Full Text for Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling Block for the Jews and Foolishness to the Greeks, part 11 (Text)

1 , The disciples of the moderns are being systematically trained to exer- cise authority over Scripture or to accept the authority of the theologians. Christianity Today thus describes the horrible situa- tion created in the Church by the modernists; "If the Bible only contains the Word of God, as even the modernist is willing to admit, then certainly it may lack a great deal of· being infallible, and we are then left to the mercies of 'higher criticism' or to our own individual opinions as to just which elements are the words of God and which are only the words of man." There is treason abroad in the good land. Men are seducing God's people from their sworn allegiance. In other words, the moderns are educating their pupils along rationalistic lines. The human authority which they enthrone is the authority of reason. Ladd calls It the authority of the ethico- religious consciousness, but M'Intosh is right in identifying that "with the rationalistic principle of the supremacy of reason over revelation." (See footnote 235.) It is plain carnal reason which induces men to reject parts of the Bible on scientific grounds or because of the protest of the moral sensibilities of the natural man. It is plain carnal reason which guides Ladd's ethico-religious consciousness in rejecting or accepting divine revelation. But the entrance of the rationalistic germ into the Church is disastrous. It endangers her very life. The germ will spread and grow. Fully developed, it kills all Christian doctrine. 288) By the infinite grace 237) E. Lewis: "What is of the form of revelation and what is of the substance? It may be that an infallibly exact criterion has not been given us. It may be that provision is made for the exercise, at the supremely critical moment of decision, of that moral freedom" (italics by us) "which must never be entirely overwhelmed. It may be that wavering evidence is our divinely given opportunity for self-assertion, so that when we do decide, it is our deepest self that is uttered." (Loc. cit.) H. L. Willett tells an inquirer, in the question-box of the Christian Century; "It is evident that it is not only the privilege but the duty of the student of Scripture to exercise his right of judgment regarding the statements of the Bible, remembering the origin and character of the record and the fact that the freedom to estimate the historical and moral value of all parts of the book, the right of private judgment, is the foundation stone of Protestantism!' 238) Walther: "The least deviation from the old inspiration doctrine introduces a rationalistic genn into theology and infects the whole body Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 425 of God it has not reached that stage throughout visible Christendom. But even there where it is only in the incipient stage it works disaster. It enfeebles the Church. By so much as our faith rests on reason, it is deprived of its divine strength. By so much as it loses hold of God's Word, its virility wanes. The moderns, like all fifth columnists, pooh-pooh the danger. Reporting on the Omaha convention of the United Lutheran Church a secular paper employed the caption "Lutherans Dispute over a Single Word," the single word being the word erroTles8. (See LutheTaner, 1940, p.378.) That was to be expected But here is a church paper which indulges in the same ridicule: "For any of us, in such times as these, to quibble over theories of Inspira- tion. . . is no less a disaster than was the session of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church which met in Petrograd in 1917 to discuss the color of vestments at the very time when, six blocks away, the Kerenski revolution set the stage for atheistic Com- munism." (The LutheTan Standard, March 22, 1941. - In KiTch- liche Zeitschrift, October, 1941, Dr. Reu takes this Lutheran StandaTd writer severely to task.) It seems incredible that a Christian theologian should voice the idea that there is not much difference between Verbal Plenary Inspiration and Partial Inspira- tion. That little word "errorless" is all-important. It expresses the difference between a strong and a weak Church. yea, between a living and a dying Church. Our spiritual strength comes only from God's Word, and the whole Bible gives the Church her full strength. "How is it possible for a preacher to be a power for God, whose source of authority is his own reason and convictions?" (Fundamentals, In, p.lll.) -The Church is engaged in a life- of doctrine." (Walther and the Church,!. 14.) M'Intosh: "The theory which sets reason above revelation an makes man's own individual consciousness the standard and judge in the ultimate issue of what is true and what is false in Holy Writ, warrants every man in accepting or rejecting just as much or as little of it as he thinks fit, or none at all should he think best." (Op. dt., p.456.) It is, for instance, a natural development when J. P. Smyth, who on page 118 "throws Verbal Inspiration to the moles and bats," declares on page 124 that "James, the saintly Judaist, .