Bibliology

The Testimony of the Organic Unity of the Bible to Its Inspiration

(About this series)

CHAPTER IV THE TESTIMONY OF THE ORGANIC UNITY OF THE BIBLE TO ITS INSPIRATION

BY THE LATE ARTHUR T. PIERSON

The argument for the inspiration of the Bible which I am to present is that drawn from its unity. This unity may be seen in several conspicuous particulars, upon some of which it will be well to dilate.

1. THE UNITY IS STRUCTURAL. In the Book itself appears a certain archetypal, architectural plan. The two Testaments are built on the same general scheme. Each is in three parts: historic, didactic, prophetic; looking to the past, the present, and the future.

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Discernment and Revelation, Part 1: Five Views

(From Think on These Things. Used by permission.)

Discernment, one would think, is an extremely positive quality. In a world with incalculable numbers of voices calling us to travel many different directions, discernment is invaluable. However, when used by those involved in spiritual formation, discernment is defined as the discipline that enables one to know when a person has supposedly heard the voice of God.

Spiritual formation leaders do not question that God speaks to us today apart from Scripture, but they do believe that since God is speaking there has to be a means whereby we can discern the voice of God from our own thoughts.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes in her Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, “Discernment opens us up to listen to and recognize the voice and patterns of God’s direction in our lives.”1 Ruth Barton further explains,

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The Testimony of the Scriptures to Themselves

(About this series)

CHAPTER III THE TESTIMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES TO THEMSELVES

BY REV. GEORGE S. BISHOP, D. D., EAST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY

My subject is, The Testimony of the Scriptures to Themselves—their own self-evidence—the overpowering, unparticipated witness that they bring.

Permit me to expand this witness under the following heads:

  1. Immortality.
  2. Authority.
  3. Transcendent Doctrine.
  4. Direct Assertion.

1. IMMORTALITY— “I have written!” All other books die. Few old books survive, and fewer of those that survive have any influence. Most of the books we quote from have been written within the last three or even one hundred years,

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Inspiration

(About this series)

CHAPTER II INSPIRATION

BY EVANGELIST L. W. MUNHALL, M. A., D. D., GERMANTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, AUTHOR OF “THE HIGHEST CRITICS VS. THE HIGHER CRITICS”

The Bible is inspired. It is therefore God’s Word. This is fundamental to the Christian faith.” Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10: 17).

But, it is asked, What do you mean by inspiration? Because there are numerous theories of inspiration, this is a proper question. Also, it is well, before answering the question, to state some of these theories. First, “The thoughts of the penman were inspired.” Second, “The thoughts were partially inspired.” But they who hold to this view are very indefinite in their statements of the extent of this inspiration. Third, “There were different degrees of inspiration.” The advocates of this view use the difference between “illumination” and inspiration to prove their theory. Fourth, “At one time the writers were inspired in the supervision of the work they did;” at another, “In the view they took of the work they were called upon to do;” and at another, “In directing the work.” But in all these views the theorists are at sea, and leave all who trust to their pilotage at sea, as to the exact character and limitations of inspiration. Fifth, “Dynamic inspiration”. But the efforts of those who hold to this view, to explain what they mean by the term are exceedingly vague and misty. But the popular and current theory now is that the “Concept” is inspired. But no one attempts to tell what the “Concept” is; indeed, I doubt if any one knows.

Also let this be said in this connection: Those who hold to any or all of the above named theories, in part or in whole, are

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Covenants: Clarity, Ambiguity, and Faith (Part 4)

Read the series so far.

If it were up to us …

If the Lord had relied upon men to fulfill their duties before fulfilling His oaths there would be no reason at all to make covenants in the first place. He was on the safest ground possible, and could have promised the universe without having to concern Himself about fulfilling anything. We all fail. Christians know that unless God is faithful to stand behind His promise in the gospel, we are all done for. Salvation under the New Covenant blood of Christ cannot depend upon us. Inner spiritual perfection is even more impossible for us to achieve than the outward obedience of the Law (1 Jn. 1:8, 10). If God’s promise of salvation and eternal life depended for an instant on our works, heaven would have one human inhabitant—Jesus!

It is for this reason that God only made one bi-lateral covenant with men: the Mosaic covenant. Exodus 24 records the solemn oath which the children of Israel took:

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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.

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Book Review - The Lost World of Scripture

Everyone loves a good story of discovery. Whether it is in the pages of a good book or watching Indiana Jones on the big screen, people love to be drawn into the discovery of lost artifacts, and even more so, lost worlds. Archeology has unearthed artifacts, buried tombs, treasures and entire villages that give us a glimpse into the lives and ways of the people and civilizations of the ancient past. In many ways, we are discovering things and worlds that have been lost and are very different than ours. Among these discoveries are the ancient writings of various cultures. These ancient writings provide us with a wealth of information on how people thought and lived in the past. They are a window into ancient cultures. And for Christians, they are a look into how the Hebrews and early Christians viewed and used Scripture.

There is no doubt that modern readers of the Bible have to fight reading their own world into the world of the Bible when it comes to the task of interpretation. Unfortunately, many readers of Scripture, Christians included, do this without knowing it. The world in which the Bible was born is lost to them and they don’t realize it.

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