All scripture is given by inspiration of God

Comments

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    [VicAndBob]You wouldn't let it lie....[/VicAndBob]
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    :mrgreen: We try to be helpful!
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I'm taking the chance to put a different spin on things than was being followed on the old leaky tub.

    The Jewish angle

    The Talmud says that there are two ways that scripture is inspired, one id directly from God, as in the law and prophesy, the other is to inspire people to use their imagination to write poetry — Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Lamentations etc. — or write apocalyptic stuff.

    What Paul, who studied Jewish theology, is saying that all the scriptures, whether directly from God or through the imagination of people inspired by God, are equally inspired.

    Your thoughts please.
  • Thanks for reminding me of that balaam.

    IME and O part of the trouble is that there is a firm belief among some that ALL scripture is "The Word of the Lord" and then go on to say that, because of that, there can be no nuance or discussion other than basically agreeing with every line, word and syllable. Of course, much modern liturgical language does nothing to disabuse the faithful of this, rather it reinforces the notion that everything between the covers of a Bible is The Word of God.

    Its not that I particularly mind being called a heretic but I do draw the line at being told I'm a follower of the evil one/ agent of the anti-Christ - both accusations levelled at me by "Christians" in a church setting.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    That describes my CoE, via media church.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Thank you TheOrganist, but I'd say that the whole Bible was the word of God. (Small w to differentiate from Jesus.) It does not need to be dictated like law and prophesy to be word of God. Works of the imagination such as the poetic books or the apocalyptic of Daniel also count - as do researched histories.

    I'd also say there was no contradiction in the Bible. To contradict it would need to have been written by one author, and I am not aware of anywhere an author contradicts himself. There are points where it reads much more like a discussion between different voices saying "this is what God means to me."
  • balaam wrote: »
    I am not aware of anywhere an author contradicts himself.
    By this do you mean a biblical author, or any author?
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    balaam wrote: »
    I am not aware of anywhere an author contradicts himself.
    By this do you mean a biblical author, or any author?
    Biblical author. I am aware of Dan Brown (who last time I checked was not a biblical author).

  • The last time I checked Dan Brown wasn't a very good or original author either.

    Hint: if you want to read the meat of the plotline of The Da Vinci Code get yourself to a second-hand bookstore and track down a copy of The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail by Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh, first published in 1982.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Hint: if you want to read the meat of the plotline of The Da Vinci Code get yourself to a second-hand bookstore and track down a copy of The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail by Lincoln, Baigent and Leigh, first published in 1982.

    I recall that Baigent and Leigh (minus Lincoln) sued Random House (Brown's publisher) for plagiarism, essentially claiming that Brown stole their idea for his book-like creation. The case was thrown out on the grounds that Baigent and Leigh claimed their work was factual research rather than their own invention.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    balaam wrote: »
    Thank you TheOrganist, but I'd say that the whole Bible was the word of God. (Small w to differentiate from Jesus.) It does not need to be dictated like law and prophesy to be word of God. Works of the imagination such as the poetic books or the apocalyptic of Daniel also count - as do researched histories.

    I'd also say there was no contradiction in the Bible. To contradict it would need to have been written by one author, and I am not aware of anywhere an author contradicts himself. There are points where it reads much more like a discussion between different voices saying "this is what God means to me."

    I find this very helpful, thank you - the idea of different voices doing their best to express something about God, the inexpressible, and what's said is therefore subject to the language, experience and perceptions of the author.

    I'm currently battling my way through my second reading of a paper written by someone I know on the subject of hell, prior to a discussion group later this week. There's a lot of "this passage clearly states that..." and I'm wondering how many different ways I can say, "That may be so; it doesn't mean it's the whole truth."
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    I've heard the Bible described as a stammering, stumbling attempt to make sense of God and us. Our advantage is that people have been walking this path for over 2,500 years.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Originally posted by Barnabas62 on the old site:
    About 6 months after my conversion, I had a discussion with a local high church CofE vicar about the inspiration of scriptures. He just asked me what I thought. I said "well, I don't know about anyone else, but they inspire me! And confuse me. Seems to depend on where I look"

    He chuckled. "Yes", he said. "But that's not at all what I expected you to say."

    I quite like balaam's view as well, though I think it overlooks the possibility of scribal editing reassembling text and merging contradictory views under the same author. Form criticism allows for those possibilities.

