In an article on inspiration, Girardeau incidentally makes this argument.
Our Saviour expressly acknowledged the divine authority and consequently the divine inspiration of the several books of the Jewish canon.
In the first place, he did this by his compendious distribution of the Old Testament Scriptures into the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms, in accordance with the accepted classification at the time when he spoke. “And he said unto them [his disciples assembled after his resurrection], These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44.)
In the second place, he did the same by his reference to the Scriptures of the Old Testament in general.
Again and again he used the words with the solemnity of formulas, “It is written,” “Thus it is written.”
In his unanswerable argument with the Pharisees in proof of his divine commission, his last point was an appeal to the Scriptures. “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39.)
In his conversation with the disciples going to Emmaeus he invoked the testimony of all the Scriptures to himself, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27. See also Matt 26:54, 56.)
He adduced the law and the prophets to silence the derision with which the Pharisees treated his claims, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:16, 17). Here it is evident that our Lord first uses the term law specifically as a member of the usual classification, and then employs it generically as synonymous with the Scriptures. Otherwise, in affirming the immutability of the law specifically considered, he would have implicitly acknowledged the mutability of the prophets. Such a construction of his language the purport of his argument excludes. He asserts the unchanging perpetuity of the Scriptures in their minutest particulars. It merits especial notice just here that the very same thing is solemnly declared by the Lord Jesus of his own words, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” (Luke 21:33.) As the New Testament consists principally of reports, expositions, inferential amplifications and historical developments of his words, nay, is his Word communicated by inspiration to the sacred writers, it, according to the declaration of Christ, possesses with the Old Testament the unchangeableness of God’s veracity. Jesus affirms the immutable authority of the whole Scripture, Old and New, because it is the inspired Word of God.
In the third place, the same thing is proved by the use which our Saviour made of particular books in the Old Testament Scriptures.
In his argument with the Pharisees touching divorce he appeals to Genesis. [Quotation here of Mark 10:6-8; Gen 1:27; Gen 2:24.] He also cites the narrative in Genesis of the flood. (Matt 24:37-39.)
In his Sermon on the Mount, he expounded the ten commandments, the record of which is in Exodus. Of the moral law, and of the prophets, he affirms immutable authority, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matt 5:17.) … In his argument with the Sadducees concerning the resurrection fo the dead, which, in the judgment of the Pharisees, had silenced his opponents, he cited the words of the same book as of conclusive authority. (Ex 3:6, 15, 16.)
Our Lord, as a man, conformed himself to the requirements of the ritual law contained in Leviticus and Numbers. Sufficient importance has, perhaps, not been attached to this fact as evincing his acceptance of the inspired authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. But it must be specially noted that he expressly quotes Leviticus (Matt 15:4, Lev 20:9).
In the progress of his temptation by the devil in the desert, he employed the words of the Book of Deuteronomy as a complete answer to the insidious suggestions of the great adversary. (Deut 8:3; 6:13; 10:20.) There are, besides, other references which he makes to the same book.
It has thus been pointed out that our Lord endorsed the belief of the Jews in the inspired authority of the Pentateuch.
Refuting the charge of the Pharisees that his disciples had violated the Sabbath by plucking corn on that day, he cited the act of David, approved by the high priest, as recorded in 1 Samuel, “Have ye not read what David did?” (Matt 12:3); and in Matt 23:35, he virtually attests the inspired accuracy of all the historical books which narrated events from the death of Abel to that of Zacharias, the son of Bacharias. These books are charged with serious errors by the higher critics. The contrast of judgment is conspicuous.
In Matt 13:35 he expressly quotes David as a prophet, in Matt 21:16 he cites Psalm 8, and in Matt 21:42 he uses the words of Psa 118. It was previously shown that he employed the very words of Psa 82 and Psa 110 to clench his arguments, and now attention is called to the impressive fact that on the cross he used words from Psa 22 in making the most affecting appeal to God that was ever uttered, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” — “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He also in his dying agonies exclaimed, “I thirst,” and tasted the vinegar offered him, in fulfilment of the prediction in Psa 69, “And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
In the rebuke administered at the temple to the Pharisees and Sadducees for their profanation of tha sacred edifice, he cited the words of Isaiah, with his usual formula, It is written, “Mine house shall be called an house of prayer.” (Matt 16:13; Isa 56:7.) He took for the text of his memorable sermon at Nazareth the words of Isaiah, in which his anointing for his preaching office is so beautifully and sublimely portrayed, and in regard to which he said, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:16-21; Isa 61:1, 2.) In Matt 13:14 and 15:7, 8, he quotes the prophecy of Isaiah.
It is more than probable that in the words reported in Matt 15:24, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” he cited, or at least referred to Ezekiel 34.
In his discourses to his disciples concerning the last things, he quotes Daniel as an inspired prophet, whose prediction in regard to the temple at Jerusalem would certainly be fulfilled, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place.” (Matt 24:15.)
He twice quoted the prophet Hosea. (Matt 12:7 and Hosea 6:6.)
He assigned to the prophet Jonah a singular eminence as the only sign that would be given to the contemporary generation who denied his divine commission as the Messiah, and by the extraordinary significance which he attributed to him as a type of his own death and resurrection, stamped his approval of a narrative which has furnished occasion for cheap ridicule of blasphemous witlings. (Matt 12:39, 40; 16:4.)
He recognised the inspired authority of the prophet Malachi in his prediction touching the coming of Elijah. (Matt 17:10-12; Mal 4:5-6.)
It has thus with some care been proved that our adorable Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ authoritatively confirmed the belief of the Jews in the inspiration of their canonical books. It may be said that the enumeration is not complete – that the are Old Testament writers to whom he did not specifically refer. It is sufficient to reply that his endorsement of those enumerated guaranteed that of all, since were the others not of inspired authority, and therefore not entitled to a place in the canon, he would, as the true and faithful Teacher of his church, have admonished her of the fact, and put her on her guard against false pretenders to inspiration. But, further, it has been proved that he confirmed the classification by the Jewish church of her canonical books, grouped all the Scriptures into unity under the compendious designation of the Scripture, and under the title of the Scriptures set his seal upon all her sacred, authoritative writings.
The argument might properly be arrested at this point. The authority of Jesus Christ, the revealer of God’s will, the great Prophet of the church, the very source of all inspiration, ought to be decisive with those who revere his name. But the testimony of the New Testament writers, partaking as they did of the same inspiring Spirit with their Master (Acts 1:2, 5), will also be briefly adduced.
[Article continues, in detail.]
[Witlings is a new one on me.]
[It’s late on Saturday night so I haven’t spent much time checking for typos – esp in translating the chapter numbers out of roman numerals, which takes me much more effort than it really should.]