Monday, January 18, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 9/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 9/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

9) On what authority, or on what principle, would we accept as Scripture books that we know were not written by one of the twelve apostles?

Simple Answer(s):

We accept them on faith.

Important Qualification(s):

1) We know that the whole Old Testament was not written by one of the twelve apostles. We also accept them on faith.

2) The fact that we accept them on faith doesn't mean that our faith is irrational. Thus, for example, the following are also the case.

a) The Holy Spirit testifies to His word.

b) We have historical evidence that also supports our conclusion that a particular book or passage is Scripture.

c) But ultimately, "my sheep hear my voice" is the governing principle.

- TurretinFan

6 comments:

natamllc said...

With regard to this question:

"....9) On what authority, or on what principle, would we accept as Scripture books that we know were not written by one of the twelve apostles?...".

I thought of the incident in the Gospels where a similar "what" question was asked Jesus:::>

Joh 18:33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
Joh 18:35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?"
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world."
Joh 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
Joh 18:38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.

If you should happen to notice, not once in those questions does Jesus ever answer the "what" questions.

The question is, "why?"

The answer is, Jesus is not a "what", He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God sent on a mission to end all what questions with regard to Him and His Sovereign Way!

This morning in the regular mens meeting we have 5 days a week, the question was posed, "what do you want?"

It took some time of weighing the question before the question changed to "Who do you serve and what does He want?"

Pro 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
Pro 15:10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.
Pro 15:11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of the children of man!

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Turretinfan,

Could we not also say that Scripture (those parts written by Apostles) sometimes calls non-Apostolic documents "Scripture" (e.g. 1 Timothy 5:18)?

Turretinfan said...

MDS:

I'm not sure how that's different from my #1, but of course, the Old Testament is called Scripture by Jesus and the apostles.

-TurretinFan

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Sorry I was unclear. I attempted to cite 1 Timothy 5:18 as a reference to Luke. I often find Ray's type of question geared toward the New Testament non-Apostolic books rather than the Old Testament.

Turretinfan said...

1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Good point. Luke was not an apostle, although he was the companion (for a time) of Paul the Apostle.

john said...

9) On what authority, or on what principle, would we accept as Scripture books that we know were not written by one of the twelve apostles?

Simple Answer(s):

We accept them on faith.

Important Qualification(s):

”1) We know that the whole Old Testament was not written by one of the twelve apostles. We also accept them on faith.”

The OT was accepted based upon OT tradition and the authority of the church in the OT. Such authority is found in the priesthood and the chair of Moses.

”2) The fact that we accept them on faith doesn't mean that our faith is irrational. Thus, for example, the following are also the case.”

So far your answer is without any reasoned argument.

”a) The Holy Spirit testifies to His word.”

And this is not found in scripture when it’s a question of the canon. Also it requires a non sequitur as follows – The HS testifies to his word through a message given to man in a text that says he will testify to his word. Yet that text is not known to be inspired, so we don’t know if the message in the text actually really verifies that the HS will testify to his word.

There is also an equivocation on Word of God (His Word) as meaning scripture –

The Holy Spirit testifies to His word.
Yet His Word is not known to be His Word in its entirety or in part, in writing or as transmitted orally.
As the method of transmission is not known, then the limit of His word is not known and therefore the extent of the canon cannot be known.

The statement is subjective –

“The Holy Spirit testifies to His word” requires an objective means to know when and how the HS will testify to his word. Yet an objective means is not available in the OT or OT, so a subjective means is needed. But a subjective means is also not available, nor binding from the OT or the NT. If only a subjective means is used, then it is not binding on the community of believers and the entire Christian faith becomes subjective.

The Holy Spirit testifies to His word begs the question because the statement assumes the HS exists, which is only revealed in scripture. If there is no scripture yet determined then we don’t infallibly know the HS exists.

The Holy Spirit testifies to His word begs the question because it assumes “His word” must exist in a text, yet this is what is assumed in the statement.


”b) We have historical evidence that also supports our conclusion that a particular book or passage is Scripture.”

But this is tradition, which is Catholic and is not SS. If the tradition is apostolic then you agree with the Catholics. If the tradition is not apostolic then anything can be believed in the Christian faith because anything can be non apostolic.


“c) But ultimately, "my sheep hear my voice" is the governing principle.”

Only subjective and suffers from begging the question discussed above.

JM