    Which is why I quoted myself. Some of the voices speak very clearly to me. Some confuse me. Some really put me off.

    But on balaam's view, I would expect that.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    There will always be a variety of opinions as to what is what with the Bible, they are ancient documents, even the newest bit of the New Testament is ancient.

    I am now going to counter my own argument.

    Using the Talmud as evidence of what Jewish thought was when the New Testament books/letters were being written has difficulties. The Talmud was written after the New Testament, the statement "Daniel is not a prophet" in the Talmud is probably a reaction to Jesus referring to the Prophet Daniel in Matthew 24:15. (Daniel is in the Writings section of the written Torah, not in the Prophets).

    That was the countering bit. However...

    But the Talmud is the closest Jewish document we have to those times, so it is very likely that the idea that the inspiration of the Writings was of a lesser degree than the inspiration of Law or Prophets, was held by the Jews at the point that Paul wrote to Timothy.

    "All scripture is inspired by God," in that context, means that a former student of one of the top Jewish theologians of the time would have been aware of this. Paul, former student of Gamaliel is saying that all the Old Testament, Law Prophets and Writings, whether dictated or a work of imagination, are equally inspired.

    What I find extremely unlikely is that Paul would be claiming in 1 Timothy 3:16-17 that all scripture, including the letter he was writing and some later writings were God's direct dictation rather than the work of imagination of poets and the compilations of historians that make up the writings.
  • [Balaam] What I find extremely unlikely is that Paul would be claiming in 1 Timothy 3:16-17 that all scripture, including the letter he was writing and some later writings were God's direct dictation rather than the work of imagination of poets and the compilations of historians that make up the writings.

    That is if it was actually Paul that dictated the pastoral letters, of which 1 Tim. is one.

    There is also the factor that needs to be taken into account, that the Septuagint was probably regarded by Paul and most Jews in the diaspora as being 'scripture', which would also include the Apocryphal books that have been removed since the reformation, from most 'Protestant' bibles.

    Add to that the point you have made that Paul's correspondence, The Gospels, Acts, and other NT 'scripture' were not being referred to by Paul in 1 Tim. we then have a more limited and rather different collection of 'inspired books' that the author might have had in mind.

    So The Bible is in fact a library of various different books, some of which may be more useful than others in formulating doctrine, reproving and rebuking error, and correcting and instructing in righteousness, but ALL are useful.

    Clearly 1 Tim.16-17 gives authority to the notion that the Bible documents are 'useful' for the purposes that the author mentions. I think they still are.

    I don't think it can so easily claimed though that there is apostolic authority supporting a claim that the Bible is 'inerrant', even in its original manifestations. We actually do not possess a single original manuscript of ANY old testament OR new testament document. All are copies of copies. All English Bibles are translations of copies of copies. So to claim that the meaning we have now is exactly identical to whatever was actually meant in the original documents will always be tinged with some uncertainty. What we actually have is a close rendition of the meaning of what was probably in the originals. Fortunately, in the case of the New Testament it is written in NT Greek, a highly accurate and nuanced dead language which carries meaning with finesse.

    As to whether the English text or even the original languages were 'infallible', I would consider it extremely unlikely on the grounds that Jesus Christ himself did not claim infallibility while 'found in fashion as a man' and infallibility is uniquely an attribute of the Triune God alone. Applying the term to a Book full of words, however revered, seems inappropriate.

    I have no problem with the notion of referring to Jesus Christ as The Word, (Logos). Scripture seems to support the practice. But the habit of referring to The Bible as 'The word of God' is rather more a fashionable tradition than an actual fact, in my opinion. (Maybe even a 'one up-man-ship' reactionary response to Moslems making exaggerated claims of Divine Inspiration for their Koran). The Bible may contain some of 'the words of God', even quite a lot of 'the words of God', but it also contains, 'the words of men' (much fewer of women), and even 'the words of Satan'. Deciding which are which calls for discernment, insight, understanding and wisdom.

    The notion that every word in the Bible comes straight from the mouth of God is a dangerous lunacy.

    So we are left with what it might mean for us that scripture, The Bible collection, is inspired.

    I see three different types of inspiration at work in it.

    1. The original human authors put pen to papyrus, parchment or paper with the express intention of furthering or revealing God's will on earth. (I believe God cooperated with them, even guided them, but did not 'control them'.)

