Bibliology

Languages and Your English Bible

Many Christians are wrongly intimidated by the fact that they do not understand the original languages of the Bible. Those supposedly “in the know” make assertions that imply their superior status in understanding of Scripture because of their linguistic skills.

In reality, proper interpretation is more often about maintaining an open mind and avoiding logical fallacies. A believer who knows how to read and think, but doesn’t know the original languages, will be a superior interpreter to one who knows the ancient language but cannot think logically. Some highly educated folks cannot distinguish between correlation and cause, description and prescription, or the difference between partial truths and the whole truth.

The languages can make a difference, but not to the degree that some would imply. Muslims, for example, claim the only way to understand the Koran is to read it in Arabic. Christians, on the other hand, have traditionally not made such a claim. Snobs, by definition, would not make such an admission. Fortunately, most evangelical scholars are not arrogant; they will freely admit that understanding the original languages is helpful (otherwise why learn them?), but not absolutely crucial for every Christian. Read more about Languages and Your English Bible

"The Scriptures"

(About this series)

CHAPTER II “THE SCRIPTURES”

BY REV. A. C. DIXON, D. D., PASTOR OF THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE CHURCH, LONDON, ENGLAND

When our Lord said, “Search the Scriptures,” every Jew to whom He spoke knew what He meant. There were other writings in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, but the Scriptures were a body of writings marked off from all others by their sacredness and authority as the Word of God. Their history can be traced from the time of Moses to Christ. In Exodus 17:14 we read: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua.” As to the writing material Moses used we do not know, but we do know that in Egypt papyrus plant, linen and cotton cloth, the skins of animals and stone were used in making books of various kinds. The Ten Commandments were written on tables of stone, and with Egyptian mummies we have preserved even to this day cotton and linen cloth such as was frequently used for writing.

In Deuteronomy 31:9 we have the historic record of the fact that Moses obeyed the command of God: “And Moses wrote this law and delivered it unto the priests, the sons of Levi, which bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.” And in verse 24: “It came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites which bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God.” The book was finished and placed by the side of the Ark for safe keeping. Read more about "The Scriptures"

Life in the Word

(About this series)

CHAPTER I: LIFE IN THE WORD

BY PHILIP MAURO, ATTORNEY AT LAW, NEW YORK CITY

INTRODUCTION

It must be evident to all who pay close attention to the spiritual conditions of our day that there is being made at this time a very determined and widespread effort to set aside entirely the authority of the Bible. Let us note that one of the unique characteristics of that Book is that it claims the right to control the actions of men. It speaks “as one having authority.” It assumes, and in the most peremptory and uncompromising way, to rebuke men for misconduct, and to tell them what they shall do and what they shall not do. It speaks to men, not as from the human plane, or even from the standpoint of superior human wisdom and morality; but as from a plane far above the highest human level, and as with a wisdom which admits of no question or dispute from men. It demands throughout unqualified submission. Read more about Life in the Word

Do You Agree with Jesus?

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Two of Jesus’ disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus on the first resurrection Sunday, and they were distraught: “Jesus of Nazareth who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God” was dead (ESV, Luke 24:19). They “had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (v. 21), but now he was dead. Their grief touches us even across the years.

A stranger appears and walks besides them and berates them by saying, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken!” (Luke 25:26). And then Luke describes what the stranger, who was Jesus, said to them, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Jesus on the Emmaus road did not add to Scripture. He did not give them a new revelation like what we have from John in the book of Revelation, but rather he explained or interpreted the Scriptures to prove that the Old Testament requires that it be “necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (v. 26).

The disciples’ “hearts burn within” them as he “opened up…the Scripture” (v. 32), but the stranger made no claim to authority. All that he did was interpret the existing Bible for them to convince them that the Old Testament taught the suffering, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Because Jesus is not arguing from authority or adding to the Scriptures, Jesus’ interpretation is repeatable by others. The disciples and modern readers of the Bible can return to the Old Testament and find the necessity of Christ’s suffering and resurrection in its pages without the New Testament. Read more about Do You Agree with Jesus?

The Bible and Modern Criticism

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CHAPTER III THE BIBLE AND MODERN CRITICISM

BY F. BETTEX, D. D., PROFESSOR EMERITUS, STUTTGART, GERMANY

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GERMAN BY DAVID HEAGLE, D. D.

It is undeniable that the universe, including ourselves, exists. Whence comes it all? For any clear-thinking mind there are only three possibilities. Either the universe has existed always, it produced itself, or it was created by a Divine, a Supreme Being. Read more about The Bible and Modern Criticism

What is Progressive Revelation? Part 5

Read the series so far.

In the first part of this series I referenced some things to which I should now like to return. Even before getting into what is meant when the two words “progressive revelation” are brought together, I said that we needed to settle on what revelation is. At bottom revelation is communication from God to man. The next question up is, how accessible a communication is it? Is it both constant and consistent? That is to say, does the revelation crop up repeatedly, and/or unequivocally? Does it have a character which is traceable backwards and forwards?

What did you expect?

I gave the examples of the Trinity and the Messianic prophecies to do with the first coming. I illustrated it by imagining tracking leopard tracks in the snow. One would expect the tracks to lead to a leopard. In the same way, a reliable progressive communication about a subject through time would produce an expectation based on the data contained in the words being revealed (unless the words were incompetent or deliberately misleading), just as one would not expect leopard tracks to lead to a bear, one would not expect OT predictions of Christ to be fulfilled in someone born in Jerusalem, from the tribe of Asher, begotten through an earthly father. Why? Because the those things were not part of what was communicated! And any “transformation” in the subject’s identity along the line of progression would manifestly terminate that progression! Read more about What is Progressive Revelation? Part 5

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