Answered by: BibleAsk Team

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Shouldn’t we accept the mastery of bishops as infallible?

The Infallible Word of God

Some ask: shouldn’t we accept the mastery of bishops as infallible and of equal weight with Scripture? The Bible speaks of only one infallible guide left by God for His church. It is His written Word and not an infallible human being. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The Scripture is the very thought of God communicated to men.

God has given the Holy Spirit to guide holy men in the writing of those Scriptures. The apostle Peter wrote, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

And the Lord has also given His Holy Spirit to guide the members of His church to the correct interpretation of His word. Jesus promised, “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come“( John 16:13).

A Warning

The Lord warned the believers that there would be false teachers and bishops who would twist God’s Word (2 Peter 3:16) and that these false leaders would arise from within the churches (Acts 20:30). Paul warned of apostatizing influences coming from within the church, like Demas (2 Timothy 4:10), and Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17), whose words ate “as doth a canker,” and who overthrew “the faith of some.”

Therefore, the believers are to turn to God and His infallible “word of His grace” for their guidance (Acts 20:32), determining the truth not by who said it, but by comparing it with the gospel already received by the early church. The Lord instructed “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

Paul added that the test should be the infallible gospel of truth and certainly not the authority of bishops or even angels, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9; Acts 17:11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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