Biblical Inerrancy in the Statement of Faith of our Seminaries

Here is a survey of biblical inerrancy in the statement of faith of various seminaries:

USA:

Fuller Theological Seminary
III. Scripture is an essential part and trustworthy record of this divine self-disclosure. All the books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, are the written word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. They are to be interpreted according to their context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through them in living power.
http://www.fuller.edu/about-fuller/mission-and-history/statement-of-faith.aspx

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
http://www.tiu.edu/divinity/connect/whoarewe/statementoffaith/

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
I. The sixty-six canonical books of the Bible as originally written were inspired of God, hence free from error. They constitute the only infallible guide in faith and practice.
http://www.gordonconwell.edu/visitors/statement_faith

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Abstract of Principles
I. The Scriptures
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
Baptist Faith & Message
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
http://www.sbts.edu/about/
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How do you use Greek in the Pulpit?

How we should properly use or not use Greek/Hebrew in our sermons, from the pulpit?  This issue needs to be addressed more systematically, especially for us young seminarians who endeavor to be faithful expositors of God’s word. In yesterday’s Monday with Mounce, Dr. William D. Mounce (NT chair of the ESV translation) responded to this important question I asked. How do you use Greek in the pulpit? His conclusion is very helpful:

My prayer is that I never use Hebrew and Greek in such a way as to elevate myself, to make something of myself. And perhaps this is the answer. If you are wondering about whether to use technical language, ask yourself why. Is it to make much of yourself, or to make much of God? Can you find a humbler way of saying it, and if so why wouldn’t you do it that way? Motives are a hard thing to assess, especially in yourself, but the work is worth it.

God’s call for humility and gentleness does not stop at the classroom door. They are not qualities only for the “uninitiated” pew-sitters.

Humility, gentleness, kindness, must first and foremost be demonstrated from the pulpit. If your church is struggling with arrogance, perhaps all of us who stand before people should watch a video of how we preach and what we say. Maybe that is where the problem starts.

Read Mounce’s entire post here.

Hermeneutics 101

Hermeneutics (hur-muh-noo-tiks) n. [Grk.]: the craft of interpreting Scripture

7 Questions to Ask Every Passage

  1. Who is the author and who is his audience?
  2. Why is the author writing and what is his burden for his audience?
  3. How does this verse connect to the rest of the chapter and the book the
    whole storyline of the Bible?
  4. What does the language of the passage highlight and draw attention to?
    (e.g., parallels, word pictures, specific details, repetitive words/phrases)
  5. What does this reveal about the nature of God and the nature of
    mankind?
  6. How does this passage reveal our need for a Savior and Godʼs
    disposition to provide a Savior?
  7. What response or action does this passage call for?
From New Attitude 2008

Paper too thin on ESV Bibles?

ESV Single Column Reference - Premium Calfskin LeatherFor a while now, I have been planning to purchase the ESV Single Column Reference Bible in the Premium Calfskin Leather. It is a superb Bible that lies plump flat when you open it, with large fonts, wide margins, a single-column layout with full cross-referencing, where every verse (of the updated 2007 ESV text) starts on a new line. It is the ideal Bible that I want for teaching/preaching due to its large, single-column text which makes finding a verse quickly very easily.

(Check out a review of the ESV Single Column Reference here. A great alternative to ESV’s SCR Premium Calfskin is the Allan’s Reference ESV, reviewed in its Tan Highland Goatskin and Black Highland Goatskin; do note that the Allan’s is not SCR but has the Classic Reference layout, is the old 2001 ESV text, British-ized, and is uber expensive with the current exchange rate!)

The only downside to the ESV Single Column Reference is the thickness of the paper for making notes/underlining/etc. — the paper is very thin, too thin actually for intensive notetaking (as reported by numerous customers online).

I have a pocket ESV and a Classic Thinline, and recently just received the ESV Literary Study Bible, and can testify that this is a big issue for me — the text on the other side of a page is seen and your pen markings can easily bleed through to the other side. Even when I use these new Staedtler pigment liner pens that use archival ink, bleeding cannot be avoided, though I try hard not to keep my fancy pigment pens on the Bible pages long. For this reason, I contacted the ESV publisher, Crossway Bibles, recently to voice my concern.

Here is the email response I received from Crossway (emphasis mine):

Dear Alex S. Leung,

Thank you for taking the time to express your disappointment with the paper quality of our ESV Bibles, and specifically our Single Column Reference Bible.

We do not have any immediate plans to publish the Single Column Reference Bible with thicker paper than the editions that are currently available. Single column formatting, as you may know, dramatically increases the number of pages in a Bible (mostly due to the poetry sections, where each line of poetry takes up an entire line of paper space). In order to keep the Single Column Reference Bible from being too thick, we used a relatively thin paper in it.

Some folks have informed us that they would appreciate having thicker paper in these Bibles regardless of the size implications. Please be assured that we take all feedback from Bible readers very seriously. What you have said is important to us, and it will be given due consideration.

In the meantime, it may interest you to know that our blog recently linked to another blog post where a gentleman discusses the use of archival quality pens in Bibles, which among other things seems to reduce bleedthrough. This post may be accessed at http://www.esv.org/blog/2007/10/pens.write.bible

Sincerely,

Stuart Hackett
shackett@crossway.org
Customer Service/Credit Representative
Good News Publishers/Crossway Books & Bibles

I hope this helps in your shopping decisions, especially if you are an ESV fan. (For good deals on ESV Bibles, try Amazon or Westminster Bookstore)

To see the original email I sent to Crossway, click here: Continue reading

ESV: revised 2007

esv

If you missed it, the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Holy Bible has undergone some minor revisions this year. Its publisher, Crossway, has not released a list of changes, but a blogger Rick Mansfield has released a list of verse changes:

As the Rick has noted, the revision includes changes of spelling or grammar, and a few reflect mild theological change.
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