Bibliology

J. I. Packer: Don’t Like the Term Biblical “Inerrancy”? Fine. But What about the Concepts?

"If we speak of Holy Scripture as altogether true and trustworthy, or as wholly reliable in its own terms, making no false assertions, claims or promises on its own account (however many lies told by good men, bad men, and devils it records), we shall be expressing in formula terms exactly what these words mean." - Packer

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“Grace and Truth”: How the NT Describes the NT Canon

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, by Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier (c. 16th century)

We can find NT passages that refer to a completed OT canon (Matthew 5:17–18; 23:34–35; Luke 24:44–45; Romans 3:2; 2 Timothy 3:14–16). But we look in vain for NT passages that identify a completed NT canon. This shouldn’t surprise us since during the writing of any NT book to which we might appeal, the NT canon as an organic whole had not yet been completed.

But this fact raises an important question: Where must we look for a witness to a completed NT canon?1 The Church of Rome has an answer to that question. According to Rome, what the Church declares is NT canon is NT canon. Indeed, they use this as one of their arguments for the co-dependency and co-authority of Scripture and tradition. The church’s authority is grounded in Scripture, but Scripture’s authority depends on the authority of the church. For this reason, Catholics argue, we must base our doctrine of a completed NT canon on church tradition.2

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Understanding Sola Scriptura

"This conviction of sola Scriptura— the Scriptures alone are the Word of God and, therefore, the only infallible rule for life and doctrine—provided the fuel needed to ignite the Reformation. Indeed, it was regarded as the 'formal cause' of the Reformation (whereas sola fide, or 'faith alone,' was regarded as the 'material cause')." - Ligonier

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“Good and Necessary Consequence” (WCF) or “Necessarily Contained in” (2LCF): Is There a Difference?

In Chapter One: “Of the Holy Scripture,” the Second London Confession of Faith (2LCF) is almost identical to the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) and the Savoy Declaration (SD) on which it is based.1 There are only three minor differences worth noting.2 First, the Baptists add a sentence at the beginning of the chapter that is found neither in the WCF nor in the SD: “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.”3 Second, the Baptists reword a phrase in §6. In agreement with the WCF and SD, the Baptists agree that God’s will in Scripture is “expressly set down.” However, whereas the WCF and SD assert that God’s will “by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture,” the Baptists change the wording and speak of God’s will being “necessarily contained in Holy Scripture.” Third, the Baptists follow the Savoy Declaration (SD) and add a phrase at the very end of §10: “the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.”4

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Two Testaments, but One Bible

When we cross over from the OT into the NT we might think that we ought to expect a very clear continuity. After all the OT, particularly the covenants and the Prophets have led us to expect a great future for the nation of Israel. Even though that people had gone and done their own thing, we would think that God would stick with His covenants and promises to that nation and bring them to Himself. We would also expect to see the arrival of the Messiah, the One whom Israel was expecting. Israel would finally have peace and prosperity under the protection of their Christ. They would be able to trust in Him to reign over them, and they could look to Him for blessing and guidance.

And as we enter the NT through the doors of the Synoptic Gospels this picture doesn’t seem to be upset; this indeed is the track that we appear to be on. Matthew, of course, starts off with a genealogy of the King1 and includes a number of announcements in the early chapters of his biographical narrative that encourage the reader to believe that, with the coming into the world of Jesus, the promised Kingdom was “at hand.”

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New Book—Bibliology for Beginners: What Does the Bible Say about the Bible?

"I’ve just released a very short book on bibliology that is not intended to break new ground but rather to help beginners step firmly onto biblical ground. I wrote it at the request of a local church—nycgrace.org, pastored by my respected friend Tim Richmond—which has diligently produced a series of discipleship books for its urban, multi-ethnic congregation." - Mark Ward

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