The authority of Jesus–and the Bible
For a disciple of Jesus, Jesus is Lord. And the New Testament witness is the primary authority for knowing what this king wants us to do and say. That written witness is connected to the first eye-witnesses, Jesus’ original disciples, who knew and spoke the truth about the Jesus they heard and saw. Jesus’ Spirit inspired and now illumines that witness in order to show us the truth.
If the New Testament is our main authority for knowing about and following Jesus, what about the authority of the rest of the Bible? The Old Testament was especially the authority for the kingdom of Israel, and describes God’s covenant and history with that nation. But now that Jesus has fulfilled that old covenant with a new covenant and new international kingdom, with new commands and blessings, his disciples are not under the authority of the Old Testament.
Thus most of the specific commands of the Old Testament (most of the Bible) are not applicable to disciples of Jesus. Only when Jesus’ teaching affirms a certain command from the Old Testament does it continue to apply to his followers.
Yet many Christians still emphasize the authority of the (whole) Bible as the basis for knowing and doing God’s will. Shouldn’t followers of Jesus, who are above all under the authority of their risen king, focus on the authority of the New Testament?
This is a big issue that begs for further discussion. So let’s discuss this fundamental question of our authority for (Christian) faith and life. What do you say?