Some modern Christians believe the Old Testament (OT) was simply the word of man and is fallible. However, Jesus Christ Himself believed the OT to be the infallible word of God. Below, we will use scriptural quotations followed by comments to show why this is true:
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:45-47)
The revelation God gave Moses is inseparable from the revelation God was giving through Jesus.
“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” (Luke 16:31)
If someone doesn’t listen to Moses and the Prophets – the entire OT – then nothing will convince them.
“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'” (Luke 16:29)
Need to pay attention to the OT, since it’s part of the word of God.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
Jesus regarded the OT as accurate and reliable down to the smallest detail. Jesus taught that fidelity to the OT witness determines a person’s stature in the kingdom, obviously infallible.
“But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.” (Luke 16:17 NLT)
The new covenant fulfilled the OT law and prophets, the OT is still useful and important. It’s still God’s word for us today.
“And he continued, ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.'” (Mark 7:9-10)
The OT, Jesus said, is from God. God is infallible. Therefore the OT is infallible.
“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.'” (Luke 18:31-33)
Jesus said everything written about himself through the prophets will be fulfilled. The OT must be God’s word.
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.'” (Luke 24:44-46)
“If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside-” (John 10:35)
“Scripture cannot be set aside.” Jesus testified to the complete authority, reliability and therefore infallibility of the OT.
“Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.'” (Matthew 22:29)
Jesus used the OT to correct false doctrine, indicating OT scripture is an important source of doctrinal authority.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
When Jesus said “your word is truth,” what was he referring to? The OT is included.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40)
Jesus affirmed that the book of Jonah was truthful, part of the OT.
“because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.” (Mark 13:19)
Jesus confirmed the Genesis creation account, part of the OT.
“from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.” (Luke 11:51; see also Matthew 23:35)
Jesus referred to the OT as factual, infallible by mentioning all the martyrs, from Genesis, first book and first martyr to Zechariah, last book, last martyr.
“But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32)
“Have you not read what God said to you?” Jesus said regarding the OT as the word of God.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. ” (Matthew 24:37-39; see also Luke 17:26-27)
Jesus regarded the Genesis flood as truth, the word of God.
“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:28-29)
Jesus also regarded the destruction of Sodom as factual, the word of God.
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’'” (Matthew 4:4) “Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’'” (Matthew 4:7) “Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’'” (Matthew 4:10)
“and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.'” (Luke 4:17-19)
Regards Isaiah as God’s word.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'” (Matthew 5:21) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.'” (Matthew 5:27)
Viewed Exodus as factual (20:13-14; 21:23-25), the word of God.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.'” (Matthew 5:33)
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)
Quotes Hosea 6:6, the word of God.
“For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—” (Matthew 10:35)
Regards Micah as truthful (7:6), the word of God.
“This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'” (Matthew 11:10)
Applies Malachi 3:1, the word of God.
“‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?'” (Matthew 21:16) ” Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?'” (Matthew 21:42)
Regards Psalms as truthful (8:3; 118:22), as the word of God.
“‘It is written,’ he said to them, ”My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:13)
Quotes Jeremiah 7:11 as the word of God.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— ” (Matthew 24:15)
Views Daniel as genuine and prophetic (9:27; 11:31), as the word of God.