Across the globe today, some scholars deny the authority of the Scriptures. They explain away the message of those the Spirit inspired to give us his Word. This is not a new attack on the gospel.
Consider the paragraphs below written by Irenaeus who was born three decades after the Apostle John’s death.
Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. AD 130–200) is believed to be a native of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey). He studied in Rome and later became pastor in Lyons, France. Around AD 177, while Irenaeus was away from Lyons, a fierce persecution of Christians led to the martyrdom of his bishop.
Upon Irenaeus’s return, he became bishop of Lyons. Among his most famous writings is a work condemning heresies, especially Gnosticism. https://www.theopedia.com/gnosticism In opposition, Irenaeus confessed that God has redeemed his creation through the incarnation of the Son. Irenaeus also affirmed the teachings of the Scriptures handed down to and through him as being normative for the Church.
Irenaeus, along with other early Church fathers, affirmed the Scriptures that declare:
• “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
• “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness….” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
The Bible is God’s Word
We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation than from those through whom the gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.…
We allege … against those who do not recognize Paul as an apostle: that they should either reject the other words of the gospel which we have come to know through Luke alone, and not make any use of them, Or else, if they do receive all these, they must necessarily admit also that testimony concerning Paul, when he (Luke) tells us that the Lord spoke at first to [Paul] from heaven: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? I am Jesus Christ, whom you persecute”; and then to Ananias, saying regarding him: “Go your way; for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name among the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him, from this time, how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
To deny is to despise
Those, therefore, who do not accept him [as a teacher] who was chosen by God for this purpose, that he might boldly bear his name, as being sent to the aforementioned nations, despise the election of God and separate themselves from the company of the apostles…
But they are altogether deceived who imagine that they may learn from the scriptural text adduced by heretics, that [doctrine] which their words plausibly teach. For error is plausible and bears a resemblance to the truth but requires to be disguised; while truth is without disguise and, therefore, has been entrusted to children.