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saintos

Many many years after Luther we have sola fide and sola scriptura to thank the plethora of people -- everyone from Hinn to Hanegraaff -- who believe that their interpretation of the infallible Word is the right one and I say this as a Protestant, though perhaps not for long. Protestants are just silly to affirm that we hold to no tradition and beleive the Bible only. Nonsense. What is true is that we only have 1500 years or so less and and more disagreement among that which we do have.

Good writing. I'm glad I dropped in.

karen

You do possess the ability to make me dwell on God's word as I know it. And I could say things that I know you would only disagree with. I find comfort in the words written on the pages of The Bible. I believe with out a doubt that those words are the inspired spoken word of God Himself, thru man. (2 Timothy 3; 16)
We are to teach others primarily that Jesus is the Christ(Acts5:42) and that Scripture is truth---as opposed to fables, false doctrines, and genealogies(1 Tim. 1;3) in teaching Christ, our methods are to be convincing ( arguing persuasively) rebuking (speaking against evil) and exhorting (advocating the good) We are to use the Scriptures to
establish doctrine--declaring what is right
provide reproof--definging what is wrong
make corrections--telling how to change wrong to right
and to instruct in righteousness--applying truth to life's circumstances
Lasting on your comment about hoping you will go to heaven.. the most quoted Verse of the Bible I believe also assures that statement,,, John 3;16 of this I also have no doubt.

Damien Scott

I agree that John 10:35 refers to part of the Hebrew scripture, but even which books to include in that was a matter of debate among rabbis at the time of Jesus (until the Council of Jamnia in AD 90.) The debate wasn't resolved even then, as witnessed by the inclusion of books in the Old Testament by the ancient Christian churches (Orthodox and Catholic) that were excluded by the rabbis and by the Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century. Interestingly, these same books may have been excluded at Jamnia partly because they were seen as supporting Christian claims. Clearly some of them made reformers uncomfortable because they seemed to support Catholic teaching. (The locus classicus here is 2 Maccabeess 12:38-46 where prayers and sacrifices are offered to cleanse the sin of the dead. This action is prasied as " an altogether fine and noble action...which took full account of the resurrection... [T]he thought was holy and devout.")

Do an internet search on "formation of the biblical canon" and you will find all sorts of sources from various Christian traditions pointing out that the New Testament as we now have it did not exist as a sharply defined single volume for some time. Although the canon is often said to be complete or "closed" (defined? by whom?) by AD 175, there is still some ambiguity for long after that: what to include, what to exclude. Luther, I understand, was still having reservations about the Letter of James!

So for the scriptures to refer to themselves as scriptures in the way we mean the word today would be impossible. Until the church (in whatever process one wants to claim, attributing it to the Holy Spirit in some way) had definitively recognized and accepted which books were and which were not inspired, things were still up for grabs.

Before they were recongized, were they uninspired? Of course not! But that is a whole different issue.

This is one of the challenges for the traditon in which I was raised: to speak where the Bible speaks, to be silent where the Bible is silent. It only makes sense if you already know what the Bible is -- and the Bible never tells you that.


James

Amen and amen!

CGMOM

Monk Guy, Yeah I think he was referring to the Torah at the least. I only went looking because I thought your point was good and it made me wonder how the writers of scripture (whoever they may be) thought about the writings they had - which obviously had to be of the old testament variety.

I think it is funny that the new testment writings (is that a safe way to refer to it?) seem to reveal that Jesus ran into the very thing you talk about - people who thought they knew the Law (teachers of the Law) and he often offended their understanding (Mark 2:1-6 - sorry I quoted another scripture!). It does make me laugh because I wonder if Jesus were walking among us today and how many of us/them would find ourselves offended and surprised. I am sure I would but hopefully not as often as I would of ten years ago.

I did get a good dose of viewing scripture as God's infallable, inerrant word in my early teachings. And though I am reexamining things and realizing there are other views (probably more reasonable) and more to learn, I do not want live in reaction either way. Looking at all this is good for me and is teaching me to appreciate scriptures in new ways. :o)

McKormick

kai h'egenitah sarx logos.

I hate idolatry.

Monk-in-Training

CGMom,
I like your selection of John 10:35, I hope some people help us unpack it.

What I am getting at by saying that the Bible does not call itself the "word of God" is the whole shebang at once. Hebrew texts, Christian, etc. What is John referring to? He at the very least is talking about the Law (Torah). What do you think? I certianly am not inerrant ;)

CGMOM

To stir things up a bit (and I like to do that)I think john 10:35 does possibly refer to scripture (at least old testament law) as the word of god. I admit it was a stretch to find this.

But seriously, good post. I am currently rethinking my views on the role of scripture and church teachings, etc.(but oh my gosh which one????) in my faith. Not sure where I will land but it is a good journey so far.

Damien Scott

I was raised in a tradition that acted as if the New Testament -- as is -- descended from heaven on a golden platter, maybe the day after the last apostle died. This was never said, of course, but the text -- in an early seventeenth-century English translation, if possible -- was accorded the veneration owed to the Incarnate Word. The Word did not take text and dwell on our library shelves.

Now that I belong to a tradition (Roman) that claims inerrancy and infallbility, I am disturbed to discover that many of my fellow and sister religionists don't even know what those terms mean and the way they are applied theologically. Sometimes one gets the impresssion that if His Holiness sneezes, it is divinely inspired. And I am less that truly Catholic if I don't think so. There is a total lack of historical perspective in both positions -- the radical fundamentalist bibliolatry and the Roman danger of papolatry.

John of the Cross wrote that we should not ask God for particular answers to particular questions, because the Father would say, "I have only one Word, and that Word I have spoken. If you want answers, go to the Word made flesh. All you need is there."

Not revealed math: 616, 666, 90210, whatever.

All we really know of God is that the one who knew him best -- claimed to be the only one who really knew him -- called him Daddy. And all we know of heaven is that the same one said that there is lots of room in Daddy's house.

That's enough for me most of the time.

Damien Scott

I was raised in a tradition that acted as if the New Testament -- as is -- descended from heaven on a golden platter, maybe the day after the last apostle died. This was never said, of course, but the text -- in an early seventeenth sixteenh-century English translation, if possible -- was accorded the veneration owed to the Incarnate Word. The Word did not take text and dwell on our library shelves.

Now that I belong to a tradition (Roman) that claims inerrancy and infallbility, I am disturbed to discover that many of my fellow and sister religionists don't even know what those terms mean and the way they are applied theologically. Sometimes one gets the impresssion that if His Holiness sneezes, it is divinely inspired. And I am less that truly Catholic if I don't think so. There is a total lack of historical perspective in both positions -- the radical fundamentalist bibliolatry and the Roman danger of papolatry.

John of the Cross wrote that we should not ask God for particular answers to particular questions, because the Father would say, "I have only one Word, and that Word I have spoken. If you want answers, go to the Word made flesh. All you need is there."

Not revealed math: 616, 666, 90210, whatever.

All we really know of God is that the one who knew him best -- claimed to be the only one who really knew him -- called him Daddy. And all we know of heaven is that the same one said that there is lots of room in Daddy's house.

That's enough for me most of the time.

*Christopher

I distrust infallibles and inerrants myself; that's why I'm more and more happy to be Anglican.

Unregulated Female

The beauty of our faith is that we are able to wrestle with what you listed: Mystery. There are some things we really do not know that we know that we know. It's living in the moment of spiritual "tension" that we find more understanding. The strict guidelines are meant to keep people from questioning and really examining their faith to own it personally. Way to go, M.I.T. - Keep pursuing the mystery.

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