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   In Defense of Traditional Bible Texts

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
. . . Psalm 12:6-7 . . .
 

OUR PAST HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE DEFENDS AN INFALLIBLE BIBLE.

The Dean Burgon Society's 1993 Annual Meeting

Dr. Robert Barnett, Vice President of the Dean Burgon Society
Copyright 1999 by the author, reproduction and distribution rights assigned to the Dean Burgon Society.

INTRODUCTION
THE LESSON LAYOUT
A LOOK AT OUR 17th CENTURY BIBLE CANON OF HOLY SCRIPTURES
1.  INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY (Truth totally reliable)
2.  INSPIRED AUTHORITY (Truth breathed forth from God)
3.  CANONIZED AUTHORITY (Truth in established canon)
4.  PERSONIFIED AUTHORITY (Truth of Divine nature and origin)
5.  ATTESTED AUTHORITY (Truth attested by the Spirit of Truth)
6.  EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY (Truth standing complete & alone)
7.  PROFOUND AUTHORITY (Truth both simple and complex)
8.  PRESERVED AUTHORITY (Truth eternally available)
9.  AUTONOMOUS AUTHORITY (Truth as Self-authenticating)
10. SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY (Truth as sovereign Judge)
SUMMARY STATEMENTS FOR REAFFIRMATION AND APPLICATION

INTRODUCTION

When one talks about any existing Bible in the 20th century as being "Holy Scripture" or "infallible truth" or "inspired" or "divine authority", he is often branded by "orthodox theologians" as believing error. Furthermore, one is reminded that such terms are today reserved only for the original autographs. (Which all admit have been lost for centuries.) Those who claim we still possess an inspired, infallible Bible are branded as promoting some new and different position on the Bible which has never before been accepted. Therefore, those who insist on promoting such views are branded Ruckmanites, heretics, cultists and other names to discredit and ridicule their faith. 

Therefore it is the purpose of this presentation to show that our position is not new, but goes back centuries and has clear historical roots which cannot be denied.  

To simplify our study, may we share with you the lesson layout:

l. All ten numbered doctrinal statements are reproduced in total and highlighted at the beginning of each of the ten sections on the doctrine of scriptures.  

2. On your first reading of this chapter, you may wish to simply bypass the scripture references until later, while you grasp the overall doctrinal position being presented. (The scriptures were not printed out in the original doctrinal statements)   Later in your detailed study, you will find all references clearly marked, and all scripture references printed out below the doctrinal statements for your convenience.  

3. Third will be listed the doctrinal beliefs we observed from the doctrinal statement which we still affirm today.  

4. Fourth will be a conclusion statement for each of the doctrinal statements.  

5. Finally at the end of the chapter will be a summary statement reaffirming and applying the doctrines we have been studying.    

A LOOK AT OUR 17th CENTURY BIBLE CANON OF HOLY SCRIPTURES:

Let us examine our historical roots by an analysis of Chapter #l, "Of The Holy Scriptures" in The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 as adopted by our English Baptist forefathers. This is the same Confession republished in October, l855 by C. H. Spurgeon for the New Park Street Chapel in Southwark. The orthodoxy of this confession was first shared by the English Presbyterians in the Westminster Confession of l646, and also by the Congregationalists in the Savoy Confession of l658.  

l. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, (l) although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. (2) Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church;(3) and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased." (4)  

Scripture References:

(l)  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

{Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.}

{And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.}

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];  

(2)   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

[There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard.  

(3)   God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  

(4)   That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:

A. The power or rule of Holy Scriptures as our present, absolute and only continuing infallible authority in our salvation, faith and practice.

"The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience..." (). Our l7th century forefathers believed they possessed an infallible Bible to guide them in knowing truth, believing truth, and obeying truth in their daily lives.  

B. The most necessary preservation of Holy Scriptures as placed in the church that God's people might know Him, His will and truth, and experience His edification and comfort, and propagate His truth to each generation. ().

