The Uniqueness of Scripture

One of the attributes of Scripture that we might not think about so much is the fact that it is completely unique.  Scripture is the only clear, sufficient, necessary, authoritative, and perfect source of saving knowledge of our Triune God (Ps. 12:6, 2 Pet. 1:21, John 10:35, Rom. 3:4, 2 Tim. 3:15-17, etc.).  John Murray stated this well in a lecture he gave to an Inter-Varsity Fellowship group in 1960:

“Apart from the Scriptures and the knowledge derived from them, we today would be in complete darkness respecting the content of our Christian faith.  We must not deceive ourselves as to the darkness and confusion that would be ours if there were no Bible.  We depend upon the message of Scripture for every tenet of our faith, for every ray of redemptive light that illumines our minds, and for every ray of hope against the issues of time and eternity.  Christianity for us today without the Bible is something inconceivable.”

“…Scripture is unique, not because it takes the place of God, nor the place of Christ, but because of its relationship to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.  It is unique because it is the only way whereby we come into relationship to God in the redemptive revelation of his grace, and the only way whereby Christ in the uniqueness that belongs to him as the Son of God incarnate, as the crucified, risen, and ascended Redeemer, comes within the orbit of our knowledge, faith, experience, and hope.  We have no encounter with God, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit in terms of saving and redeeming grace apart from Scripture.  It is the only revelation to us of God’s redemptive will.  That is its uniqueness.”

This is one of the main reasons why the apostle Paul told Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture (1 Tim. 4:13) – writings which are able to make a person wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15).  In fact, all Scripture, Paul said, is not only breathed out by God, but profitable for teaching, rebuke, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).  And not only does faith come by hearing the word (Rom. 10:17), the word is also able to build up and sustain that faith (Acts 20:32).  Scripture is for sure unique, so we cherish it, believe it, and do what it says as God’s word to us.

John Murray, “The Infallibility of Scripture” in Thy Word is Still Truth, p. 967ff, and The Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 1.

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

3 Replies to “The Uniqueness of Scripture”

  1. The correct page numbers for the citations in the two works referenced above are as follows:

    John Murray, “The Infallibility of Scripture,” The Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 1, The Claims of Truth (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1976), pp. 11, and 12; and as reprinted in Thy Word Is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today, eds. Peter A. Lillback and Richard B. Gaffin (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Co., 2013), pg. 969.


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