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One of our core values at Mission Hills is being Bible-driven, and we’re going to spend some time in these sessions digging into what exactly that means.
In the weekly Mission Hills staff chapel, Craig Smith shared the above study, the second part of this series. Below is a summary the highlights the main points of the video for the sake of brevity, but it is not exhaustive.
Right thinking precedes right living. Recognizing something needs to change creates the potential to change. To act rightly about being bible-driven we have to think rightly about what scripture is. Our goal is to shape thinking about scripture so that it comes out in a lot of different ways.
1. It is accurate but lacks the scientific precision modern readers are often looking for.
2. It uses phenomenological language—describing things as they appear, not necessarily as they are (ie the sun “rises”).
3. The Bible claims that miraculous events occurred and there is nothing inherently “unscientific” about miracles (and this also depends on how you define “science”).
4. Scientific beliefs can and do change. It can become dangerous for the church to try to align our interpretation and understanding of scripture with current scientific theories.
5. The Bible is not a scientific text, but it has scientific implications. There is no properly understood scientific statement in the Bible which contradicts established scientific knowledge.
1. The Bible claims to be inspired
2. Full inspiration naturally leads to inerrancy
3. Inerrancy naturally leads to authority. There are other things that are accurate (inerrant), but that doesn’t necessarily make it authoritative. The Bible itself is authoritative because it’s the word of God—not just because it’s the Bible (or a particular version). The ultimate authority is God himself. It is God who makes the Bible authoritative
4. Is Scripture the most authoritative kind of revelation? It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to “rank” truth. If scripture is true revelation, then it is authoritative for that reason—because it comes from God and is true.
5. The Bible is authoritative to provide us a standard to judge some other forms of revelation. If Scripture is fully inspired and, for that reason, fully true, then it can serve as a fixed standard for judging the validity and truth content of other supposed revelations.
1. The author: Who wrote this?
a. Many authors confirmed by miracles.
b. Not everything these authors wrote became scripture.
2. Orthodoxy: Does this match up with previous revelation?
3. Relevance: Is this widely applicable?
Nonbiblical books from that same time period (eg gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Mary, the gospel of Judas, etc.).
Imitation scriptures: books that tried to sound like the bible with similar language and phrases; falsely attributed to a respected figured to gain credibility. Some often written well after the author lived. If the author isn’t authentic, the content is on shaky ground.
The Apocrypha are a subset of pseudepigrapha (the Old Testament books the Catholic church includes).
Included in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) included these additional books.Jewish people and the early church did not consider them scripture and were not quoted as authoritative. The Early church used the Greek translation of the Old Testament, so they were familiar with them.
It’s not quite accurate that the Catholic church “included” them as scripture or that the Protestant church “removed” them.Latin translation (Vulgate) included the Apocrypha (not as authoritative scripture), but people began to treat it as scripture. Some doctrines developed that depended upon the Apocrypha, so later English translations did not include them.
we believe in church that is
In the weekly Mission Hills staff chapel, Craig Smith shared the above study. Below is a summary the highlights the main points of the video for the sake of brevity, but it is not exhaustive.
One of our core values at Mission Hills is being Bible-driven, and we’re going to spend some time in these sessions digging into what exactly that means. Being Bible-driven means being compelled by the powerful truth of God’s word.
Attacks (such as the Da Vinci Code) on the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture have become mainstream cultural conversations, and Christians have historically fled from those conversations because we aren’t sure how to respond. It is imperative that Christians be equipped with answers to step into those conversations with answers. This video is intended to help Christians understand how we got the Bible, and why we can trust it.
Inspiration – the Bible itself claims to be inspired (Timothy 3:16, Galatians 1:11-12). Because so many doctrines and truths of scripture are built upon the idea of the Bible being inspired by God, the fundamental claims of the Bible rest upon its inspiration.
A. Dictation // God tells the author exactly what to write – word by word.
B. Inscription // God physically wrote what he wanted to say – like when God wrote the ten commandments, or in Daniel 5:25.
C. Superintendence // God arranged it so that the words that were written were the words that He wanted to be written and there’s also human personality involved in the process.
Through all three methods, the end result is that all of scripture is from God. There is not a single word written in the original manuscripts of the Bible that God did not oversee.
A belief in Biblical inerrancy claims that the original manuscripts are completely without error. There are a few different views on what this means about how we view the truth of scripture.
1. Absolute Inerency // The Biblical writers intended to communicate all truth through the Bible. In this view, all spiritual, historical, and scientific statements are precisely accurate and exhaustive. Many believe that all we were intended to know about science, history, and mathematics is found in the Bible, and other sources are unnecessary at best.
2. Full Inerency // We (along with most evangelicals) believe that the Bible is wholly accurate in its claims, but its goal is not to inform you of history or science. Its goal is to teach you about God himself. It will never give you a historical claim this is false, but it is not intended as a history book in the way we think about history—it’s a theological history. Thus, interpreting the Bible requires constant attention to its fundamental purpose.
3. Limited Inherency // The Bible accurately teaches broad truths about God—about His nature and salvation—but historical and scientific claims may or may not be true. General truths about God are correct but a lot of the other details are wrong.
4. Purpose Inherency // The Bible is fully capable of leading individuals into a salvation relationship with God, but as far as the scientific and historical claims it holds, it is almost certainly not true. So, the Bible is not a book of truth, but rather a book to truth. It will lead you into a true relationship with God, but it doesn’t have bearing in other areas.
The Bible itself believes that historical events are a medium of revelation, and they show us truth about the God who stands behind history. In I Corinthians 15:16-17, Paul says that if Jesus isn’t actually raised from the dead, all of this is a waste of time. It’s clear that the Bible believes that the historical events have to have actually happened for them to speak truthfully about the God who stands behind them.
So, the Bible is interested in history and it believes that its claims need to be true to be significant. However, it’s important to recognize the Bible is not simple history. The Bible’s goal is not to communicate historical facts. The Bible’s goal is to communicate the reality of the God who stands behind history as a theological history.