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Current Events >> Modern Scholars and the Bible

Scholars influence our views of Christianity by being the teachers of our future pastors and by writing various articles, books, and commentaries, many of which end up influencing both practicing pastors and laymen. The problem is that many of the sc


I have mentioned before the issues of modern scholarshipl, especially as it relates to the study of Paul's epistle to the Romans.  This week I started reading Paul's Rhetoric in Its Context, the Arguments of Romans, by Thomas H. Tobin, SJ, a professor at Loyola University.

This work discusses the new view of Judaism and Paul, especially as it relates to the purposes of Romans. After reading the first three chapters, I am distressed at the state of modern biblical scholarship and at the nature of the Church in today's world.  I am not going to relate my various observations concerning the scholarship of this work nor the conclusions drawn by the author. However . . .

I have else where on this site in a variety of places discussed my views of the Bible.  The Holy Scriptures are the Word of God.  I will allow for some disagreement on how literally literal one must translate the various passages, but as the Word of God, the Bible is the truth of God.  It does not lie nor is it incorrect.  Further, it is the source from which all biblical truths must be measured.  In addition, as Paul writes to the Corinthians, it is only the Christian community who can understand the message of the Bible.

1 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NKJV)
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?� But we have the mind of Christ.

When I compare Paul's description of how one interprets the Bible, I am concerned about the standing of these various scholars before our wonderful God.  For example, on page 53 of Tobin's book, he writes "there are, however, significant problems with this account."  The account is Acts 8:3, 9:1, and 26:9-12.  The problems that he finds is that the statements of Luke cannot be true since this disagree with Tobin's logical / scholarly conclusions as to what Paul could or could not do and whether or not the Apostle could obtain the letter mentioned in Acts 9 from the Sanhedrin.  In other words, even though 1 Timothy and 2 Peter tells us that the Bible is written by the Holy Spirit and is God breathed, the author finds these passages to be incorrect, thus, calling God a liar. This is not the only place in the work where the author disagrees with the Bible.

How can you call God a liar?  How can one write in good conscience about a letter in the Bible and call God a liar?  This great bothers me since there are a lot of scholars in the Christian world who represent themselves as being "good Christians," yet they fail to believe the Bible is God's truth.  If God's Word cannot be trusted, how can we believe any part of the Bible?  How can we trust God? 

Don't believe everything you read.

Things to think about?

What do you think about God?  What do you think about the Bible?

Jim A

Posted On: 2006-01-15 21:38:43 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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