Doctrine of Scripture-Net.docx - HOME The History of the...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 19 pages.

HOMEThe History of the Doctrine of Inspiration From the Ancient Church Through the ReformationRelated MediaIntroductionThe Christian church did not arise in an historical vacuum, nor did it arise with a complete systematic theology. Rather it adopted many of its attitudes toward religion from its reluctant mother, Judaism. With this in mind, it is the purpose of this lesson to trace the historic understanding of the Church toward its sacred writings, beginning with its earliest period, up through the present.Jewish Attitudes Towards ScriptureREVEALED RELIGIONJudaism saw itself as a revealed religion. God had spoken from heaven to the Patriarchs and the prophets and given his divine law. In a very real sense Judaism was Noministic, founded upon the supreme authority of that God- given law. The Jews understood that God’s Revelation had been accomplished through a multitude of channels: dreams, theophanies, His word spoken from heaven inspiring the prophets in an undefined fashion. With the exception ofthe direct appearance of God, all these revelations were mediated by the Spirit of Yahweh. The Holy Spirit was regarded as the spirit of prophecy. Thus, any to whom God would reveal Himself was deemedto be a prophet. Thus the title prophetcame to be applied not only to the major and minor prophets, but also to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and even Mordacai. In all, Judaism recognized forty-eight prophets and seven prophetesses who bore God’s message to
Israel. (G. F. Moore, Judaism(Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press, 1930), p. 235-237.In defining a prophet as one to whom God spoke, the concept of an inspired Scripture naturally grew. Everything in Scripture was viewedas inspired, although everything revealed was not inscripturated. While in the first century Philo proposed a mantic theory of revelation which was reminiscent of Plato, the Rabbinical schools knew nothing of such a theory. According to the Rabbis, the Holy Spirit had inspired the prophets and the scriptural authors so that every syllable of Scripture had the verity and the authority of the Word of God. Yet despite this assertion, they did not speculate as to the method of this inspiration. In their eyes it was simply an accomplished fact.SCRIPTURE AS THE “EXCLAMATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”Scripture was viewed by the Jews as the “Exclamation of the Holy Spirit” (Jewish Encyclopedia sv. Inspiration, v. 4, p. 607). As such it was believed impossible for contradictions or real differences to appear in the text.REVELATION COMPLETE IN MOSESThe Jews viewed Revelation as Complete in Moses. The Torah was seen as having emanated in its entirety from God, every verse and letter. This revelation was complete and final; the Rabbis had no conception of progressive revelation. The Prophets and the Hagiographa were seen to add nothing to the Torah. given to Moses.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture