provided is insufficient to make us wise to receive salvation and have hope in Jesus, we are required to faithfully hold onto its “all truth”.

The Spirit does not, and will not, reveal any teaching that is not found in the Bible. What He does today is to lead us into a greater and fuller understanding and realisation of the “all truth”. It is not the disclosure of more truth in addition to the already revealed truth, but rather it is the further unfolding of the meanings connoted to the “all truth”.

[To be continued...]

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