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Did God Stop "Dictating" His Word After The Book Of Revelation??.......

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Tim Myers, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Tim Myers

    Tim Myers Regular Member

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    A lot of people believe that God began "dictating" His word to human beings, beginning with the book of Genesis and ending with the book of Revelation....

    I have heard it said in so many words, over and over, that, after God finished "writing" the book of Revelation, He closed the book, put His seal of approval on it, and said: "That's all the scripture you're going to get from Me."

    But, is that true...or has God continued to dictate His word continuously throught the past 2,000 years, adapting it to each new generation??

    When I read the works of men like Charles Spurgeon or C.S. Lewis, as well as many others, I feel their words are right up there with giants like the Apostle Paul, in regard to their depth of insight and spiritual inspiration.

    Did God really close the book after Revelation or has He been continually writing it ever since??
     
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  2. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Tim,
    The Bible’s doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is based on its being God-breathed, theopneustos (2 Tim. 3:16). The ESV translates this verse as,

    I refer you to my article, “The Bible’s support for inerrancy of the originals”. I highly recommend a read of, “The inerrancy of the autographa” by Dr. Greg Bahnsen and “What is inerrancy” by Dr. D. A. Carson. Here Carson wrote:
    However, the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture does not support the idea that God dictated all of his Word to all who were involved in the writing of Scripture. But all of Scripture is “breathed out by God”. That is not the case with the writing of C. H. Spurgeon, C. S. Lewis and others. Having a special gift from God for preaching, teaching and apologetics, is vastly different from Scripture that is breathed out by God.

    I find it impossible to be convinced of the verbal, plenary inspiration (every word is without error in the originals) of the Bible and support a dictation theory of inspiration in which God’s Spirit treated the Bible writers like a CD recorder. That kind of view would make the writers passive recipients or robots. If the Scripture were inspired through a dictation theory of inspiration, it would not make sense of passages like Luke 1:1-4 where Luke states that he depended on other sources:

    God closed the book of Scripture with the writing of the Book of Revelation, the last book written in the NT. There have been no further theopneustos writings since then and there will be no more. See "The Bible: The Holy Canon of Scripture".

    In Christ, Oz
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  3. wayseer

    wayseer Well-Known Member

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    The writing goes on only the Church pays no heed.
     
  4. Tim Myers

    Tim Myers Regular Member

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    "The writing goes on......."

    That is how I personally see it as well.....
    I believe that God is still "breathing out" His wisdom and inspiration just as much as He ever did.....
     
  5. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Tim,
    The Scriptures state that only the Scriptures are breathed out by God (theopneustos-2 Tim 3:16). All other Christian writings are from people who are gifted by God for teaching. That's the case with C H Spurgeon, C S Lewis, John MacArthur, James Montgomery Boice, John Piper, Albert Mohler, D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Stott, A W Tozer, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, and a host of others.

    Only the Bible is theopneustos (breathed out by God).

    God illumines his Word by the ministry of the Holy Spirit and can speak to us personally by the Spirit, but that is nowhere near to being theopneustos. If you read C H Spurgeon, nowhere will you ever read that his words are close to what the apostle Paul wrote. He would regard that as blasphemous, in my understanding, after reading quite a bit of Spurgeon.

    This is what Spurgeon said about Scripture:
    Oz
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  6. lkh

    lkh Newbie

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    If II Tim. 3:16 meant that scripture was closed at that time, then Revelation and others would not have been included. So how do we read that? Was the writer really referring to the set of books that would soon be circulating and that church fathers would later canonize? Was it supposed to be finished when that verse was written? What about the apocrypha? I notice the book of Timothy does not give a specific list of books to be included. Hmmmm ...
    I can only assume that the Paul was referring to scripture that had already been written, and that which was still to be written. I see nothing to indicate that various authors such as C. S. Lewis (my personal favorite modern writer) could not be inspired by God to write things His people need to hear.
    I realize this opens a can of worms because of the wealth of writing out there, but I don't want to miss what God has to say to me for being afraid of worms!
    lkh
     
  7. childofdust

    childofdust Newbie

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    Those who believe that God dictated his word to us are Muslims, not Christians.