•. insisted, like another Baptist, on the centTal truth of all religion, that' 'tis only noble to be good.''' (Op. cit.) The Life and Morals of Jesu.s of Nazareth, by Thomas Jefferson, known as The Jefferson Bible, is widely advertised and extravagantly praised. In the Foreword D. E. Lurton says that "within this brief and sublime story are the authentic words of Christ which give life to the Bible. They are its essence." Jefferson edited the Bible by eliminating every- thing but the four Gospels and reducing these to "the very words of Jesus," and, finally, says the Lutheran Herald of Aug. 5, 1941, "paring away everything from .what remained that did not fit in with Jefferson's own religious preconceptions. The result may be imagined: gone is the Incarnation; gone are all the miracles; gone is the Resurrection. The Gospel according to Jefferson ends with the words 'There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and de- parted.' Nothing left but 'morals.''' 426 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. and-death struggle. And while the liberals are assaulting the wall from the outside, the conservative moderns within the Church are breaking down the morale of the people and sabotaging the Bible.2lIII) In the second place, the crusade against Verbal Inspiration proves disastrous to the crusaders themselves. They lose great parts of the Bible and the blessings connected therewith, as has been shown. But they hann themselves also in other ways. One of the evil consequences of the denial of Verbal Inspiration is the im- pairment of the natural mental powers which inevitably sets in when men undertake to disprove the infallibility of Holy Scripture. Dr. Pieper did not overstate the case when he declared that no man "can deny the inspiration of Holy Scripture without suffering an impairment of his natural mental powers." Those who assert either that Scripture does not claim infallibility or that this claim is a false one must fly in the face of the facts in order to prove their assertion, must suppress their natural acumen, must resort to all kinds of inanities and puerilities to bolster their claim. Glance over the long list - and it is only a partial one - tabulating the false assertions and fallacious arguments of the moderns, and you will realize that these men are not using the intelligence that God 239) The Church is banned in other ways. For instance, the out- sider, the unbeliever, will have no respect for the Bible of the Christians when Christian theologians tell them that the Fourth Gospel had to correct the Synoptic Gospels and Christ had to correct the Old Testa- ment, and that the writers of the New Testament were not quite sure just what Jesus did say, and that the Bible contains many things not fit to be read in the churches and homes. The outsider will lose his respect for the theologians of the Church when he hears that it took them centuries to discover what the Anomoeans (Arians) and the pagan Celsus already knew about the mistakes in the Bible, and that they discovered it only on being prodded by Paine and Ingersoll. And the Christian layman cannot understand what the theologians are about when he is confronted by the score of "theories of inspiration" which circulate in the theologicai world. We are wondering what the layman Thomas E. Finegan, editor of Winston's Encyclopedia and Dictionary, thought of the theologians when he wrote the article on "Inspiration." "All orthodox theologians agree in ascribing divine assistance to the Scriptural writers but differ widely as to the degree, extent, and mode of inspiration. The advocates of Plenary Inspiration assert that every verse of the Bible, every word of it, every syllable, every letter, is the direct utterance of the Most High. In opposition to this theory" (we shall not blame the layman for using the term "theory") "some writers confine Inspiration to all that is directly religious in the Bible, to ail that is matter of direct revelation, leaving out of the question all that can be known by ordinary intellectual application. Other authorities attribute inspiration only to the spirit, ideas, or doctrines of the Bible, exempting the strict form or letter. Some go yet further and include in the fallible sections the mode of argument and expository details." This man did not have time to list all the other theories, but as he listed and studied these few contradictory teachings, he no doubt thought: Either the Bible uses confusing language, or the theologians cannot understand simple language. Verbel Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 427 gave them. Men with a normal historical sense would not ridicule the statement of Luke that Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene at the time of Christ, as Bruno Bauer and Strauss did, on the ground that "Lysanias had been murdered 34 years before the birth of Christ." They would ask themselves whether there might not have been a second Lysanias of Abilene, instead of charging that Luke simply invented this person. Strauss, indeed, in order to substantiate his charge against Luke declared that "neither Jo- sephus nor any author of that time alludes to the existence of a second ruler of Abilene who bore this title." "Ebrard, however, proves that this entire objection is nothing more than a historical blunder on the part of Strauss himseH." Strauss did not know his Josephus and did not translate correctly. Submitting the Josephus passages in question, W. Lee concludes: "Hence, there- fore, Josephus does make mention of a later Lysanias and, by