Monday, January 01, 2018

Bibliology - The Doctrine of Scripture

by Laura Springer, Th.M., Ph.D.

Throughout 2018, we will be looking at the Doctrine of Scripture, known as Bibliology. This month, we look at its unity, truth, significance, and power.

The Bible is one text. The Christian bible is composed of the Old Testament (39 books, also known as the TaNaKh) and the New Testament (27 books). The TaNaKh was finalized in 20 BC and was the Scripture used by Jesus and his apostles and mentioned in the New Testament. The 27 books of the New Testament were written in the first century AD and recognized as Scripture by the church as the New Testament Canon. The church officially declared the canon closed in AD 397 (canonicity).

The Christian Bible was written by around 40 human authors and one divine author, God, over the span of about 2,000 years. Despite the many human authors and the span of years, the Bible is one text. It is God’s communication of himself in text (revelation) and was breathed out by God (inspiration) and written by human authors.

The Bible is true. It is without error in what it affirms (inerrancy), for what it says happened, actually happened, and the truths it proclaims are true. It will not fail to achieve the purposes God has for it (infallibility).

The Bible is significant. While nature reveals God’s power and divinity (Romans 1:20), the written Word reveals Christ, law, salvation, and much more. It is important to understand this written text, for understanding is good (John 20:31; 1 John 5:13).

The Bible is powerful. It works in the lives of the people of God, teaching, reproving, correcting, and instructing in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As believers read and study the Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us its import (illumination) and guides us as we seek to understand what it says and what it means (interpretation).

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

Unity of the Bible (
R. H. Mounce. Bible. Ed. Elwell, W. A. (2001). In Evangelical dictionary of theology: Second Edition (pp. 152–153). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

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