Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning

In Apologetics on December 12, 2014 at 6:38 am

JUSTIN MARTYR AND IRENAEUS In reaction to Marcion, other Christian teachers formulated a more orthodox way of approaching the sacred writings. Justin Martyr (c. AD 100–165), an early defender of Christianity, argued that the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament is only a matter of degree. The Old Testament anticipated and foretold events, and was superseded by the New Testament writings because they represented the fulfillment of earlier anticipations. Thus, Justin Martyr, particularly in his Dialogue, stressed a messianic continuity and utilized a literal-historical approach to interpretation. However, it was Irenaeus (c. AD 130–200) who gathered the threads of interpretation more systematically. Though his approach to the Old Testament was more literal than that of his predecessors, he also saw a typological meaning in the text. In Irenaeus’s view the Scriptures are like “treasure hidden in a field” (Matt. 13:44) in that the literal was also the typological: the Bible is full of prefigurements, especially of the Messiah. Irenaeus also championed ideas that are still generally accepted by modern interpreters: (1) exegesis should pay careful attention to context; (2) unclear or obscure texts should be interpreted by clearer ones; and (3) a nonliteral reading of some passages may be warranted. Irenaeus held that the true meaning of the Scriptures is the interpretation of the apostles as presented in the New Testament and is embodied in the Rule of Faith (that is, the established and widely accepted understanding of the main doctrines of Scripture) as preserved through the teachings of the church.

THEODORE, JEROME, AND AUGUSTINE Later teachers such as Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. AD 350–428), Jerome (c. 342–420), and Augustine (354–430) criticized the allegorical method of the Alexandrians as being arbitrary and nonrational. These teachers argued that the Scriptures are to be interpreted in both a literal and a christocentric sense. They insisted that their method was not the same as the allegorical approach, because it was rooted in the text of Scripture itself. They refused to disconnect the literal, historical meaning of the text from its spiritual meaning. Jerome, though initially a proponent of allegorization, later embraced the literal-historical approach to Scripture without abandoning the deeper spiritual meaning of the text that had been championed by Theodore and others. Jerome insisted that scriptural texts should be read in a historical context, something the allegorical approach had de-emphasized. The greatest theologian of the early church was Augustine. He championed a literal, historical approach to reading the Bible, insisting that a proper understanding must begin with the mind of the writer, which required knowing the biblical languages and paying attention to context. The fourfold approach to Scripture that he put forth (see below) was widely used, and abused, in the Medieval era.

THE REFORMERS The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century reacted against the misuse of the Bible in Late Medieval theology. They insisted that authority rested not in the leaders or fathers of the church but in a proper understanding of the text derived from correct methods of literary interpretation. Reformers starting with John Wycliffe (c. 1330–1384) insisted on a grammatical-historical approach to the Bible. The German reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) broke with the nonliteral, allegorical approach that was dominant in his training and returned to the patristic emphasis on the centrality of Christ in the Scriptures. He was adamant that the Bible be approached not through fanciful allegories or merely to support established dogma but through ordinary language and literal, historical, and grammatical exegesis. A proper understanding of the Bible should be the product of such interpretation of the scriptural texts and should lead to healthy theology and a robust Christian life. The most prolific expositor of Scripture, as well as the first major systematizer of Protestant theology, was John Calvin (1509–1564). Calvin stressed Scripture over theology and saw theology as the fruit resulting from the proper interpretation of Scripture. He was a skilled linguist who approached the Bible from the viewpoint of its historical veracity, literal interpretation, and contextual analysis. He often interpreted prophetic texts in a typological manner (as looking forward to Christ), yet he strenuously opposed arbitrary allegorization, which he believed undermined the certainty and clarity of Scripture. Some assign to Calvin the designation “the founder of modern grammatical-historical exegesis,” which is confirmed by the continued popularity of his commentaries and the way in which modern interpreters still interact with him as a sober, accurate exegete.

Grudem, Wayne; C. John Collins, and Thomas R. Schre (2012-02-29). Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning (p. 21). Crossway. Kindle Edition.


What is Wisdom?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Saved, Sin on December 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

What unbelievers and those that deny God think of as wisdom is actually foolishness as Scripture illustrates.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 ESV (18) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (20) Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (22) For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The mind of the unbeliever and an unbelieving world are blinded, they have a false or so-called knowledge. Once again TV is promoting a program that examines the Secrets of the Christian Faith, Bible, Jesus excreta to prove how our faith is a myth based on mythical understanding. The world cannot accept that Jesus rose form the dead much less that He was born of a virgin! God sent his Son into creation so he could live as we are and we could become what He is a Son of God through Jesus the Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

This error in thinking comes from a rebellious dark heart that wants on to rebel against the Sovereign God and his perfect wisdom and knowledge.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 ESV O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” (21) for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

An unbelieving world made up of God hating rebels deny that Christ will intervene in the cosmic process returning to judge men and determine their eternal destines

2 Peter 3:3-7 ESV knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (4) They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (5) For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, (6) and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. (7) But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

The Christian Metaphysic

In Apologetics on December 3, 2014 at 7:49 am

The Bible has a definite metaphysical theme. This would be defined as an attempt to express the entire theme of reality – of all existing things. This would how we attempt to make sense of the world as a whole by articulating and applying a set of central, regulating, organizing distinctive paradigms.

The God who is personal and there infinitely perfect and pure Spirit.

Exo 15:11 “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Mal 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Joh 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The doctrine of the Trinity is simply that there is one eternal being of God – indivisible, infinite. This one being of God is shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. This tri unity of God is unique in His nature, in His works, self-existent, eternal, immutable, and omnipresent.

Php 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Php 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Php 2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Php 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Php 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Php 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Joh 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Joh 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Psa 86:9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

Exo 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Psa 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Psa 139:10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

All things that exist are because you created them out of nothing. If it has been created it is
finite if was before creation it is eternal. This includes the material world, the spirit world and

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Psa 148:2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.

Man created in the image of God (the Imago Die) is a being that has both a material and
immaterial character, surviving bodily death with a personal awareness of God and awaiting
bodily resurrection.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Eze 12:7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.

Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

2Co 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

1Co 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

God’s wisdom is unsearchable in creation and eternity. He made all things giving them their
definite characters.

Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

God determines all things by His wisdom and understanding, preserving, governing, and
predetermining the nature and course of all things this allows for his working miracles.

Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Neh 9:6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

Psa 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Psa 72:18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

The decree by which God providentially ordains historical events is eternal, effectual,
unconditional, unchangeable, and comprehensive.

Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

Act 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

These truths are definitive, exemplary, and atypical (paradigmatic) for the believer; they are
ultimate principles of objective reality, set in contrast to the false and postmodern views of the

Always be Ready Dr Greg Bohsen


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