Start the Year with the Word

Start the Year with the Word January 1, 2024


Here’s some helpful reflections by my old friend Tom Wright from his Scripture and the Authority of God,  pp. 128, 90-91.

“We must committed to a totally contextual reading of scripture. Each word must be understood within its own verse, each verse within its own chapter, each chapter within its own book, and each book within its own historical, cultural, [and I would add rhetorical] and indeed canonical setting. All scripture is ‘culturally conditioned’. it is naive to pretend that some parts are not, and cannot therefore be treated as in some sense ‘primary’ or ‘universal’, while other parts are not, and can therefore safely be set aside.  What does it mean within this setting, to appeal to ‘the authority of scripture’? This phrase is sometimes used as a way of saying ‘A plague on all your scholarship; we just believe the Bible.’  This is simply unsustainable. Without scholars to provide Greek lexicons and translations based on them, few today could read the New Testament. Without scholarship to explain the world of the first century, few today could understand it….Scholarship of some sort is always assumed; what the protest often means unfortunately, is that the speakers prefer the scholarship implied in their early training, which is now simply taken for granted  as common knowledge, to the bother of having to wake up mentally and think fresh thoughts….To affirm the authority of scripture is precisely not to say ‘We know what the Scripture means and don’t need to raise any more questions.’ It is always a way of saying that the church in each generation must make fresh and rejuvenated efforts to understand scripture more fully and live by it more thoroughly, even if that means cutting across cherished traditions.”

For further reflections, check out my Sola Scriptura.  

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