Well, I am glad you asked me what it means that the Bible is authoritative. For me to best answer that question we have to look at its root. What does it mean for anything in our lives to be authoritative? Dictionary.com states it this way “having due authority; having the sanction or weight of authority: an authoritative opinion.” To my simple understanding I accept the Bible as authoritative because it has something to say on every aspect of my life, no matter if it is dealing with my children, loving my wife, being a good steward, it literally covers everything. On the matter of the authority of Scripture, Mark Driscoll states it best in his book Doctrine, “Nothing judges Scripture. It judges everything else. As followers of Jesus, we take the stance he did and receive the Bible alone as infallible, inerrant truth from God with full authority in our lives.” (Driscoll and Breshears 2010,67)
Authority can only come from two places, it can be bestowed (given by someone) or its inherent (comes from within). According to the Baker EDT “ Because the Bible points beyond itself to God, it has conferred authority. Yet the Bible has a real authority in itself as the authentic embodiment of God’s self-disclosure.” (Elwell 1984,2001, 153) In knowing that the Bible points to God and is the disclosure of himself, it assures me that Scripture is the primary way I can get to know Him. One of the most common references to prove this point is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which reads, “ All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  Inspiration is one thing that we cannot take lightly, because if we take the inspiration of the Bible lightly then we lie to ourselves and allow the outside chance that somewhere in human history Jehovah made a mistake. Mark Driscoll says it like this “The affirmation of the truthfulness of the Bible is inextricably tied the character of God himself. God is a truthful God who does not lie. Therefore, because God is ultimately the author of Scripture, it is perfect, unlike every other uninspired writing or utterance.” (Driscoll and Breshears 2010, 58)
I personally like to follow the biblical view of inerrancy, which basically says that the greatest belief in an infallible Bible can be found in the testimony of Scripture itself. I think I have already established a pretty strong case for the Bible being given to us by God himself. In reference to the very word of God, Jesus tells us in Matt 5:17-20 that not an iota will pass away before the Law is fulfilled (my paraphrase). One of the weaker arguments is the Epistemological argument, basically says that it must be beyond doubt and question or its just is not good enough. For me the slippery slope argument is a little bit stronger because I can reference people I have watched disavow the inerrancy of Scripture and then everything else slowly became corrupted.
One of the most common objections to the Biblical Argument is that nowhere in Scripture does it say that the Bible is inerrant. Bakers EDT tells us, “While it is true that no verse says explicitly that Scripture is inerrant, biblical inerrancy is implied by or follows from a number of things the Bible does teach explicitly.” (Elwell 1984,2001, 159) Also, some may object saying that the bible was written by men. And to them I would have to answer was it not given to these men from God first. Please do not emphasize only the human without giving proper credit to God for the largest best-seller of all time.
In knowing that the Bible is my highest authority, that was inspired by God (2 Tim3:16-17), and produced without any error, I shall live my life according to its words and wisdom to bring more glory to God. I can trust this book more than I can trust my own mind which can lead me astray, his word will never guide me in the wrong direction.
It’s been a pleasure talking with you, and if you have anymore questions please feel free to give me a call.
Driscoll, Mark, and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.
Elwell, Water A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids,MI: BakerAcademic, 1984,2001.
 authoritative. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/authoritative (accessed: September 04, 2010).