The Perfections of Scripture – Pt. 3 | Excellency

Tom Pennington |

August 11, 2021


We all have multiple copies of the Bible. You probably have it on your phone or tablet, or maybe you have a hard copy right in front of you. You most likely have several Bibles in multiple locations as do I. But I want you to truly consider this question with me: Do you really believe, deep in your soul, that no other resource in the world can give you what the Bible can give you?

Sadly, many Christians don’t truly believe that. They don’t read their Bibles, and when they have a choice, they often choose something else. In Psalm 19, David calls his readers to choose the power of Scripture above all else. 

In verse 7 he writes, “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul.” Notice, first, David calls Scripture the law. The Hebrew word is torah which simply means teaching or instruction, and is essentially a comprehensive term for God’s revealed will. This word torah was used of the Mosaic Law that was given to the people of Israel at Sinai. It is used as a title for the first five books of the Old Testament. In Luke 24:44, referring to the entire Old Testament, Jesus calls it the “Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms.” It’s also used—and I think this is David’s point in Psalm 19—of the inspired Word of God that is available at any point in biblical history. 

David goes on to say in verse 7, “The law of the LORD is perfect.” The Hebrew word for perfect is used in the Old Testament of animals offered in sacrifices. In particular, it denoted animals that were without blemish and free from defect. When this Hebrew word is used of human beings, it describes someone who is without moral defect and blameless. It doesn’t mean they’re perfect, but they have no obvious defect or flaw. In Psalm 19, when it’s used of Scripture, David means that Scripture is complete, without error, and flawless. Just as sacrificial animals had to be without defect, so is the Word of God. 

Charles Bridges captures this when he writes, “Its promises are without a shadow of change or unfaithfulness. Its precepts reflect the holy image of their Divine Author. In a word, it contains truth without mixture of error for its matter.”[1]

[1] Exposition of Psalm 119