Sermon: What Did Jesus Believe About the Bible? Matthew 5:17–18 -- By: Daniel L. Akin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 05:2 (Summer 2001)
Article: Sermon: What Did Jesus Believe About the Bible? Matthew 5:17–18
Author: Daniel L. Akin


Sermon: What Did Jesus Believe About the Bible?
Matthew 5:17–18

Daniel L. Akin

Daniel L. Akin is Vice President and Dean and professor of preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Akin has served as Dean since 1996 and has also served on the faculty of Southeastern Seminary and Criswell College. He has an extensive speaking ministry, especially on the topic of marriage and family, and is the author of the commentary on 1-3 John in the New American Commentary series.

Introduction

On June 14, 2000 Southern Baptists met in Orlando, Florida for their annual meeting. The most important issue on the agenda was the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. While the 1925 and 1963 confessions had served us well, many believed certain theological currents and trends made it wise to reconsider, and where necessary, revise the 1963 statement. Article I addresses the Scriptures. The following is the statement that the convention overwhelmingly adopted.

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.1

This is a fine statement, rooted both in Scripture and the language of historic Baptist confessions. However, from its initial presentation this statement ignited a firestorm of protests among a segment of our denomination. In particular they decried 2 points: (1) Instead of saying the Bible “is the record of God’s revelation” as did the 1963 statement, the 2000 statement affirmed that “the Bible is God’s revelation …”; (2) Instead of saying “the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ,” as did the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message, the 2000 statement affirms “All scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” Both revisions were viewed by its authors and the convention as a safeguard against neo-orthodox manipulation of the 1963 statement, which manifested itself in two ways: (1) in claiming that only some of the Bible is God’s revelation, and (2) in saying that the teachings of Jesus recorded in Scripture at times should, and even must, be set in opposition to other biblical te...

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