    There were no "books" in the ancient world. He might have rolled up a scroll or sealed a tablet or something, but no "book" was closed. And the Revelation itself (not the letters) is certainly not part of God's word. But YHWH did continue to reveal himself to humankind through his Church. She is the body of Christ and the fount of his Spirit. Spirit-inspired Tradition has been with us since the beginning of the Church and continues till this day.
     
  8. x141

    x141 ...

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    The whole word of God was summed up in his son, a living word which is how he speaks to us indivdually. The word now opens to us and within us to reveal the Father and the son in relationship to the two who have become one in whom we are now seated. You can look upon it as you said ... or has He been continually writing it ever since??

    How bout, he is now opening this book or scroll in you ...
     
  9. lkh

    lkh Newbie

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    I like the way you put that, x141, going to chew on it ...


    And the Revelation itself (not the letters) is certainly not part of God's word.
    Childofdust, can you expand on this?
     
  10. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    I would say that the fundamental problem with the issue in the OP as well as the follow-on question is the assumption that "The Bible" is God's revelation to mankind. It is not. God's revelation of Himself is the act of God showing Himself to us, of uncovering Himself, and that act is always a personal encounter. Those personal encounters before Christ were like God showing the prophets His shadow. But in Christ, God has shown us Himself completely. THAT is God's revelation. The Scriptures bear witness to that revelation - they write about the various personal encounters with God and tell about what God said to them - but they are not that revelation. Christ is the ultimate revelation of God, wherein God has completely shown Himself to us. When we read the Scriptures, especially the New Testament, we can know that the Christ that we're getting to know is the same Christ that the apostles knew, and the continuing witness of the saints over the ages since then testify to the same thing. Whether or not there are more books is irrelevant. What matters is that we are encountering the same Christ that the apostles encountered so that we can partake of that same Revelation that they experienced when they knew Him while He walked the earth.
     
  11. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    lkh,

    I used to understand that 2 Tim. 3:16 and the reference to "all Scripture" was referring back to the OT. However, in recent times I’ve been asking some further questions of 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21. The following is some tentative thinking (I have not reached a finality yet.

    1. Let’s look at 2 Tim. 3:15-17[1], including the verse before the two that you mentioned, (vv. 16-17):
    Second Tim. 3:15-17 (ESV),

    Here we have two groups of writings distinguished: “the sacred writings” of v. 15 and “all Scripture” of v. 16.

    “All Scripture” (v. 16) seems to indicate everything that the Holy Spirit gave to the church as canonical and authoritative, OT and NT. When Paul wrote these words, was he referring to a body of literature that was more than the OT. We know this from:

    First Tim. 5:18 (ESV), “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’” These two sayings are clearly co-ordinated. If the first is Scripture, than so is the second. Here we have a word spoken by Jesus that is on the same level of authority as a saying from the OT canon.

    1. “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” comes from Deut. 25:4 (You’ll find a similar use by Paul in I Cor. 9:8-12).

    2. Where do we find the saying, “The laborer deserves his wages”? Its precise wording is in Luke 10:7 (ESV), “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.” There is a slightly different form in Matthew 10:10 (ESV), “No bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”

    It is not an impossibility that Luke’s Gospel had been completed at the time of Paul’s writing to Timothy. My ESV Bible gives the date for 2 Timothy as “the final letter written by Paul (A.D. 64-68)". The ESV states at the beginning of Luke's Gospel that ‘Luke, a physician and colleague of Paul, probably wrote this account in the early 60s A.D”.

    If that is true, then the apostle Paul could have been quoting from Luke’s Gospel. But there is another possibility that Paul was quoting from a collection of sayings or oral tradition that was in circulation and used as a source for Luke (see Luke 1:1-4).