    The Pentateuch is a compilation of ancient legends and carefully edited tribal histories with the intention of establishing a coherent national story and identity, both social and religious of The Israelite Nation. Later to become Israel and Judah.

    The Prophets are the social conscience of Israel and Judah. The wisdom literature, Psalms and poetry express the heart, character, spirit, pain and distress of God's people.

    The New Testament records God's response to the distress of His people and His provision for their relief.

    All these are relevant to us today in a metaphorical sense as we confront the evils, toils and distresses of life in the human condition.

    2. The text we now have, (in spite of it not being 'inerrant' or 'infallible'), is sufficient to convey enough information, and more, for any individual to seek God and find Him in personal relationship, through prayer and philosophy of life, emulating Jesus Christ.

    3. The Biblical text we now have has been selected by the church to be as doctrinally compatible and non contradictory as was possible, without deliberately rewriting or deleting parts of any document. Many documents were rejected in the process of selecting which books would be included. I believe this process was also overseen by God.

    4. The way any individual interprets and understands the meaning of Holy Scripture is a revealing guide to the inner workings of their personality, their heart's intent and the hidden recesses of their character. Know a person's theological exegetical preferences and excuses and you can know their secret selves.

    i.e The Bible has an uncanny way of reading the reader and revealing to others things the reader does not even admit to themselves. That's inspired.
    ____________________________________
    In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Cor. 5:19. Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    I ticked a lot of that post. I tend to summarise it this way.

    1. The Church was, is, and always will be, the guardian of the Book.

    OR

    2. The Bible was, is, and always will be, the guardian of the Church

    OR

    3. Both statements have a point!

    I'm a three-legged stool person myself. Scripture, tradition and reason. And experience has been a good guide to which leg is most secure on any particular issue!
  • The Church was given birth by the LXX; the NT was given birth by the Church.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    An interesting reply, @RdrEmCofE,

    Interesting that in a reply to me you use the words 'inerrant' and 'infallible' in quotes and italics. as if that was the point I was making. I was not on that tack at all, if I was critical of anything it was the idea that the whole of scripture is God dictated.

    I was taking things backwards to look at the Jewish perspective behind Biblical inspiration. It was in fact the Jews, about 150 tears after Jesus that reduced the scriptures to the 24 scrolls that correspond to our 39 Old Testament books. As for Paul writing 1 Timothy, if I sat 'Paul wrote, it is because the letter is attributed to him. The important thing being that it is scripture, not its exact authorship.

    The Jewish perspective on the inspiration of scripture is something that would not have fitted into the old thread, So I waited a few months for the new Ship to launch and got it in early, before all the usual positions came to overwhelm everything.

    Much of what you say as a criticism to me I in fact agree with, I an flabbergasted by the way you put words into my mouth in order to shoot down something you are only assuming was said, or something from the previous thread, I am assuming the latter so no offence has been taken

    Peace.

    @Barnabas62 Yes, I have that position, more or less, too. But qualified by having been through Charismatic Renewal in the 1970s.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    balaam wrote: »
    @Barnabas62 Yes, I have that position, more or less, too. But qualified by having been through Charismatic Renewal in the 1970s.
    Similar, though in my case it was the 80's. Strange combination for me. Escaping from fundamentalism and involvement in the renewal movement occurred at more or less the same time. It was probably cessassionism I was reacting against.
  • [Balaam] Much of what you say as a criticism to me I in fact agree with, I an flabbergasted by the way you put words into my mouth in order to shoot down something you are only assuming was said, or something from the previous thread, I am assuming the latter so no offence has been taken.

    I'm sorry if it came across to you that way. That was not my intention. I was merely putting my own thoughts into the mix and quoted your nick as having been the prompt of my original thought process on the matter. I was not actually taking you to task about anything, much less tackling you personally by quoting or misquoting you. Sorry it upset you.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    balaam wrote: »
    @Barnabas62 Yes, I have that position, more or less, too. But qualified by having been through Charismatic Renewal in the 1970s.
    Similar, though in my case it was the 80's. Strange combination for me. Escaping from fundamentalism and involvement in the renewal movement occurred at more or less the same time. It was probably cessassionism I was reacting against.

    It was on the charismatic scene where I came across fundamentalism. I was really surprised to learn afterwards that some con evos were Anti-Charismatic and Charismatics and Evangelicals used to be at odds; in my experience they've always been the same bunch of people.
Sign In or Register to comment.