January 19th, 2018

The Scriptures

The Nature and Attributes of Holy Scriptures


1)    Matthew 5:17 – 18  2)    Question: Did Jesus “criticize” or “repudiate” parts of the Old Testament? See Sabbath, Sacrifice, clean foods, “the Old Testament ethic”, divorce, Lex Talion. Judgment  Gospel (Good News)/salvation - See Romans 10/Romans 1:16 – 17

3)    See corollary/parallel “question”: prophecy, dietary laws (Acts 10), ceremonial laws - St. Paul: circumcision, sacrifices, Sabbath, holy days

4)    See Old Testament corollary processes: Levites, Temple (Zech. 6: 12-13 ff)

5)    Christ repeatedly referred to “the Law and the Prophets”   -    Matthew 5:17; 7:12; 11:13; 22:40

6)    Christ repeatedly cited them to settle an issue Matthew 12:5; 15:3 – 6; 21:13, 42

7)    Christ repulsed the Tempter by citing Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16, and 6:13 (see Matthew 4:4,7, 10)

8)    Christ repeatedly taught that the Old Testament Scriptures “testify” about Him - John 5:39 and that Moses wrote about Him John 5:46 – 47; Isaiah 61:1 – 2.

9)    Clearly Jesus believed that the Old Testament spoke explicitly and authoritatively about Him. Indeed, so authoritative for Jesus or the prophetic Scriptures it was more important to Him that they be fulfilled that He escape arrest and the horrible death of crucifixion.  Matthew 26:53 – 56; Mark 14:49. At His death His thoughts were centered upon Scripture, for Is cited Psalm 22:1 just moments before dying – Matthew 27:46

10)    After His resurrection the glorified Christ taught His disciples about His fulfillment of the Law of Moses, but Prophets in the Psalms – Luke 24:44; 45 – 47.

11)    Christ “pre-authenticated” the New Testament – John 14:26; 16:12 – 14.


1) The Apostles not only shared Christ’s view of the Old Testament but also, with His authentication of them as His authoritative messengers of their message as His word to both church and world, they presented themselves to their auditors as His ambassadors and their message as God’s word (see 1 Thess. 2:13; I Cor. 2:13)

2) Galatians 3:8 ; see Genesis 12:1 – 3: no distinction is made by the Apostles between the authority of God in speaking in the authority of God in giving Scriptures.

3) Romans 9:17; see Exodus 9:16;

4) Yet another example of the view of the writers of the New Testament are passages such as Matthew 19:4, 5 ---Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 3:7 cf. Psalm 95:7 In these, and many others such passages, the intent could have been to translate “God, as recorded in Scripture, said…” But that was not what the apostles either intended nor actually wrote.


1)    The Scriptures Doctrine of Scripture teaches its own revelatory and inspired character, binding us to the grammatical/historical method of exegesis.

2)    Commitment: The Scriptures Doctrine of Scripture commits us to the harmonization of Scripture (Westminster Confession of Faith I/ix).

3)    Commitment: It also means that Scripture must never be set against itself.

4)    Commitment: Romans 12:6 – the principle of “Analogy of the whole Scripture”

5)    Commitment: This Scripture binds us to its teachings as timeless truths : 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17; see I Timothy 2:5ff.

-    Romans 4:23 – 24

-    Romans 15:4

-    I Corinthians 9:9 – 10

-    I Corinthians 10:6, 11

6)    Commitment: Harmonization demands a presuppositional approach to Scripture: Example: Genesis 1: “evening and morning” determine the interpretation of “day”.

-    “Literal” interpretations sometimes problematic: prophetic literature (use of metaphors – see Daniel 7 & 8); Figures of speech: “Lamb of God”; wine and bread as blood and flesh; literal and prophetic: lampstands as prophetic, yet the historical.

-    “Context” is key to presuppositional interpretation of Scriptures:

-    It is impossible to have “every application for every person for every situation of every era” as a direct commands of Scripture for doing or prohibiting something wrong. – Romans 15: 4ff

-    “text in question” - grammar and immediate historical background are key to interpretation. (Matthew 5: 18)

-    Context within its book: Logos in John 1; John the Baptist answers “that prophet”

-    Greater context of Scripture:  Son, Lord of David  -- Matthew 22

-    Historical context (sanctified usage): ex. Ekklasia – for church: Note the use of ekklasia in Hebrews 2, citing Psalm 22 (greater context of Scripture)

-    Example: Church used variously - depend upon text/context/greater context (history, theology, quotation) 

-    Biblical usage often is picked up as “precedent” for use elsewhere – Numbers 14: 34 - especially when the issue in the original passage was extremely important (cf. Hebrews 3 – 4).

-    The use of Metaphors as “zip files”: Metaphors are like xip files: Pregnant with information in condensed format. Metaphors are "pictures" showing indepth understanding in details. Volumes of information are often "displayed"

-    The use of metaphors as understood by the generation that needs the “historical marker”.

-    Analogical truths are the ways God creates comparisons between His Will and Nature... and Our will and nature.