Monday, December 24, 2007

Gordon R. Lewis on the Meaning of Infallibility

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

Gordon R. Lewis, "What Does Biblical Infallibility Mean?" Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society 6.1 (Winter 1963): 18-27.

This article explores a means of understanding and communicating the significance of Biblical infallibility and concludes:

(1) Although there is a clear distinction today between meaning and sentences, inspiration may be viewed as implying neither merely conceptual or merely verbal supervision on the part of the Holy Spirit. Inspiration in this realm of discourse applies to both content and wording, meanings and sentences.

(2) “Inerrancy” may be used most clearly for meanings which are cognitively taught by those with delegated authority as spokesmen for God, and for non-cogni­tive meanings relating to the speakers themselves.

(3) “Infallibility” most helpfully designates the verbal media of the Scriptures as effective communicators of the Spirit-intended meaning through the Biblical writings.

(4) All that is written in Scripture is infallible. All that Scripture teaches cogni­tively is objectively true. All that Scripture teaches non-cognitively is subjectively true, i.e. true of the one whose idea is expressed. This then is a plenary view of verbal inspiration; all sentences are infallible, and all meanings are inerrant for their respective purposes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society to be placed online

I have received permission from the Evangelical Theological Society to reproduce any (or all) of the articles from the Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society. Currently only the Journal of the Society is available on the ETS website - and this only to subscribers. I am presently considering which articles to place on-line first (there is a cost factor involved as I have to buy photocopies from Tyndale House library - unless someone would like help by sending me copies). If anyone has a preference as to which them would like to see on-line first please add a comment to this post - if you can say why you think it should be given priority, so much the better, but I won't insist on this. I would like to to take this opportunity to thank the ETS Committee for their kind permission to reproduce this material.

Alan R. Millard on Melchizedek

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

Alan R. Millard, "The Melchizedek Citations in the Letter to the Hebrews," Christian Brethren Research Fellowship Journal 17 (Jan. 1968): 14-15.

This is a brief but helpful study of one of the Bible's most mysterious characters.

F.F. Bruce on the Jerusalem Church of First Century AD

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

F.F. Bruce, "The Church of Jerusalem," Christian Brethren Research Fellowship Journal 4 (April 1964): 5-14.

This is a thought provoking account of the history of the Jerusalem church which provides an excellent introduction to more recent work, particularly Richard Bauckham's study:

Richard Bauckham, "The Relatives of Jesus," Themelios 21.2 (January 1996): 18-21.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

F.F. Bruce on the Crooked Serpent

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

F.F. Bruce, "The Crooked Serpent," The Evangelical Quarterly 20.4 (Oct. 1948): 283-288.

In this article FFB looks at the subject of "the serpent" in the OT with particular reference to Genesis 3, Job 26:13 and Isaiah 27:1.

F.F. Bruce on the Speeches in Acts

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

F.F. Bruce, The Speeches in the Acts of the Apostles. Tyndale New Testament Lecture, 1942. London: The Tyndale Press, 1943. pp.27.

This is an important article that deserves a renewed readership. FFB concludes:

We need not suppose that the speeches in Acts are verbatim reports in the sense that they record every word used by the speakers on the occasions in question. Paul, we know, was given to long sermons (cf. Acts xx, 2, 7, 9; xxviii, 23); but any one of the speeches attributed to him in Acts may be read through aloud in a few minutes. But I suggest that reason has been shown to conclude that the speeches reported by Luke are at least faithful epitomes, giving the gist of the arguments used. Even in summarizing the speeches. Luke would naturally introduce more or less of his own style; but in point of fact it frequently seems to be less, not more. Taken all in all, each speech suits the speaker, the audience, and the circumstances of delivery; and this, along with the other points we have considered, gives good ground, in my judgment, for believing these speeches to be, not inventions of the historian, but condensed accounts of speeches actually made, and therefore valuable and independent sources for the history and theology of the primitive Church.

Bruce returns to the subject after 30 years of further reflection in this article:

F. F. Bruce, "The Speeches In Acts: Thirty Years After," Robert Banks, ed., Reconciliation and Hope. New Testament Essays on Atonement and Eschatology Presented to L.L. Morris on his 60th Birthday. Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, 1974. pp.53-68.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Complete Table of Contents for JETS now on-line

As promised a table of contents for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society is now available (here). Until fairly recently the Evangelical Theological Society website offered access to PDF versions of almost all of its back-issues, but now this is restricted to members of the Society only. Many other websites (including some of my own) still contain what are now invalid links to the articles in their previous locations.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

F.F. Bruce on New Testament Archaeology

The following booklet is now on-line in PDF:

F.F. Bruce, Archaeology and the New Testament. London: Church Book Room Press, 1947. pp.24.

My thanks to the Church Society for their lind permission to reproduce this booklet, which still makes good reading after 60 years!

F.F Bruce on the Victoria Institute and the Bible

The following article is now on-line:

F.F. Bruce, "Annual Address: The Victoria Institute and the Bible," Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 86 (1954): 75-81.

I found this an extremely illuminating article. I am very familiar with the line of thought that maintains that theologians are the last people who might have anything relevant to say about the Bible. As F.F.B. puts it:

I have long been struck by the widespread view that any man’s opinion on Biblical subjects is as valid as any other man’s, but the prevalence of this idea has been brought home to me with special force since I ex­changed the teaching of classical philology for the teaching of Biblical history and literature seven years ago, because I do not remember meeting a comparable idea in the field of classical studies. I know that this idea in the Biblical field to some extent reflects a healthy instinct which will not permit the Bible to become the preserve of specialists, but insists on its remaining (as it is) Everyman’s book. Sometimes, however, this idea takes the extreme form of a conviction that the specialized study of Biblical subjects positively disqualifies a man from expressing an acceptable opinion on the Bible. It is possible that this conviction has even been ventilated in our Institute; at any rate, as I read some back numbers, I get the impression at times that some experts in other realms of study who have read papers on Biblical subjects are persuaded that Biblical specialists very often do not really know their own business.