Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What I can't get Christians to Face Squarely

i say this a lot, but no seems to grasp the import of it. There is no passage where we are told to make a Bible. There is no Biblical verse that says "Make unto theyself a Bible." There are passage where they speak of texts, and where they speak of writings, there are a couple of passages that the community of faith has a set of books, but no real passage where it says "thou shalt make a bible."


The Closest thing we have to that may well be "All scritpure is Godbreathed." But taht doesn't tell us what we should understand as the body of scritpure. Since it was written (by Paul) before the even close of the Hebrew canon (council of Jamnia, 90 AD) there was no closed set of works which one might understand as "scripture." Now we can reasonably infur that it means the body of works authoritatively consulted by Jews for thei religious observances, which would clearly include the pentatuqe and at least some portions of the Tenoch (that means the frist five books of OT and some of the prophets). But it might also include things we don't even have now, or ideas we know nothing about. It might even include the oral traditions that became part of the Talmud, the mishna for example, the Jerusalaem Talmud.

Certinaly when Paul wrote that prhrase he was not thinking of a NT canon at all. So the whole idea of Scripture for Paul lacks a NT. The Christian canon was totally a matter of the Bishops decisons in councils that weren't even dermpt of when Paul wrote that phrase.

My point is that we cannot see the Bible as God's memo to the empolyees of a vast company, which I'm afraid is really how most Christians see it. We cannot embrace any sort of verbal plenary inspritaion because that would assume ideas that are not just given. This doesn't mean we should give up on the Bible. It means we should learn to see it as a collection of writtins which are human in nature, and which testify to the divine/human enconter.

6 comments:

Tyler Simons said...

Amen. Preach the word, brother!

tinythinker said...

You are persecuting Christ and His Word. How dare you!

J.L. Hinman said...

hi guys. I've had a problem with my arm, which is why I haven't been posting. it's better now. I'll be back bloging ina couple of days.

ref said...

meta,

A wise man once said:

The OT/NT have teaching authority as attested to by the tradition of the church.

Yeah, I think that was you.

J.L. Hinman said...

a think may wise people have said that. I hope I'm one, I certainly beileve they do have teaching authoirty. The question is, do we have listening and learning skills?

ref said...
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