C.I. Scofield

Theology Thursday - Scofield's Dispensations

In 1909, a Congregationalist minister named Cyrus Scofield published his study bible, which Carl Trueman has called the most influential book of the 20th century. The notes in this study bible popularized premillennial dispensationalism for millions of Christians, and it still exerts a wide influence. His notes are characteristic of so-called “classical dispensationalism,” and (among other things) they emphasize a very hard discontinuity between the Old and New Covenants. Indeed, a reader could interpret Scofield (and, later, Lewis S. Chafer) as advocating a works-based salvation under the so-called “Dispensation of the Law.”

His notes describing each “dispensation” are below. Some controversial aspects are bolded for emphasis and reflection:  

Genesis 1:28 - The First Dispensation

Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1 Timothy 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Genesis 3:24

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"In matters where a variance of opinion exists ...the mere existence of differing interpretations is rarely even acknowledged"