    3. So, when we combine these two quotes in I Tim. 5:18 we are beginning to see that “Scripture” may refer to both OT and NT. So “all Scripture” (2 Tim. 3:16) also could refer to all that is breathed out by God -- OT and NT.

    We should not find this surprising, based on John 14:26 (ESV), “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

    There’s further information in 2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV),
    Peter, the apostle, confirms that Paul’s writings are of the SAME class as “the other Scriptures” (OT and NT are placed together).

    I have not come to firm conclusions, but the above considerations do cause me to think again on the meaning of “all Scripture” in 2 Tim. 3:16.

    These are just some thoughts from a fellow traveller.

    Sincerely, Oz

    [1] I received the basic information for the following content from William Hendriksen, I & II Timothy & Titus (New Testament Commentary). Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1957, pp. 182, 301.
     
  12. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    This is your idiosyncratic view. The Greek word, biblos (translated as 'book' in ESV), is found in Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5, 20:15. Arndt & Gingrich's Greek lexicon gives the meaning as,
    This includes the meaning from classical and koine NT Greek.

    The classical Greek, NT, and church fathers also used biblion (see Rev. 13:8) which meant, according to Arndt & Gingrich,
    So in classical and koine Greek there was an understanding of 'book', not as in the days of the printing press, but 'book', nevertheless.

    Your view is false about the Book of Revelation as not being part of God's Word. History refutes you. The oldest copy we have of the NT canon is the Muratorian Canon, which is dated about AD 170-200, and is a manuscript fragment. Have a guess what? It refutes your view. While it excludes some books from our current canon (it contained portions of 22 books), it most certainly does include the Revelation of John.

    Athanasius, in his Easter letter of AD 367 to the churches under his jurisdiction as the bishop of Alexandria, listed the 27 books that we have in our canon of the NT - including the Book of Revelation.

    So when it came to the Council of Carthage in AD 397, it merely affirmed what had been generally accepted by the church over a long period of time - the 27 books of the NT, including the Book of Revelation. Church historian, Earle E. Cairns has noted,
    I urge you to become a student of church history. Then you would not make this kind of banal statement about the Book of Revelation not being a part of God's Word. You are clearly wrong, based on the evidence from church history.

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  13. LantanaAnna

    LantanaAnna Guest

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    Tim, the Bible is a collection of books, it is not one book and it was not written in the order presented to us. The books were written by different prophets who had inspiration from God.
    The Catholics kept and compiled the Bible we use today. There are other scriptures that were not included. Although the Bible has been preserved by God, you know that anything that man's hand touches is corrupted to a degree.
     
  14. childofdust

    childofdust Newbie

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    It is also a historically factual view supported by biblical scholarship, which can be found in any major work on the topic, such as Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible by Karel van der Toorn, Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature by Susan Niditch, The Art of Biblical Narrative (or Poetry) by Robert Alter, etc, etc, etc... It is a simple fact that what we call a book today and what we think of when we say “book” has nothing to do with ancient texts, and anyone who has studied scholarship on this topic will tell you so.

    Ineed, we are dealing with a Greek word, as you observe. And this is all good and well, because it was the Greeks who created the word and concept of a “book.” That word and concept didn't exist anywhere else before that. And guess when that word and concept entered the common culture of the ancient world: after Alexander conquered it and brought Hellenism to it. And guess when that happened: after most of the biblical texts were already written. So please enlighten us as to how most of these texts can be called “books” when they existed before anyone in Israel even knew what the Greek word “biblos” was and were ignorant of that Greek concept because it hadn't even yet entered their society and culture (only after 300 BC).