doing so, fully corroborates the fact of St. Luke's intimate acquaint- ance with the tangled details of Jewish history in his day." (Op. cit., p. 361.) A historical critic of normal intelligence does not rush into print before he has thoroughly examined the available sources. And remember, this is not an exceptional instance. Dozens of similar blunders are found in the black-list we have furnished. Or take this case: J. P. Smyth, the man who has "thrown Verbal Inspiration to the moles and bats," argues that "St. Paul uses such words as 'I speak as a fool: which, though quite natural and fitting for a human writer, would hardly be the words dictated by the Holy Spirit" (op. cit., p. US). Thi.s man has not the faintest idea what the doctrine of Verbal Inspiration is and still insists on being heard in the case. He also "detects traces of human preju- dice and passions [in the Biblical writers], as when St. Paul, quot- ing a Greek poet, dubbed the whole race of Cretans as 'evil beasts and liars'" (op. cit., p. 121). A normal mind would not charge Paul with prejudice unless it were proved - and Smyth makes no attempt to prove - that the Cretans did not have these national characteristics. And remember, our black-list furnishes a whole lot of similar cases. Or see how N. R. Best's mind works: "Four persons who read respectively the four separate accounts of Peter's tragic denial of the Lord would have in mind four quite different groups of incidents. The best reconciling which the inerrancy dogmatists can do with this case is to infer that Peter actually denied the Lord seven" (our italics) "times - which disagrees with what the Lord predicted" (Op. cit., p.77.) The desire to ridicule Verbal Inspiration rushes men into all sorts of extrava- gances. Dr. Best does not realize that men of normal intelligence will not seriously consider these caricatures. And, remember, the stock charges of the modems do not rise to any higher level. 428 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. U you doubt this, you will have to read the ten preceding articles once more. And it is not only the second-rater that loses his acumen when he sets out to demolish Verbal Inspiration. The theological giants, too, operate with the same puerilities. Here is R. Seeberg: "The theory that the words are inspired is also disproved by a cursory glance at the peculiarities of the Biblical authors. . . . Paul de- clared that he baptized certain persons in Corinth, but that he did not remember others beside these, 1 Cor. 1: 16. No one would regard such a confession of ignorance as inspired by the Holy Spirit." (Op. cit., p. 27.) That statement springs from the same ignorance that dictated J. P. Smyth's comment on "I speak as a foot" On page 103 Seeberg asserts: ''Paul's teaching with regard to the righteousness attainable by Christians differs from that of James (2:21ff.) and John (1 John 3:7)." That is bad enough, but the next sentence reads: "But on both sides Christian ideas are represented." Two ideas conflicting with each other - and yet both are Christian! Seeberg even goes so far as to assert: "There can be no doubt that the Biblical authors could certainly draw conclusions intrinsically false from inspired truths"! ! (p. 102). Again: "Matt. 8: 28 speaks of two possessed in the territory of the Gadarenes; according to Mark 5: 2 there was only one. Without question, in these instances one of the authors is wrong." (P. 29.) Seeberg has a low opinion of the intelligence of his readers. Some of his readers will look up Mark 5: 2, and when they fail to fmd there the "only" ("there met Him only one man with an unclean spirit"), on which the whole argument hinges, they will wonder how an intellectual giant like Seeberg could permit his mind to be tricked by such a palpable sophistry. Let us examine Professor Edwin Lewis. "The author of the Fourth Gospel is not particularly interested in chronology. Any attempt to 'harmonize' his story with that of the synoptic Gospels is doomed to hopeless failure. Some scholars, it is true, claim that in his account of the Passion Week he is deliberately cor- recting the Synoptic chronology; but that is a question. Even if he is, we may still believe that his motive is that which controls him throughout, namely, a desire to emphasize spirit. In the Synoptics, . the last supper is represented as the Passover meal. A belief consequently arose in the early Church that Christ had the same significance as the paschal lamb. In the Fourth Gospel, the last supper is eaten the evening before Passover. By a single stroke, therefore, the author breaks the connection. . .. He breaks it - so it would seem - because he is afraid of crass literalism. Paul's saying expresses him perfectly: 'The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.''' (A New Heaven and a New Earth, p. 156.) Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 429 We are not now interested in the harmony of the four Gospels on this point.240) Nor are we much interested in noting the un- warranted assumption that a contradiction exists, and the further bland assumption that if the early Church had had only the synoptic Gospels, it would have become a prey of crass literalism. What arouses our interest just now is the fact that Dr. Lewis really expects the Christians to feel safe with having so much unsafe material in their Bible. He has a strange conception of the psychology of the Christian. Consider the case of R. Tuck. He presents this "elucidation of Jonah 1:17 to our very careful consideration": "The Chaldee word dagah, which has been rendered a fish, was meant by the sacred writer to signify a boat or skiff; and the word lebalang, which has been rendered to swallow, literally means to remove from place to place. The verse reads then, agreeably to reason, as it is in the original, without supposing impossibilities, thus: 'Now, the Lord had prepared a great barge to remove Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly (hold) of the barge three days and three nights." (Op. cit., 412.) -Those who do not like Tuck's interpretation might consider the following ones: "Some have affirmed that the entire narrative was a dream which Jonah had while asleep in the sides of the ship. . . . Quite recently another interpretation has been suggested. It is stated that the name Nineveh is no other than Ninua, or Nunu, which means 'fish,' and as the city was called the great city, its old Assyrian name was simply the Great Fish or the Fish City. To this day, it is said, the name on the monuments is represented by a fish in a basin or tank. This view would make Nineveh itself the 'great fish' that swallowed Jonah, and in crying to the Lord for deliverance, he gave the city its old Assyrian 240) A scholar should not make such a wild statement that any attempt to harmonize the four Gospels is doomed to hopeless failure. See Bibliotheca Sacra, January, 1940, p. 63 ff.: "The Chronology of the Holy Week." (The closing paragraph reads: "In conclusion we must admit that we are uncertain and even ignorant of some points con- cerning the chronology of Holy Week. On the other hand, it is only fair for us to credit the Gospel writers with full knowledge of the subject. And it is only reasonable to go a step further and say that, having full knowledge of the subject of the chronology of that last week, we may trust the faithfulness of each man that he has trans- mitted to us exactly as much of that knowledge as was in keeping with his own purpose of writing. . . . All alleged chronological difficulties vanish into nothingness in the light of verbal inspiration. 'Thy Word is truth.' ") See also Kirchliche Zeitschrift, 1940, p. 342 ff., CONC. THEoL. MTHLY., XI, p. 634. A. Fabling, A Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 180-182: "'The first (1) day of the feast' (Matt. 26: 17). Strictly speaking, the Passover Festival began on the evening of this day. But because by noon, the fourteenth of Nisan, or Abib, all traces of leaven had to be removed, ... it was already called 'the first day of the feast.' - 'Before the feast of the Passover' (John 13: 1). This expression refers to the whole festival, in this case to the whole remaining festal week." 430 Verbal Inspiration- a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. name, praying to be delivered from the 'great fish.''' (R. S. MacArthur, Bible Difficulties, pp. 441, 443.) Testing Professor Ladd, we find that he, too, does not rise above the level of the minor theologians. The minor theologians have been telling us that Jesus either did not know that the story of Jonah was fiction or did not think it worth while to inform His hearers that He did not believe in it. Professor Ladd sides with them! "We should be very careful not hastily to commit the authority of Christ to trivialities now in dispute among Biblical critics and commentators. Because He refers to Jonah, for example, without apparently questioning the historical nature of the narra- tive of the transaction of this prophet, it does not follow that His authority may be pledged to one of several theories as to the nature of the book in which the narrative occurs." The reason why Ladd cannot accept the story of Jonah as a true story is stated as follows: "A nalTative in which a man is represented as com- posing a poetical prayer, sUlTounded with water, his head bound with seaweed, and drifting with marine CUlTents while inside a monster of the sea, was surely never intended by its author to be understood as literal history. The book of Jonah was written as an allegory." (What 18 the Bible? pp. 76, 84.) Ladd's reasoning is in the best tradition of 'l"ationalismus vulgaris. And we are asked to assume that our Lord Jesus reasoned in the same way. And our question why Jesus did not enlighten His hearers on this matter is thus disposed of: "Shall it be claimed that, if Jesus knew the story to be allegorical, He must distinctly aver it to be so when speaking amidst a people whose daily speech dealt in alle- gory? Or that, if not for the sake of hearers of His own time, at any rate for the sake of readers in this Occidental and un- figurative age, He must have given full notice of His opinion of the Book of Jonah? . . . The commentator may not help out the dullness" (our italics) "by the support of Christ's infallible authority." (The Doctrine, I, p. 66.) - "So in Job [38: 4 if.] it is implied that the stars were made befO'l"e instead of (as here in Genesis) after the founding of the earth." (What Is the Bible? p.138.) - Interpretation of John 5: 39: "The Jews were caught and entangled in the form. . . . Christ does not find fault with them for diligent study of their Sacred Scriptures; He does accuse them of folly and sin in idolizing