The following is an excerpt about the Bible from Martin Luther's perspective and understanding of God's Holy Word.
THE BIBLE is the inspired and unerring record of what God has revealed to men concerning Himself and the Way of Salvation 1. Hence, if we ask, “What must I do to be saved?” the answer to our question must be sought in the Bible. It tells us what to believe and what to do in order that we may belong to God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven 2. It is the only rule and standard of Christian faith and life.
WHY NEEDED. Even without the Bible, men know that there is a Higher Being. Their own conscience tells them that there is a God who will punish them if they do wrong; 3 and the works of nature proclaim that there is an Almighty Being who created them. 4 But the knowledge of God which men gain from their own conscience and from nature is insufficient. Neither nature nor conscience can tell us anything about the Way of Salvation which God has prepared for us in Jesus Christ. It is only from the Bible that we can learn how we shall be saved.
ITS INSPIRATION. The Bible is the Word of God. It was written by holy men whom God inspired. 5 It contains knowledge which no man could have discovered by his own power. It foretells events which no uninspired man could have foreseen. It contains teachings so exalted and holy that they could not have originated in the heart of man. It possesses a power such as no merely human book ever did or could possess. 6
ITS OBJECT is to make us wise unto salvation. 7 It is to be a lamp unto our feet and alight unto our path 8 to guide us safely through this world to our heavenly home. It contains all that we need to know and all that we ever should know in this world concerning God and His will. 9 It is the final and absolute authority in all matters of religion. We should, therefore, pay most earnest heed to its teachings, believe them with our heart, and apply them in our lives.
ITS CONTENTS. It consists of sixty-six “books,” written between the years 1500 B.C. and 100 A.D., and contains the History and Doctrines of the Kingdom of God.
OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT. The Bible consists of two parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament reaches from Creation to about 400 B.C., and shows how God prepared the world for Christ’s Kingdom. The New Testament reaches from the birth of Christ to the end of the world, and shows how Christ came and established His Kingdom.
LAW AND GOSPEL. The Bible contains Law, 10 telling us what we must do, and Gospel, 11 telling us how we are to be saved. The Old Testament contains principally Gospel. But there are Law and Gospel in both. The Gospel in the Old Testament is prophetical. The Old Testament prepared the way for the New; the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old. With the New Testament, God’s revelation to men was completed; 12 no further revelation will be given.
1 II Tim. 3:16, Gal. 1:8; 2 Matt. 6:33, Acts 16:30, John 5:39; 3 Rom. 2:14, 1;, 4 Ps. 19:1; 5 II Pet. 1:21; 6 Heb. 4:12; 7 II Tim. 3:15, Prov. 9:10; 8 Ps. 119:105; 9 Luke 16:31; 10 Micah 6:8; 11 John 3:16; 12 Heb. 1:1,2