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Thread: How do we determine whether the Bible is the Word of God?

  1. #11
    tWebber eschaton's Avatar
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    Even if we didn't have the scriptures we could understand God from nature. This is called "general revelation."

    Rom 1:19* Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.*
    Rom 1:20* For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:*

    God has given His message through creation.

    Psa 19:1* To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.*
    Psa 19:2* Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.*
    Psa 19:3* There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.*
    Psa 19:4* Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,*

    God has given His message (Gospel) in scripture. This is called "special revelation." (2 Tim 3:16)

    Christ is the Word of God (John 1:14) and the wisdom of God (1 Co 1:24).

    If scripture is the word of God, then it shouldn't be different from that given through nature, or else it is another gospel.

    Gal 1:8* But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.*
    Gal 1:9* As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.*

    That's my understanding of it. The proof is philosophical rather than based on history.

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physiocrat View Post
    Not sure if this is the best sub-forum but hey ho.

    I'm from a Protestant background and recently came across a Roman Catholic argument that we could determine that the scriptures were highly reliable using the standard tools of history and logic but it couldn't tell us that they were the inspired Word of God. The article claimed that they only way we can be sure that it is the Word of God because the Church (capital C for a reason) was founded by Christ so has the authority to declare it to be so. However this still doesn't answer the fundamental epistemological question of how does one move from solid truthful documents to the inspired Word of God.
    We don't, and the Church doesn't.
    The Bible has its own rule for determining whether its content is true and from God (two authors attesting the same thing as fact). ** NOTE ** the rule isn't as hard and fast as I made it seem here.

    One - and only one - passage, that of 2 Timothy 3:16, declares "all scripture" to have been inspired by God, and the translation is highly questionable.

    My tentative suggestion is that prophets of God are accompanied with signs and wonders to declare they're God's agent however we would likley only have the testimony of the prophet to distinguish between what were his words alone and those inspired by God.
    Signs and wonders accompany the accurate presentation of a matter as being from God - they don't so much attest to the messenger. For that you need the presence of the fruits of the Spirit more than the gifts.
    Last edited by tabibito; 10-26-2017 at 02:56 PM.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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    Undergraduate Physiocrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
    Even if we didn't have the scriptures we could understand God from nature. This is called "general revelation."

    Rom 1:19* Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.*
    Rom 1:20* For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:*

    God has given His message through creation.

    Psa 19:1* To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.*
    Psa 19:2* Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.*
    Psa 19:3* There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.*
    Psa 19:4* Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,*

    God has given His message (Gospel) in scripture. This is called "special revelation." (2 Tim 3:16)

    Christ is the Word of God (John 1:14) and the wisdom of God (1 Co 1:24).

    If scripture is the word of God, then it shouldn't be different from that given through nature, or else it is another gospel.

    Gal 1:8* But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.*
    Gal 1:9* As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.*

    That's my understanding of it. The proof is philosophical rather than based on history.
    So what your saying is that the God we know from general revelation is consistent with the God of the scriptures? I think that's certainly a fruitful way of inquiry but the problem would be to distinguish truths about God and explicit truths from God.

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    Undergraduate Physiocrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    We don't, and the Church doesn't.
    The Bible has its own rule for determining whether its content is true and from God (two authors attesting the same thing as fact). ** NOTE ** the rule isn't as hard and fast as I made it seem here.

    One - and only one - passage, that of 2 Timothy 3:16, declares "all scripture" to have been inspired by God, and the translation is highly questionable.



    Signs and wonders accompany the accurate presentation of a matter as being from God - they don't so much attest to the messenger. For that you need the presence of the fruits of the Spirit more than the gifts.
    So do you think the Bible is the word of God?

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    According to Matthew, Jesus' paternal grandfather (Joseph's father) was named Jacob.
    According to Luke, Jesus' paternal grandfather was Heli.
    There are mistakes in the Bible here and there which disclose the fact that not everything in the Bible is controlled by God.
    So - the Bible contains inspired scripture, assuredly. It might even mostly be inspired scripture;
    but not all of the Bible's scripture is inspired by God.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    According to Matthew, Jesus' paternal grandfather (Joseph's father) was named Jacob.
    According to Luke, Jesus' paternal grandfather was Heli.
    And there might have been adoption in Jesus' lineage, thus the need to trace two lines.

    but not all of the Bible's scripture is inspired by God.
    But 2 Timothy 3:16, which you mentioned, declares just that. And the context bears it out:

    ... from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Ti 3:15–17)

    We are talking about "the sacred writings" in "all Scripture", which is profitable to equip us for every good work.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    And if not everything in scripture is inspired by God, the whole argument based on nothing more than a single verse (which might itself be wrong) becomes futile.

    While I did cite that verse, I also stated that the translation is highly questionable - which is to say "suspect."

    Where "is inspired" can in the English be interpreted as a verb, in the Koine Greek, it is an adjective: "Every scripture is inspired by God" means "Every inspired-by-God Scripture," or, to phrase it more naturally, "every scripture that is inspired by God." or "Every scripture inspired by God (is ...)"


    And beyond that certainty, it is highly probable that the entire "sentence" describes the "writings that Timothy has known since infancy:" i.e. it would be an adjectival phrase, which would make any insertion of "is" in the translation invalid.

    No verb is used in that phrase - "is" has been interpolated not just once (which might be justified), but twice (which can't be justified.)
    Last edited by tabibito; 11-02-2017 at 06:41 AM.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    And there might have been adoption in Jesus' lineage, thus the need to trace two lines.


    But 2 Timothy 3:16, which you mentioned, declares just that. And the context bears it out:

    ... from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Ti 3:15–17)

    We are talking about "the sacred writings" in "all Scripture", which is profitable to equip us for every good work.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    The sacred writings which Timothy knew from childhood could have only referred to the Tanakh, in context. None of the New Testament had been written when Timothy was a child.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    tWebber eschaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physiocrat View Post
    So what your saying is that the God we know from general revelation is consistent with the God of the scriptures? I think that's certainly a fruitful way of inquiry but the problem would be to distinguish truths about God and explicit truths from God.
    In my view, the Word of God is God's revelation. We should respond to that revelation with faith. Truths about God are truths from God. We can dissect the Bible into individual words and maybe even individual historical events, but I don't think that is what the scriptures are really about. The scriptures are about ideas that lead to God and are inspired by God. When Jesus asked the lawyer how he read the law the lawyer gave an answer by summarizing the first two commandments.

    Luk 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    Luk 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
    Luk 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    Luk 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

    Rather than breaking the law into various things, Jesus confirmed the answer. The whole is greater than the parts. I think the idea is from God and about God. It is faith that determines true obedience.

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    And if not everything in scripture is inspired by God, the whole argument based on nothing more than a single verse (which might itself be wrong) becomes futile.
    Well, no, "the Scripture cannot be broken", said Jesus (John 10:35).

    And beyond that certainty, it is highly probable that the entire "sentence" describes the "writings that Timothy has known since infancy:" i.e. it would be an adjectival phrase, which would make any insertion of "is" in the translation invalid.
    But why can't an adjective be used in this way (e.g. "all Scripture is blue").

    No verb is used in that phrase - "is" has been interpolated not just once (which might be justified), but twice (which can't be justified.)
    But you just said the second "is" is valid, so why not the first? And "kai" seems to me startling if "theopneustos" is simply an adjective here.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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