"...To reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church...to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary..."  

C. The Holy Scriptures provide protection to the church against the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

"...And for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world..."  

D. For "Holy Scripture" to be "the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience..."demands faith in an infallible Bible possessed by every generation for their "saving knowledge, faith, and obedience."  

E. The insufficiency of relying upon other forms of revelation to meet the spiritual needs of man.

"...although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. (). "...Those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased." ().

CONCLUSION: We believe God placed, preserved, and propagated the Holy Scriptures in the church to remain our present, sole, absolute and infallible authority in salvation, faith, and continued obedience, while also protecting us from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, 2 Samuel, l Kings, 2 Kings, I Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, (and) Malachi.

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistle to the Romans, l Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galations, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, I Timothy, 2 Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, (and) The Revelation.

All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life." (5)  

The Scripture reference:

(5) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:

A. The identity of Holy Scripture to include all 66 books of the Bible.  

B. The inspiration of Holy Scripture to include the entire canon of 66 books.  

C. The intent of inspired Holy Scripture, "...to be the rule of faith and life."  

l) This requires continuing authority for us.

2) This requires continuing availability to us.

3) This requires continuing acquisition by us.  

Our Forefathers stressed the continuing profitability of inspired scriptures as taught in II Timothy 3:l6, and not inspiration limited to original autographs . Such limitation of and misdirection of the doctrine of inspiration has neither scriptural or historical support. It is the product of the naturalism of the l9th century Enlightenment. The origin and time of inspiration may be limited to the originals, but not the preservation, possession and profitability of inspiration. This plan and product of inspiration must extend to God's Holy Scriptures used in our daily faith and life  

CONCLUSION: We believe divine inspiration extended plenarily to all 66 books, and their entire verbal contents, to remain our inspired daily "rule of faith and life."  

3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings." (6)  

Scripture References:

>(6) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

And he said unto them, {These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.}

Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.  

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. A rejection of any and all Apocryphal books as plain human writings, and not inspired scripture.  

B. Proof our forefathers did not believe in, use, or promote the Apocryphal books printed between the Old And New Testaments of the early l6ll KJV Bibles as Holy Scripture.  

C. A clear rejection of the canon of the Roman Catholic Bible which includes the Apocrypha.  

CONCLUSION: We Reject all Apocryphal books as human writings void of divine inspiration or authority. Their sole value is for human history.  

4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God." (7)  

Scripture References:

(7) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost. 2

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. The authority of Holy Scripture (which implies its divine inspiration, accuracy, and infallibility), commands our complete faith and trust in the integrity of God alone.  

B. The authority of Holy Scripture cannot be scientifically verified or questioned by any man, be he scientist, preacher, politician, theologian, or textual critic.  

C. The authority of Holy Scripture cannot be scientifically verified or questioned by any churches or parachurch organizations such as Bible Societies, Colleges, Seminaries, Mission Boards, Publishing houses, etc.  

CONCLUSION: The divine authority of the Holy Scriptures is authenticated only by the God of truth who inspired the words, and never by any human authority.  

5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts." (8)  

Scripture References:

(8) {Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.}

{He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.}

But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:

A. The greatest experiences and blessings we may receive from Holy Scriptures received through the ministry within the local church are not our final proof of the divine truthfulness or authority of Holy Scriptures.  

B. "Our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority...(of Holy Scriptures) "...is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts."  

C. The same Holy Spirit still bears witness today to the same Bible our l7th century Baptist ancestors possessed, as God's "infallible truth, and divine authority."  

CONCLUSION: We may only know the Holy Scriptures to be infallible truth and divine authority through the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word of God in our hearts, and not by any human rationale, doctrine or experience.  

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men." (9)

"Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word, (l0) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed." (ll)  

Scripture References:

(9) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

(l0) {It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.}

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

(ll) Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? I Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Let all things be done decently and in order.  

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. The completed canon of Holy Scriptures contains the "whole counsel of God" and therefore, all spiritual truth which believers need to know.  

