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The Bible » Four Views of Scripture

Four Views Of Scripture

According to G. W. Bromiley, Fuller Theological Seminary in the New Bible Commentary, Revised, there exist four views regarding the authority and inspiration of the Holy Scripture.


The Reformed View - This approach to the Bible holds that the Bible itself assumes everywhere that it is a message directly given by God himself. Because it is itself from God, the Bible contains everything necessary both to salvation and living the Christian life. It is inspired both in content and also in form. The Bible must be respected, received and obeyed not because it is a fixed and static letter, but because under the Holy Spirit that letter is the Living Word of the Living God.


II Timothy 3:16-17 - "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."


2 Peter 1:20-21 - "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of an private interpretation, For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." This totally destroys the Catholic teaching that the Pope has exclusive authority to interpret the words of scripture. It is precisely clear that no man has that authority given to him irrespective of his station in life.

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The Roman Catholic View - Like the Reformed View the Roman Catholic position in regard to scripture is that it is completely trustworthy and inspired, not only from the point of view of history, but also from that of doctrine. The Roman Catholic tradition, however, holds that the Bible is not enough. The interpretation of the Bible is in the hands of the church speaking through excathedra pronouncements of the Pope, the decisions of the general councils and statements of the teaching office together with the expositions of the early fathers.

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The Neo-Orthodox View - Primarily associated with the theology of Karl Barth, this view holds that the Bible is true in-so-far as God works through it in self-revelation. The Bible is not true, however, in the sense that all of its statements are true. The essential point of Neo-Orthodoxy is that the Bible becomes God's Word as the Holy Spirit illumines and applies it to the individual soul.

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The Liberal Protestant View - Here the Bible is granted only limited authority. It rejects the transcendent deity and supernatural acts of God. This means that the Bible has to be explained as reason, or history, or poetry or religion but not as the Word of God. The Bible is reduced to the level of a human book, outstanding perhaps of its kind, but not above all other books.

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It is my express belief that the first view is the correct one and that view can be established through a thorough study of the scriptures themselves.