    See Aino's post here for her real and honest evaluation of Revelation, which is common to all who read it. I will summarize her valid points, confirmed by history:
    1. No one really knows what it means or does not mean (if they're honest)
    - Strike one: the Church and gospel exist to open our eyes, not make us blind to what it is and what it isn't saying
    2. Every single age has believed what Revelation says to be speaking of them specifically—and been wrong—and it has spawned a myriad end times cults
    - Strike two: the truth cannot so completely lead the faithful into lies, deceit, and cult
    3. The only thing we can be sure about is that it speaks about “the end,” but no one can know for certain what that end is until it happens and all who think they have and could test their knowledge of it by experience have been proven wrong (see 2).
    - Strike three: this means it is worthless to anyone because it can't tell us anything that we can know and depend on before everything is already fulfilled
    4. It seems to be written in a code so that Christians being persecuted can be comforted and the non-Christians persecuting them don't understand
    - Strike four: the gospel exists to bring understanding to the world, and Christians exist to testify to the world about it—even with their very lives – Paul and Christ and all those who came after them did these very things – that is the witness of the Church - therefore Revelation is taking a different “way” and is anti-Christ, anti-gospel, and anti-Church
    - Strike five: only gnostic texts (not Christian texts) require secret knowledge to understand what they mean – the gospel is clear and plain

    Then you must support Tobit and Baruch and all the rest of the Deuterocanon as inspired scripture as the church fathers did and as the church counsels decreed, and you must also use the Greek Old Testament and not the Hebrew Old Testament, since that is also what the historic fathers and church counsels historically said were the correct scriptures. If you do not use the LXX and Deuterocanon as the only inspired bible, then you, sir, have rejected far more of the historically accepted canon of the fathers and church than I...and, further, have no ground whatsoever to stand on by saying I am wrong for rejecting one text: Revelation, when you reject almost all of them (the Greek Genesis, the Greek Exodus, the Greek Deuteronomy, etc, etc, etc).
     
  15. coons786c

    coons786c Regular Member

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    Thats true but also watch out for false doctrine that Satan uses and twists God word to decieve people. Everything you read must line up with the word of God the bible.
     
  16. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    childofdust,
    You are into your illogic. I was providing evidence for the Book of Revelation being part of the NT from the 2nd century Muratorian canon.

    You seem to be following Aino's view, which is contrary to the history of the church and its understanding of the Book of Revelation being in the 66 books of Scripture.

    Creating a straw man does not work with me and hinders a logical conversation.

    Bye, Oz
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  17. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    God is NOT 'breathing out' Scripture today as he did in the OT and NT. The ministry of the Holy Spirit through illumination and the gifts of the Spirit is very different from God's theopneustos in 2 Tim. 3:16.

    Oz
     
  18. AHJE

    AHJE & amp; amp; amp; amp; amp;

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    Peace be to all in Jesus Christ our Blessed Lord,

    Sacred Writing (the Holy Bible), I do not believe, was "dictated" by God. Rather God the Holy Spirit Inspired the Sacred Human Authors to write that which He willed using their talents, skills, knowledge, social, cultural context and circumstance.

    Therefore, ... the Word of God as transmitted by Sacred Writing is both Divine and Human, ... kind of like how Jesus, the Eternal Word, was Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. The Son is both Divine in Nature and Human in Nature, [but He is only one Divine Person--the Son of the Living Father]. Jesus is both truly God and truly Man. In the same way, Sacred Writing is both truly Divine and truly Human. This is why it is always important to keep in mind what is the original intention of the Sacred Human Authors.

    Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, is the Primary Author of Sacred Writing (the Holy Bible).

    Praised be the Holy Spirit!
     
  19. x141

    x141 ...

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    Jesus said those who are taught of the father come to me, like for Enoch, it never says it was through what we deem as scripture, the heavens declare his glory and the earth his workmanship.
     
  20. x141

    x141 ...

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    I agree with this but at the same time it is the spirit of truth that is in us that leads us into these things, not (in type) Moses.

    The scribes had penned a lie or vanities which the law of God became, the law of Moses. Not that the scribes were'nt doing the best they could to keep record, it's just the same thing Jesus said about eternal life, they testify of the person of God not of a thing, or of a set of rules to obtain it.
     
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