Bibliology is the study of the theological doctrine of the Bible itself which lends credence to the divine inspiration and authority of the scriptures contained in the Bible.
Some people have distorted this to the point of giving more credence to the book itself than they do to it's divine author. This leads to an excessive adherence to the literal interpretation of the Bible in what is called Bibliolotry. It is almost an act of worship of the scriptures, as the actual salvation of men depends on the scriptures rather than the God who inspired them.
2 Timothy 3:16 states; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" The words inspiration of God are the Greek word theopneustis which means God-breathed. In simple terms it expresses the idea that all scripture from Genesis to Revelation originated with and was passed down from God. If we expand on that thought, then we must believe that there is not one portion of scripture that is more inspired than any other because the same Spirit that is promised to teach God's people has been instrumental in teaching every writer of scripture what God intended for them to write. In addition, the words of Moses, David the King, the prophets, the New Testament writers and even Jesus himself are all equally inspired. So we have a divine record of mankind from Adam and Eve through every age in human history and on into eternity.
The Bible is a divine book. I further believe that it is "the" divine book intended to give man hope and assurance that no religious book can ever offer or provide. This will anger some but that is going to happen when belief systems are challenged as being in error. There can only be one true God existing in the universe according to the scriptures. The obvious implication then would have to be that his book is the only pure source of authority in the universe.
The authority of the Bible can be found in two verses of scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The only authority of the prophets (Old Testament writers) is found in 2 Peter 1:20-21. Both scriptures ascribe the writing and the utterances of the aforementioned individuals to be God inspired. A study of scripture and its writers would reveal some amazing facts. These facts are listed below.
1. Biblical Verification - "And God said or its equivalent are used over 2600 times in the Bible.
2. Authorship - The Bible is written by men whose honesty and integrity were above question.
3. Unity - The Bible consists of 66 books written by forty authors of vastly varied backgrounds over a period of almost 1600 years covering a variety of topics. In the light of this the amazing unity of theme and purpose has to come from one superintending mind. There is no way men could have planned this over a span of 1600 years.
Some writers were shepherds, others prophets coming before kings and were greatly respected, still others were men of renown such as Moses, well educated in the best schools of Egypt, King Solomon, considered the wisest man of all, David the King of Israel, Luke, a physician and disciple of Christ and Paul who was schooled under the greatest tutor of his day in Gamaliel and who also excelled in the school of his wise mentor above all other students.
4. Influence - The Bible message of the gospel has turned many individuals and groups to the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ alone. This has occurred in the lives of millions of people from every venue of life and in every nation on earth. Great leaders ascribe its veracity including some who never turned to Christ for salvation.
5. Circulation - Not only is the Bible the best selling book in the history of the world but it has been translated into nearly every language on earth and circulated worldwide.
6. Fulfilled Prophecies - It's many fulfilled prophecies including hundreds of prophecies about Jesus Christ himself. Some prophecies are still being fulfilled as you read this page.
7. Timelessness - Remarkable preservation despite all attempts to discredit or destroy it.
The Authority of the Bible
There are differences of opinion over the source of authority which resulted in sectarianism or excessive attachment to a particular sect or party in religion.
The Roman Catholic stance on authority is "The Bible is an authoritative collection of writings. Scripture belongs in a church which gathered them." Council of Trent - April 28, 1546 - stated; "Tradition is equal to the Bible."
The Protestant Reformation view of scripture is "The Bible is a collection of authoritative writings. Authority is in the scriptures themselves." If the authority is in the scriptures themselves then no man can assume to be the only one who has a right understanding of the scriptures irrespective of their position as a lay person or a leader in the church. This should humble all of us.
Erroneous Views Of Inspiration
There are a number of erroneous views concerning the inspiration of the scriptures. Below I have listed and defined some for the benefit of those reading this page.
1. Natural Inspiration - The Bible is inspired in the same sense as other great works of literature are inspired. It is a remarkable human book written by people with religious genius.
2. Illuminational Inspiration - The writers of scripture were inspired in the sense that Christians
today may be guided concerning truths God wants them to know. Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32 and Proverbs 30:5-6 oppose this. This belief teaches that there is no fixed standard to distinguish between truth and error since inspiration is always taking place. Another name for this erroneous view is Universal Christian Inspiration.
3. Conceptual Inspiration - This theory believe that only the thoughts of the writers were inspired; not the words. This is highly inconceivable and irrational since thoughts are words.
4. Partial Inspiration - This theory teaches that only certain portions of the Bible are inspired and that the Bible contains, but isn't, the Word of God. Rudolph Bultman tried to de-mythologize the Bible which casts out all miraculous events as myths. In his thinking and teaching, whatever is intellectually or morally objectionable is rejected as the inspired word of God.
5. Christological Inspiration - Christ alone is the "Word of God" and he is the object of Christian faith (not a book). The Christ of this school of thought is not in the Bible but exists solely in their experience. This teaching allows men to create a Christ of their own imagining without proving the existence of that person they create. It is mental gymnastics.
6. Mechanical Dictation - This theory believes that the writers of scripture were completely passive and that all the decisions concerning choice of words were made by the Holy Spirit. This theory ignores style, temperament, and personal feelings of writers and suggest complete uniformity. Robotic is the word that comes to my mind. This is in direct contradiction to the Christian belief that the writers were willing instruments but that God worked with them in spite of their individual characteristics and temperaments and etc. The proof of it is in the variety of expressions that each writer used calling on their frame of reference as writers. Some were poets and others prophets and kings. There were shepherds, physicians, tax collectors and more. Uniformity would be highly improbable and impossible for mere men.
7. Existential Theory of Inspiration - This theory subscribes to the belief that it is incorrect to say the Bible is the Word of God, but it becomes the word of God as it speaks to the human heart. This theory implies that human beings hearts are the determining factor. The Bible tells us "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
8. The Inspired Purpose - While the Bible contains factual errors and insoluble discrepancies in its content, it does have doctrinal integrity and accomplishes perfectly God's purpose for it. This would make God to seem incompetent in choosing who could present his word to the world.
All these different theories only serve to prove the truth of what is said in Isaiah 55: 8- 9. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord; For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
A Small Oblation
I do not minister for money,
But somehow it seems
kind of funny,
That those who let
me build this site,
Somehow feel that it's alright,
For me to pay a monthly fee,
To offer all this stuff to thee,
So if you'd show appreciation
Kindly leave a small oblation.
C R Lord © 12/17/2018
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