Propositional Revelation and Scripture, pt. 2 of 2
Additionally, our orthodox biblical propositions are not all in the bible. For example, the developed doctrine of the Trinity, that all orthodox Christians believe, will not be found as a developed proposition in the bible.
Finally, if revelation was truly about pure and refined propositions, then why is it that almost all of Jesus’ original Aramaic words are lost to us. The gospel writers translated them in to Greek, and gave the words of Jesus their own interpretive stamp. From the very earliest layers of the NT, what we have are, at least as I see them, interpretations (even if reliable ones) of the significance and words of Christ. These words remain, however, second order.
It is for these reasons that it is better to see the bible after the analogy of art or music or story or drama – something that creates an effect and draws us into an encounter with God by the Spirit, but not as a storehouse of timeless propositions. It just isn’t that simple. Even a simple proposition like ‘Jesus is Lord’ is not a timeless abstract proposition. It can mean very different things depending on who is confessing it, when and why.
However, truths must surely be communicated in revelation. Not only that, for there to be a communication of revelation, there needs to be propositions (even if second-order and provisional) of these truths. And while the propositions may not be the revelations themselves, they can, by the Spirit, become the vehicle of the revelation or unveiling of the hidden God particularly in Christ. In this sense I want to affirm propositional revelation.