F. The historical extraction, development, and re-formulations of the teachings of this corpus - how this communication was 'unpacked' and applied to new settings and situations...and how aberrations were corrected in the process (Jan 29th)
IV. Important Concepts in Revelation
- Scripture was used/abused within the Scripture
- the OT in the NT -- 2,559 verses refer to OT (out of 7,964) = 32%!
- The Prophets and the Law - Isaiah had to explain the INTENT of the law!
Isaiah. 58:5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter -- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
- Jesus and the current understanding of the OT in his day ( Mt 5.21 ff) - how they had mis-interpreted the communications
- Notice: God seems to keep injecting corrections into history to keep His message basically on-track...He has not just left it into the vicissitudes of world history!
- God corrected their 'popular theologies' (Jer 31.29 and Ezek 18.2)
- God corrected their false expectations based on false interpretations (Jer 7.1ff)
- So much of the Prophetic material was a call to right understanding of the Covenant!
- The history of doctrine
- Background -- Setting Expectations
- promises of guidance
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16:13ff But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
1John 2:18ff Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
- the issue of schism and false teachers
1Cor. 11:18f In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.
Acts 20:29f I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
2Tim. 4:3f For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
2Pet. 2:1ff But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
Eph. 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
2Tim. 2:16ff Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
Hebr. 13:9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.
- Doctrinal Development WITHIN the NT
- The Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)
- The various writers deal with various issues from their various interests
- NT Creeds:
1Cor. 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
1Tim. 3:16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
Testimonia - collection of verses around a subject, circulated early
Rom. 9:25 As he says in Hosea: 'I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one,' and, It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' ' Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.' It is just as Isaiah said previously: Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.' What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the 'stumbling stone.' As it is written: 'See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'
compare with I Peter 2.6-10:
1Pet. 2:6 For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.' Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, ' and, 'A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.' They stumble because they disobey the message —which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
2Tim. 2:11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
Phil. 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Still Case-oriented (even Romans?)
- All of this work in the context of error!
- Still Question/Case driven (canon, character of Christ)
- The Apostles Creed (100-200ad)
- The 7 Councils (325-787 ad)
- Nicea (Trinity)
- Constantinople (Holy Spirit)
- Carthage (Holy Scripture)
- Ephesus, Chalcedon, 2nd & 3rd Constantinople (Nature of Christ)
- The Great Schism
- On-going: the Reformation, current movements
- WC 1.VI: "The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture..."
B. Illumination - related to pattern recognition, insight, Gestalten, etc.
- 2 Pet 1.21 : For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
- II Tim 3. 16 : All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
- Rom. 3:2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
- Jesus' use of the OT :
- Matthew 19:4-5 (both creation accounts in Gen 1 and 2)
- Luke 17.26f (the Noahic flood)
- Luke 17.28 (destruction of Sodom)
- Mt 12.40 (Jonah and the big fish)
- Mt 4.16 with 12.17 ("Both" Isaiahs)
- Lk 20.37 (the burning bush)
- Jn 6.32 (Manna in the wilderness)
- Jn 3.14 (the bronze serpent)
- Main theories of Inspiration
- Natural - no supernatural element involved. Bible was written by men of great genius.
- Mystical - writers of scripture were Spirit-filled just as Christians today can be.
- Dictation/mechanical - writers were passive instruments in God's hand, like typewriters on which He wrote. (Some parts were dictated, of course, like the Ten Commandments).
- Partial - Only the unknowable parts of the Bible were inspired (e.g., creation, spiritual concepts).
- Concepts - Concepts but not words were inspired.
- Degrees - Writers were more inspired than ordinary men.
- Early Neoorthodox - Human writers could only produce a record with errors "Neo-orthodox theology maintains that revelation is never propositional; that is, it is not given in words but only in events. The Bible is therefore only a record of revelation; it represents a human attempt to understand and bear witness to the revelatory works of God" (ZPEB, "Revelation", vol 5.87)
- Encounter - God may be known only as Subject, never as Object.
- Verbal-Plenary: "God superintending human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error in the words of the original autographs His revelation to man" (Ryrie)
- Inspiration refers to the product, NOT the process
- I Cor 2.10-12 : but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
- John 16.13 : But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. John 16:15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you
- Is not N
- autographa only
- John 10.35 : If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came --and the Scripture cannot be broken --
- e.g. Gal 3.16; Heb 12.27; Mtt 22.45
Gal. 3:16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.
- Hebr. 12:27 The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken --that is, created things --so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
- Matt. 22:44 " 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?"
- Be careful here! - Peter's denial and Jairus ( Mk 5.21 ff; Mt 9.18 ff)
V. Important Distinctions (and/or false dichotomies!)
A. Special revelation vs. General Revelation
- "Native" vs. "Literal" vs. "Figurative"
- Context, context, context!
- An iterative process
- The Spoof
B. Personal revelation vs. Propositional revelation
- special revelation is dependent on our knowledge of Greek, history, etc.
- special revelation MAY require the personal-starting-point that comes from general revelation (for processing the text)
- general revelation may need special revelation to provide interpretive clues (to sift out the bad from the good)
- what would historical knowledge be?
C. Revelation as events vs. Revelation as interpretation of events
- Personal revelation comes from anecdotes and cases
- Most of it can be propositional-ized
- A discloser can always state propositions about himself
- A lot of the data involves OTHER topics than a Person (e.g. sin, death, forgiveness, faith)
- Why this distinction even came up historically
- We NEED BOTH! (The cross and an understanding of it for faith!)
- II Cor 5.19 ff: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- Mr 12.41 ff: Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything --all she had to live on."
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