Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thought of the day

“[T]he perspicuity of Scripture has nothing whatever to do with the pious fiction that the individual Christian can understand the Bible perfectly well all by himself, without the bothersome assistance of scholars and commentaries. Such an attitude—which is still prevalent in many churches—masquerades as reverence for the Bible, but actually rests on a fundamental disrespect for the true nature and character of the biblical writings”

- B Myers

9 Comments:

At 11/02/2006 5:03 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

Can we have a reference for that? :-)

 
At 11/02/2006 7:48 AM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

Surely reverence for God means that many Christians believe that God can help them to understand the Bible perfectly well , if they pray for guidance?

 
At 11/02/2006 8:29 AM, Anonymous Shane Clifton said...

This is what it does not mean. Does he go on to suggest what he thinks it does refer to?

 
At 11/02/2006 10:25 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Hi Chris -- I feel famous now!

Shane, the quote comes from this post. In the broader context, I was posting a whole series about how our doctrine of Scripture should be focused on the "message" of Scripture, i.e. the gospel. And part of my emphasis was on the historicity of Scripture (and hence the need for historical criticism in service to the gospel).

Anyway, I only hope the whole series didn't sound as pretentious as this particular quote....

 
At 11/02/2006 12:30 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Steven, regards your comment on the Moltmann 'thought of the day', the solution he seeks is the Trinity, and is indeed, he presses, the only solution.

As to your present comment: The fear of the Lord, in the biblical tradition, is the beginning of wisdom, not its end. While it is very important to be seeking God in prayer and humility for help in understanding the Scriptures (something I do daily), we can also understand that God has given us brains with which to think through scriptures, not just have the message drop from heaven (cf. also Prov 2:4 as the call to 'search' and 'seek' for wisdom. How? As with, say, healing the sick, pray for healing, and work for healing with medicine etc), to love God with all of our minds and to trust that in our study he guides us. Then there is no either pray or study, but both.

As Ben wrote: what appears as "reverence for the Bible" - or God - can actually rest "on a fundamental disrespect for the true nature and character of the biblical writings".

Ben wrote “I only hope the whole series didn't sound as pretentious as this particular quote”.

Ben, I don’t think this wasn’t pretentious, not at all! Nothing wrong with the occasional outburst of fiery eloquence!

 
At 11/02/2006 6:52 PM, Anonymous Steven Carr said...

How did people from 120 AD to 1800 Ad manage to understand the Bible without the benefit of any modern scholars and commentators?

 
At 11/02/2006 7:15 PM, Anonymous One of Freedom said...

Steven, they used older commentators and they in no way worked with the texts from the same modernist assumptions we do.

I love this quote actually, good on you Ben. But I often speak from a very practical paradigm - I'm a pastor. I am always working with folks who have bought into the plethora of Christian myths that keep our tight little Christian worldviews in check. But like Ben, I think this really shows little respect for the actual scriptures themselves. No wonder the bible becomes the fourth (and best) member of the Godhead, it is the one that most obediently does what we want it to do unlike that pesky Jesus who couldn't even get a political uprising right.

 
At 11/02/2006 9:19 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Steven, they used what they had the best they could - as should we, standing on their shoulders.

 
At 11/03/2006 9:41 PM, Anonymous vynette said...

It was a sore point with the religious establishment in Jerusalem that Jesus was not one of them - not one of the select community of scholars.

Certain sectors of the present religious establishment display the same contemptuous and patronising attitudes towards the 'unschooled' as did their spiritual forefathers.

They have divorced Jesus from the commonality and made him their own special and private property.

It is only the introduced doctrines of the churches that have introduced all this muddling complexity.

Strip away the doctrines and the message of the New Testament is profoundly simple.

 

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