Model – comparison to a stool – the top flat bit being faith, supported by three legs – scripture, reason & tradition. All three are important – but not all have equal value and we need to be careful
Note: as we read scripture, we don’t simply read scripture as a book
Who God is?
God reveals himself through creation.
God reveals himself personally by his instruction through
- his prophets
- his son, Jesus
What does the Bible consist of?
- Old Testament: Hebrew
- New Testament: Greek
These were the languages of ordinary people of the time
⇒ God’s word was written to be accessed and understood by everyone
3rd CBC Greek was the common language … version of the Old Testament was produced in Greek (Septuagint)
4th CAD Latin was the common language … a version of the Bible (i.e both Old and New Testament) was produced in Latin (Vulgate)
Scripture is for everyone
Increasingly, as Tyndale saw Reformation truths more clearly in the Greek New Testament, he made himself suspect in the Catholic house of John Walsh. John Foxe tells us that one day an exasperated Catholic scholar at dinner with Tyndale said, “We were better be without God’s law than the pope’s.”
In response, Tyndale spoke his famous words, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. . . . If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow, shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV2011
Do you know God’s word?
Do you know your way around the Bible?
Do you know how the “big story” from Genesis to Revelation hangs together?
Could you clearly communicate what the Bible is all about to someone who didn’t know?
Can you take those ancient truths, and see how God speaks through Christ into a modern world and into your life?
Everything we believe, everything we do as a church should be consistent with fullness of what we read in scripture
Wrestling between tradition and scripture also occurs in modern times and the danger is when members of a denomination (or church) when asked for a reason for what they believe, respond with “This is what my church teaches about the Bible and therefore this is what we believe, and that’s the reason”, perhaps the only reason … “that’s what my church says”.
We should care about (beware full of) is an approach to scripture that says “what my denomination says is more important than what the Bible says”
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Anglican Pray Book Article 6
Danger in modern times is allowing our reason to override what we read in scripture
We need to let scripture speak to us, not dictate how we use scripture to speak to others
Are you meeting with other Christians to read God’s word, to apply it together?
If not, is there a reason for that?
Are you prayerfully, and regularly, reading and applying God’s word yourself, in your own life?
Do you engage with God’s word as we meet together on Sundays?
Are you challenged by it in a way that you act upon it, or does it just wash over you and you go on unchanged?
What steps might you take to hear and respond to, the creator of the universe, as he speaks through his word?