Monday, March 19, 2007

Norman Geisler has a great quote regarding the historicity of the Word of God by saying:
The history of the Christian church is in overwhelming support of what the Bible claims for itself, namely, to be the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God…this is true of the earliest Fathers after the time of Christ, as well as down through the centuries following them up to modern times" (Geisler, Systematic Theology, 1:282).

Here is some more evidence of the inspiration and authority of the Word of God believed through the centuries...

1. Belief in Apostolic Father’s View (70AD-150 AD)
a. Testimony of The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas (c.70-130 AD)
It cites the Gospel of Matthew after stating that it is what ‘God Saith’ (5:12). Furthermore, this letter also speaks of the New Testament as ‘inspired’ or ‘breathed out’ by God (2 Tim 3:16).

b. Clement of Rome’s Epistle to the Corinthians (95-97 AD)
This man – a contemporary of the Apostles – says that the synoptic
gospels (Matt, Mark and Luke) are Scripture (ch. 2). He also speaks of his readers to ‘act according to what is written’ (ch.1).

c. Polycarp’s Epistle To the Philippians (c.110-135 AD)
Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John and he referred to the NT
several times as “The word of Truth.” He also cited texts from Philippians 2 and 2 Timothy 4 as the “word of righteousness.”

2. The Nicene Fathers (150-350 AD)
a. Justin Martyr (d.165 AD)
He spoke of the Gospels as “The voice of God” and added that “we must
not suppose that the language proceeds from men who were inspired, but from the Divine Word which moves them” (Geisler, Systematic Theology, 1:284).

b. Irenaeus (130-202 AD)
He wrote: “For the LORD of all gave the power of the Gospel to his
apostles, through whom we have come to know the truth, that is, the teaching of the Son of God…This Gospel they first preached. Afterwards, by the will of God, they handed it down to us in the Scriptures, to be “the pillar and ground” of our faith.”

c. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD)
He held a strict view of the doctrine of inspiration. He noted:
"There is no discord between Law and the Gospel, but harmony, for they
both proceed from the same Author…differing in name and time to suit the age and culture of their hearers…by a wise economy, but potentially one…since faith in Christ and the knowledge…of the Gospel is the explanation…and the fulfillment of the Law.”

d. Tertullian (160-220 AD)
“The Apostles have the Holy Spirit properly, who have Him fully, in the
operations of prophecy, and the efficacy of [healing] virtues, and the evidences of tongues; not particularly, as all other have. Thus he attached the Holy Spirit’s authority to that form [of advice] to which he willed us rather to attend; and forthwith it became not an advice of the Holy Spirit, but, in consideration of His majesty, a precept (Geisler, Systematic Theology, 1:285).

3. Church History (250-1700 AD)
a. Jerome (340-420 AD)
I beg you, my dear brother, to live among these books, to meditate upon
them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else. Does not such a life seem to you a foretaste of heaven here on earth? Let not the simplicity of the Scriptures offend you; for these are due either to faults of translators or else to deliberate purpose: for in this way it is better fitted for instruction.

b. Augustine (of Hippo) (354-430 AD)
When they write that He has taught and said, it should not be asserted that
he did not write it, since the members only put down what they had come to know at the dictation of the Head. Therefore, whatever He wanted us to read concerning His words and deeds, He commanded His disciples, His hands, to write. Hence, one cannot but receive what he reads in the Gospels, though written by the disciples, as though it were written by the very hand of the Lord Himself.

c. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
He noted that “This is exactly as it is with God. His word is so much like
himself, that the godhead is wholly in it, and he who has the word has the whole godhead” (Geisler, p.298).

Furthermore, “He is called a prophet who has received his understanding
directly from God without further intervention, into whose mouth the Holy Ghost has given the words…Thus, we refer all of Scripture to the Holy Ghost.”

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