B. Nothing is to be added to Holy Scripture at any time, "...whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men."  

C. One must be saved and illuminated by the Holy Spirit to properly understand Holy Scripture.  

D. "...The general rules of the Word" or Bible principles are to be followed to bring order to all areas of Church life and practice not specifically declared in Holy Scripture. (The church constitution is one example.)  

CONCLUSION: The completed canon of Holy Scriptures is sufficient to communicate the whole counsel of God in precept or principle to those saved and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and therefore all human tradition and new revelation must be rejected.  

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; (l2) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them." (l3)  

Scripture References:

(l2) As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

(l3) The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. All doctrines of the Bible are not easily understood.  

B. The gospel is simple enough somewhere in the Bible that anyone capable of reading and/or understanding ordinary communication, can learn the plan of salvation from the Holy Scriptures. (For example: ).  

C. We do not need to retranslate the Bible for the sake of evangelism to reach the unsaved.  

CONCLUSION: The Bible is a paradox of divine wisdom containing both difficult doctrine and a gospel of salvation simple enough for even the unlearned to understand and to be saved.

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), (l4) and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. (l5) But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read (l6) and search them, (l7) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, (l8) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope." (l9)  

Scripture References:

(l4) Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

(l5) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

(l6) And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

(l7) {Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.}

(l8) Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh [shall be] a barbarian unto me.

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or [one] unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

(l9) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:

A. The importance of the original Hebrew and Greek languages in revealing God's Holy Scriptures to His people.  

B. The inspiration of God started with the original languages, and all inspired scripture owes it's source to these original language autographs.  

C. The inspired Scripture which God gave in the autographs in the original languages has been preserved pure in the apographs (copies) in all ages by his singular care and providence.  

D. The inspired text received in each succeeding generation can still be considered immediate and authentic.  

E. The inspired original text in Hebrew and Greek is preserved for us to remain our final authority to settle all controversies of religion within the church.  

F. Ordinary people do not know Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, yet are commanded of God to read and search the scriptures.  

G. Because ordinary people have a right to and interest in Holy Scriptures, it is essential that the scriptures be translated into every language that people may have the benefits and hope of the Holy Scriptures in their own language.  

CONCLUSION: God, by His singular care and providence has kept His inspired Word in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, pure in all ages and therefore authentic, and the authority to which the church must turn to settle all controversies. Because God has commanded all persons to read and search His Word in the Holy Scriptures, they are to be translated into the languages of every nation. And to the extent any translation communicates the complete equivalence of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text, it communicates the inspired, authentic, Holy Scriptures to believers in their own language in obedience to God's will and commands.

(See ).  

9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly." (20)  

Scripture References:

(20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:  

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. The only infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is by comparing scripture with other Scripture.  

B. General context of Scripture is the infallible guide of local context.  

C. The gramatical theology of unsaved linguists must be subjected to the infallible rule of interpretation by comparison to other scriptures where the Holy Spirit has already revealed the sense. The church in the pew using a translation may follow the infallible rule of interpretation, and not be at the mercy of any linguist in the pulpit.  

D. As it has been often said, "When the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense."  

CONCLUSION: "The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself."  

l0. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved." (2l)  

Scripture References:

(2l) Jesus answered and said unto them, {Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.}

{But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,}

{I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.}

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening.  

CLEAR DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WE OBSERVE AND REAFFIRM TODAY:  

A. Since "the Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule..." which God has given us, then it is the supreme judge of all spiritual things on earth.  

B. It is supreme judge over "all decrees of councils" therefore no body of human scholars regardless of number or concensus can challenge Holy Scripture.  

C. It is supreme judge over "opinions of ancient writers" regardless of their wisdom, philosophy, or general acceptance through antiquity.  

D. It is supreme judge over "private spirits" because of"... the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit..."  

E. It is supreme judge of all Bible criticism be it "higher" or "lower", be it honored or dishonored, be it accepted or disapproved.  

