Tag: Inspiration Of Scripture (home)

No one in the world speaks blemishless grammar; no one has ever written in--no one, either in the world or out of it (taking the Scriptures for evidence on the latter point); therefore it would not be fair to exact grammatical perfection from the people of the [Mississippi] Valley; but they and all other peoples may justly be required to refrain from knowingly and purposely debauching their grammar.

permalink source: Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi 200
tags: Apologetics, Humor, Theology, Inspiration Of Scripture

This is great literature and great religious literature, this collection of ancient writings we call the Bible, and any translator has a deep sense of responsibility as he undertakes to transmit it to modern readers. He desires his transcript to be faithful to the meaning of the original, so far as he can reach that meaning, and also to do some justice to its literary qualities. But he is well aware that his aim often exceeds his grasp. Translation may be a fascinating task, yet no discipline is more humbling. You may be translating oracles, but soon you learn the risk and folly of posing as an oracle yourself. If your readers are dissatisfied at any point, they may be sure that the translator is still more dissatisfied, if not there, then elsewhere -- all the more so, because, in the nature of the case, he has always to appear dogmatic in print.

permalink source: James Moffatt (1870-1944)
tags: Inspiration Of Scripture, Bible

We are to believe and follow Christ in all things, including his words about Scripture. And this means that Scripture is to be for us what it was to him: the unique, authoritative, and inerrant Word of God, and not merely a human testimony to Christ, however carefully guided and preserved by God. If the Bible is less than this to us, we are not fully Christ's disciples.

permalink source: James Montgomery Boice, "The Preacher and God's Word"
tags: Inspiration Of Scripture, Bible

In holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to do, and what to eschew; what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at length. In these Books we shall find the father from whom, the son by whom, and the holy Ghost in whom all things have their being and keeping up, and these three persons to be but one God, and one substance. Read [Holy Scripture] humbly with a meek and lowly heart, to the intent you may glorify God, and not your self, with the knowledge of it: and read it not without daily praying to God, that he would direct your reading to good effect: and take upon you to expound it no further than you can plainly understand it. For (as Saint Augustine says) the knowledge of holy Scripture is a great, large, and a high place, but the door is very low, so that the high & arrogant man cannot run in: but he must stoop low, and humble himself, that shall enter into it... The humble man may search any truth boldly in the Scripture, without any danger of error. Scripture in some places is easy, and in some places hard to be understood. This have I said, as touching the fear to read, through ignorance of the person. And concerning the hardness of Scripture, he that is so weak that he is not able to [eat] strong meat, yet he may suck the sweet and tender milk, and defer the rest, until he wax stronger, and come to more knowledge. For God receives the learned and unlearned, and casts away none, but [does not discriminate]. And the Scripture is full as well of low valleys, plain ways, and easy for every man to use, and to walk in: as also of high hills & mountains, which few men can climb unto.

permalink source: "A Fruitful exhortation to the reading of holy Scripture", from the Anglican Homilies [1562]
tags: Inspiration Of Scripture, Bible

If an alien from outer space were teleported to the United States, given a copy of the Christian Scriptures, and asked to assess the sanity of our faith’s adherents, he would no doubt conclude that American Christians are a rather schizophrenic lot. Walking into one of our evangelical churches, he would probably observe men, some of them long-haired, greeting women, many of them short-haired and almost none of them wearing any kind of head covering, with both men and women stubbornly refusing to kiss each other (in a “holy” manner, of course) at all! In Gen-X churches, at least, our intrepid extraterrestrial would be astonished to see young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s failing to rise in the presence of any elders entering their worship service. Our stupefied spaceman would be baffled to discover Pentecostals dancing within the church walls but not outside of them, Presbyterians dancing outside the church walls but not within them, and Southern Baptists not dancing anywhere! Further, all of these bodies would rarely, if ever, be seen using tambourines and cymbals (unless, of course, the cymbals were part of drum set). And even if certain members of these churches might be found to occasionally take wine for medicinal reasons, probably none of them, to the utter confusion of our befuddled bystander, would even think of administering beer to the poor, downtrodden, and dying of their congregations. In the end, our marveling Martian would probably throw up his hands in resignation and blast away in a trail of stardust, desperately seeking a group of people who actually do what their Holy Book tells them to do. Our friendly foreigner, of course, has just dealt firsthand with the challenges of cultural hermeneutics and contemporary application. He seems to have assumed (quite naturally) that any command found in the Christian Scriptures would be binding upon Christians of all times, and that cultural differences would have little effect upon the application of an ancient text to a modern setting. Although most of us would probably claim to be at least somewhat more hermeneutically savvy than our vexed visitor, no doubt all of us could identify with the frustration of trying to understand why ancient commands may sometimes be applied differently in our modern context—or sometimes not at all.

permalink source: Clay Daniel: As Easy as X-Y-Z: A Review of William Webb’s Slaves, Women and Homosexuals at bible.org
tags: Inspiration Of Scripture, Bible, Hermeneutics

Unfortunately, many people assume the Bible is an unreliable document. The truth is that of all ancient literature the New Testament is the most well-authenticated document, with an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting its reliability. There are more New Testament manuscripts, copied with greater accuracy, at earlier dates than from any secular classic from antiquity such as Herodotus, Plato, or Aristotle. Some charge that there are grievous errors in the Bible. Actually, scholars who have examined the thousands of manuscript copies discovered 150,000 "textual variants." These variants are slight, involving a missing letter in a word. For example, note the variants in the following: Youha*ejus#wonamilliondol^ars. My guess is that you would not have any problem making out this message in spite of the variants. In more than 99 percent of the cases of textual variants in the New Testament, the original text can be reconstructed to a practical certainty. In October 2003, Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered a ship's bell off the coast of Georgia. They believe it is from the ship called the TENNESSEE, which sank back in 1865 with a cargo of up to $180 million in gold. They aren't absolutely certain because the bell's inscription is partially obscured. Only the letters "SSEE" are visible. The rest of the inscription won't be legible until it's cleaned. With $180 million at stake, do you think they will allow this fragment of a word to hinder their search? Citation: Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky; source: "Salvaged Bell May Be Key to Riches," USA TODAY (10-15-03);

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Apologetics, Inspiration Of Scripture, Bible

Bible Christians routinely claim that the Bible is infallible because the biblical authors–Peter and Paul, John and Matthew, etc–were given the gift of infallibility. They insist that the Bible alone is our authority because the Bible is infallible. But is it clear that once God gives the Church infallible scripture, there will be no need for infallible interpretations of scripture? <em>in fact</em> History shows, in the most unambiguous manner, that an infallible Bible is not sufficient to hold the Church together. Luther's naive view that a text simply means what it says and all the rest is mischief can no longer be held by thinking people. All texts require interpretation because words require interpretation, and the words of scripture more than most. Without an infallible interpretation of scripture an infallible Bible is pointless and ineffectual. <em>consequently</em> The old phrase `What does the Bible say?' is futile. Strictly speaking, the Bible doesn't say anything. You can't put a book in the witness-box and ask it what it really means. The Bible, by itself, cannot be the basis of agreement among Christians when it is so obviously a cause of disagreement.

permalink source: http://www.basicincome.com/andyetsonew/cathquotes.htm
tags: Inspiration Of Scripture, Denominations