Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Doctrine of Scripture

This was a "thought assignment" for my Biblical Interpretation class at Biblical Theological Seminary, but I thought some of you might appreciate it as well.

                                                     The Bible’s Teaching on Inspiration
Instructions: On a separate sheet of paper, list what implications the following Scripture passages have for the “doctrine of Scripture.” List as many as you can. Be as specific as you can.
Deuteronomy 18:18-22
·         In context: Because of the request of the people at Horeb to not hear the voice of the Lord but for Moses, instead, to speak for Him, Moses says that God will continue to raise up prophets to speak for Himself.  But Jesus is the final prophet, and now the Word of God is placed into every believer’s heart through the Holy Spirit.  We now, through Jesus, can gaze upon the glory of God and hear from God directly.
·         vs 19 – God speaks through the prophet, but it is still God himself speaking “I myself will call him who does not listen to the prophet to account”
·         God speaking through other means in no way diminishes His Word
Jeremiah 1:4-9
·         These verses could seem to imply that God ordained Jeremiah to speak for Him, placing His “words” in Jeremiah’s mouth so that whatever Jeremiah spoke, God spoke.
o   vs 12 The very next thing God says to Jeremiah is that He is watching to ensure that His word is fulfilled
o   Throughout the book Jeremiah continually says , “The word of the Lord came to me” and during his prophecies seems to interlace “declares the Lord” more often than most.  It would appear that Jeremiah was still very clear as to when God was speaking to (and through) him and when he alone was speaking.
Num. 22:38, 23:5, 12, 16
·         Are Abraham’s descendents God’s only people?  If so I am in trouble, as I am not Jewish.  Balaam reminds us that “the eyes of YHWH roam to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”  Our faith is not in Abraham, our faith is in Jesus.
·         I do not understand how this passage has anything to do with the inspiration of Scripture.  Yes, God has spoken through those outside of Judaism, but He has chosen to reveal Himself in certain specific ways through  the line of Abraham (and David).
2 Sam. 23:1-3; Matt. 22:43; Acts 1:16
·         The Spirit of the Lord can, and at times does, inspire people to speak for Him.
·         Jesus and Peter both understood the Old Testament (or at least the words of David) to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
·         The Holy Spirit was the one speaking, but He was using David as a mouthpiece.  It is fairly specific, though, that the Holy Spirit was the one speaking.
·         Peter uses the test of Deut 18 for Scripture itself.  It must come true.
1 Ki. 17:24
·         This seems to say more about the woman than about Elijah speaking God’s Word.
·         Interesting parallel to Jesus and His miracles.  They were signs that He was speaking the words of God.
2 Chron. 35:22 (?)
·         God is sovereign over everything, He is all-powerful and all-controlling.  Is there ever a time, event, or person through whom God is not speaking?
·         Is this specific revelation or general revelation?  Necho is speaking at God’s command; does that mean he is speaking God’s words?
2 Chron. 36:12, 21-22
·         In order to fulfill the word He spoke through Jeremiah, God moved Cyrus to speak :)

Nehemiah 9:20, 30; Ezra 1:1
·         Same as 2 Chron 36
Isaiah 51:16, 59:21
·         It is the Spirit that empowers Isaiah to speak
·         God can place His Spirit on whomever He pleases
Ezek. 3:27
·         God controls how and when His Word is spoken
Zech. 7:12
·         God speaks through prophets by His Spirit
2 Tim. 3:16
·         We can KNOW that God has spoken in Scripture
2 Pet. 1:19-21
·         We can be assured that God spoke through the prophets in Scripture
·         We are not to treat Scripture as the words of mean speaking for God, rather, we are to regard it as God Himself speaking.
           Also: Exodus 4:10-16
·      God says, “I will help BOTH of you speak”
·      Moses is giving Aaron the thoughts and ideas of God, Aaron is communicating those thoughts and ideas to the people, but in the end it is God who is speaking.
·      vs 11 – Should it surprise us that the one who created human mouths is able to communicate through them?

1)  At many times and in many ways God has spoken.  At many times and in many ways people have presumed to be speaking for God when they assuredly were NOT.  Hence, the value of Scripture is that it is undeniably God’s Word.
2)  When God speaks through people, we are to regard their words as God’s words.  Thus, we ought to regard every word of Scripture as the Word of God
3)  God has spoken through broken vessels many times, even through Moses’ bumbling speech.  Thus, when the process of transcription and translation has contained errors, we can still consider Scripture the undeniable Word of God.
4)  Scripture as we have it today is not without errors, but we should not question whether this or that section is the words of men or the Word of God.  God is clear that He uses His Spirit to inspire men to communicate on His behalf.
5)  We should not expect that Scripture is the ONLY way that God gives special revelation since He has placed His Spirit on people many times throughout history to speak for Him.  However, since Scripture is undeniably special revelation, any future revelation must stand up to the test of Scripture.

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