3 May 2002

Is the Bible the complete, written revelation of God?

Submitted by theshovel
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This article comes from a response to the Shoveletter: Bibliology

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3

"And by faith we know that all the writings decreed by the counsel of men to compose the 'Canon of the Scriptures' is the 'complete written revelation of God to man' - and none other - especially those bogus writings added by a later counsel of men of the same church that decreed the version we KNOW is true ... with the exception of possibly James (as suggested by Martin Luther) and maybe the first portion of John 8 (about the woman caught in adultery) and most of Mark 16 (including that snake-handling mumbo-jumbo), and a few others."

Hello Joyce

No, I don't remember that being part of Hebrews 11, either. I have to ask: "faith" in what - that it is either ALL true or that it isn't? This is a very precarious perch.

Now, in case you think I'm suggesting that we are supposed to cast the Bible aside, I have to wonder why it is that I don't seem to doubt what is written like most of those who claim how "inspired" it is. Think not? There is far more Christ-rejection preached using the "infallible" writings than by those who claim they are BS - for it happens every day, especially on Sundays, all across our world. And I'm talking about those who claim to believe the Bible, not those "liberal" guys.

How do we know that the Bible composes the complete written revelation of God to man? Joyce

I challenge this assumption, and I can guarantee you that many had challenged it each time a counsel of man decided to undertake the task of figuring out which writings were included - and which were rejected. What is this assumption? That "a complete written revelation of God to man" was actually God's intention in Christ.

What causes us to jump to the conclusion that challenging man's decrees has anything to do with the suggestion that there has to be something "wrong" or "suspicious" about the writings we find in the compilation known as "The Holy Bible"? Or maybe even in some of those that were rejected by other counsels - before and after - the one that "canonized" the one most of us accept now. Unless of course you use a Catholic Bible - for us "Protestants" KNOW that OUR version is right and yours is wrong ... unless, of course, you hold to the "KJV only" crowd and have determined that all the rest of us are heretics and blasphemers against the TRUE written revelation of God to man!!

Do any of us REALLY think that the way WE perceive this "universal Christian agreement" on the Bible would be held in high regard by the counsels of man that right now are arguing over which is right and which is wrong and which is of God and which is not and which interpretation is right and which is wrong and whether God is a woman or a man or gay or straight or conservative or liberal, etc, etc ... all based upon the precepts held forth by the doctrine of "Bibliology"? And most of them claim that "faith" is the reason they hold their perception as the one and only.

The ASSUMPTION of the "complete written revelation of God to man" is that God has designed this book to the be end all for everything we need to know about God. But is it? Or is this "canonizing" of God-breathed writings into what we now hold as the "canon of Scripture" more a matter of CONTROL and AUTHORITY for MAN? Do you think all the condemnation and fear from all the "brow-beating" that comes from "Thus saith the LORD!" as preached in pulpits across the world might be at all influenced - nay, DEMANDED - by that underlying fear that by rejecting such condemnation is equivalent to rejecting GOD?

But what is the complete revelation of God to man? Isn't it Christ himself - he that is the very expression of God? The "complete written revelation of God to man" has ALWAYS been, at best, INCOMPLETE!! It remains INCOMPLETE each time a counsel of man decided to add or remove those portions that would make it "complete". The "complete written revelation of God to man" is an oxymoron, an impossibilty ... of Biblical proportion!! :)

Why do we think we NEED a complete written revelation of God? Maybe because we're STILL trying to figure out what God's desire and intentions are for and from and to us!! But we will NEVER find this if we are looking for it as an addition to the completeness of Christ - AS TESTIFIED TO IN ALL THOSE WRITINGS! Heck, Christ was testified to even in many of those writings that didn't make it in (which has nothing to do with whether I think they belong ... which one could only speculate if they are not really paying attention to what I have written).

Let me address some more on your first question.

How do we know that the Bible composes the complete written revelation of God to man?

This is the assumption of requirements. If it is written down you are legally bound to it so that you must keep up your end of the bargain. Why else does the Christian marketplace always seem so fixated upon "what we must DO"? Why, we have even described faith as the "one requirement necessary for salvation"?!! Oh really?! Isn't that why we so often paint ourselves into a corner as we try to explain how even though we have to "do" this one thing (believe) that there is NOTHING we can do? What are we saying? The reason we can't get ourselves out of this conundrum with all our 'splaining is simple: we are trying to use man's logic and understanding to define a miracle of divine proportion!!

If there was ever any "complete written revelation of God to man" it was found with Moses as he became the mediator of the Law to those under it.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

Of course, this Bible verse is probably one of the foundational statements upon which our view of Bibliology stands. But does "Law came through Moses, but grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ" actually substantiate the claim that the "words of the Law" + the writings about Christ = the complete written revelation of God for US? If so, then how do we handle the "doing away of the first to establish the second" ... as this could easily be claimed as suggesting that we should discard the writings of the OT? Of course, this absurdity only makes sense in the context of man's attempt to confine God's intentions for us into a "complete written revelation of God to man".

Take a look at that first part: "The secret things belong to the LORD our God," Isn't that what we're really trying to figure out with our "completed" version? Geez, we even have a whole study going on right now about these bogus "Bible Codes" found by means of computer technology!! We are DESPERATE I tell you!! We figure that whatever else we can know about God is found through careful consideration, and diligent study, of the "Scriptures". And so we dig in to find out WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, etc, etc ... ad infinitum!! When we can't figure something out we resign ourselves to the idea that it will be "one of the things we will ask God when we get to heaven". Like either God - or ourselves - are really going to be interested in MOST of those things!!

Someone in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.' But He said to him, 'Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?' Then He said to them, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.' Luke 12:13-15

I know, what does this have to do with anything? Everything. This is the difference between the stuff of this present world - the one we are no longer part of - and the realm of God - of which we are even NOW fully in. The question of "inheritance" was posed. They wanted Jesus to be like a Moses to them in dealing with the inheritance of man. "Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?" How many of those questions are found in the same realm ... and would receive an answer just like this?

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us..."

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. Isaiah 65:17

[Interestingly, it would have bothered me at one time to discover that the quote Paul made doesn't quite line up with what we have in our Bibles ... but not any more.]

but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM." For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

What has God revealed to us through the Spirit? Those "secret things (that) belong to the LORD our God" - "ALL THINGS, EVEN THE DEPTHS OF GOD"!! This just thrills the willies out of me!!! So, wait a minute ... are we STILL trying to understand the "deep things of God" by a careful word-by-word, line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept careful study of the written word of God? How come? Please take note: I did NOT even come close to suggesting that there is no worth in reading and/or studying these writings!! I say this, and I STILL read and ponder and discover many life-giving realities therein!

Love, Jim

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