CONCLUSION: Our Faith must rest in the Holy Scriptures as illuminated for us by the Holy Spirit as our "only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule", and these scriptures must become our final judge in all religious controversies, judgeof all spirits, and judge of all human opinions, doctrines, and decrees.  

SUMMARY STATEMENTS FOR REAFFIRMATION AND APPLICATION  

INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY (Truth totally reliable)  
l.
We believe God placed, preserved, and propagated the Holy Scriptures in the church to remain as our present, sole, absolute and infallible authority in salvation, faith, and continued obedience, while also protecting us from the world, the flesh, and the devil.  

INSPIRED AUTHORITY (Truth breathed forth from God)  
2.
We believe divine inspiration extended plenarily to all 66 books, and their entire verbal contents, to remain our inspired daily "rule of faith and life."  

CANONIZED AUTHORITY (Truth in established canon)  
3.
We reject all Apocryphal books as human writings void of divine inspiration or authority.  

PERSONIFIED AUTHORITY (Truth of Divine nature and origin)  
4.
We believe the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures is authenticated only by the God of truth who inspired the words, and never by any human authority.  

ATTESTED AUTHORITY (Truth attested by the Spirit of Truth)  
5.
We believe we only know the Holy Scriptures to be infallible truth and divine authority through the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word of God in our hearts, and not by human rationale, doctrine or experience.  

EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY (Truth standing complete & alone)  
6.
We believe the completed canon of Holy Scriptures is sufficient to communicate the whole counsel of God in precept or principle to those saved and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and therefore all human tradition and new revelation must be rejected.  

PROFOUND AUTHORITY (Truth both simple and complex)  
7.
We believe the Bible is a paradox of divine wisdom containing both difficult doctrine and a gospel of salvation simple enough for even the unlearned to understand and be saved.  

PRESERVED AUTHORITY (Truth eternally available)  
8.
We believe God, by His singular care and providence has kept His inspired Word in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, pure in all ages and therefore authentic, and the authority to which the church must turn to settle all controversies. Because God has commanded all persons to read and search His Word in the Holy Scriptures, they are to be translated into the languages of every nation. And to the extent translations communicate the complete equivalence of the original Hebrew and Greek they communicate the inspired, authentic, Holy Scriptures to believers in their own language in obedience to God's will and commands. (See Acts 2:l-ll and Romans l6:25,26).  

AUTONOMOUS AUTHORITY (Truth as Self-authenticating)  
9.
We believe, "The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself."  

SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY (Truth as sovereign Judge)  
l0.
We believe our Faith must rest in the Holy Scriptures as illuminated for us by the Holy Spirit as our "only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule", and these scriptures must become our final judge in all religious controversies, of all spirits, and of all human opinions, doctrines, and decrees.  

In conclusion let us remember the words of C.H. Spurgeon in his foreword to the l689 Confession reproduced for his people:

"This little volume, is not issued as an authoritative rule, or code of faith, whereby you are to be fettered, but as an assistance to you in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and a means of edification in righteousness. Here the younger members of our church will have a body of divinity in small compass, and by means of the Scriptural proofs, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.

Be not ashamed of your faith; remember it is the ancient gospel of martyrs, confessors, reformers and saints. Above all, it is the truth of God, against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail.

Let your lives adorn your faith, let your example adorn your creed. Above all live in Christ Jesus, and walk in Him, giving credence to no teaching but that which is manifestly approved of Him, and owned by the holy Spirit. Cleave fast to the Word of God which is here mapped out for you."  

The above references to the infallible truth and divine authority of the inspired Holy Scriptures to guide the saints of old were read, studied, and believed by most all of them using the same authorized King James Bible we still possess today. After over three hundred years the above statement of faith is just as, if not more pertinent to us today than when it was first penned by our ancestors many generations ago.
 

The Dean Burgon Society


Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

 
 
 
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