the written wO'I"d while neglecting its ideal contents of truth." (Gp. cit., I, p. 51.) - "Is the Christian Church absolutely dependent upon the authority of the Bible?" Certainly not, says Ladd. Proof? "For true Christian faith and character existed before the Bible. . . . The Church was founded before the canon of the New Testament was formed." (What Is the Bible? p. 443.) - One more item: "The propriety of making Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jr!Ws, Etc. 431 a distinction between the Bible and the Word of God has always been virtually admitted by the Christian Church. To charge this distinction with heresy or regard it with suspicion, can only be due, in the case of honest inquirers, to ignorance of history as well as of the facts of the case. . . . Luther himself and the other great reformers expressly insisted upon this distinction. These all speak rather of the Bible as 'containing' or 'embracing' or 'con- veying' the Word of God." (Op. cit., p.445.) We cannot under- stand how Professor Ladd can make this statement that the phrase "The Bible contai113 the Word of God" as opposed to the phrase "The Bible is the Word of God" is a good Christian phrase, employed by Luther, always employed by the Church. Read any history of dogma. Read W. Lee, Dp. cit., p. 400 f.: "The two leading repre- sentatives of the views of those who changed the formula 'The Bible is the Word of God' into 'The Bible ccmtai113 the Word of God' are Le Clerc and Grotius. Le Clerc's writings reflect the ideas of Spinoza, and Spinoza introduced into Christian theology the speculations of the medieval Jews, and more particularly the philosophy of Maimonides. Grotius openly avows the source of his opinions: Maimonides." 241} 241) Ladd puts Luther into the class of thOse who made a dis- tinction between the Bible and the Word of God. It is one of the mysteries of the ages bow theologians who claim to be conversant with Luther's wri can give credence to the myth that Luther did not teach ena.ry Inspiration. A hundred years ago Rudelbach dealt with omenon. The myth, which has no basis in Luther's writings - as Rudelbach conclusively shows - will not die. "Man weiss wohl, wie schwer es in Deutschland haelt, elnen fuer ausgemacht geltenden Schulsatz, wie iener sich gibt, aufzugeben." (ZeitschTift f. d. gesm. Luth. Theol. \I. KiTChe, 1840, zweites Quartalh. p. 6.) Now, after a hundred years, the modems Ql'e still singing the same song: Luther did not identify Scripture and the Word of God. J. P. Smyth: "Luther gives no countenance to the notion of Verbal Inspiration and repeatedly emphasizes the great truth that the Holy Spirit is not confined to a book of ~~ past a~~s, but ~wells and speaks in ~~ conscie:t;tce of every Christian man. (Op. C"t., p.88.) E. Brunner: He who Identifies the letters and words of the Scriptures with the Word of God has never truly understood the Word of God. A better witness than Martin Luther we can scarcely call up. . . . And Luther would never have approved the opinion of later orthodoxy that everything in the Scriptures just because it is in the Scriptures is equally inspired by the Holy Spirit." (The Theology of CrisiB, p.19. The Word and the World, p.94.) R.See- berg also assert.s that Luther had this "low" view of inspiration. See footnote 222. C. A. Wendell chimes in: "The nervous anxiety to prove the 'complete inerrancy' of the Bible 'from cover to cover' may be good Fundamentalism but hardly good Lutheranism, for Luther was not of that type. . . . Luther did not fret and fuss to prove its 'alleged in- errancy from cover to cover.' He did not claim inerrancy for it." (What Is Lutheranism? p.235.) And in 1940 Prof. J. O. Evjen wrote, in The LutheTan Chu.Tch Qu,aTterly, p. 149: ''It was heresy for Ocldtam not to believe every single word of the Bible. For Ocldtam the Bible was inspired, word for word. . . . Luther had a different conception of heresy. To the Reformer, Scripture was binding to the extent that it proclaimed Christ, the Gospel, or pointed to Christ. Many historical 432 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. When we study this long list of aberrations, these baseless as- sertions, illogical conclusions, and exhibitions of plain ignorance- this comedy of errors - we cannot refrain from setting down once more Dr. Pieper's judgment: ''The objections to the verbal in- spiration of Holy Scripture do not manifest great ingenuity or matters in the Bible did not concern Christian life." The modems persist in ascribing to Luther a "liberal" attitude toward the Bible, to Luther, who said: "The Holy Ghost . . • is the Author of this book" (II: 566); who said: "The Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, written and (as I might say) lettered and fonned in letters" (IX: 1770) j who said: "Scripture, 01' the Word of God" (VDI:llll,1l29j XIV: 413) , " ••• purum Verbum Dei, hoc est, Sancta Scriptura" (see IX:87); who said: "Also gibt man dem Heiligen Geist die game Heilige Schrift" (m: 1890); who said: "The Scriptures have never erred" (XV: 1481); who said: "All stories of Holy Scripture have to do with Christ" (Vll: 1924); and who said these things not once but a thousand times. Ladd demands that "the reader who wishes to know certain of the real views of Luther must consult the une,xpurgated" (italics in original) "editions of his works, especially of his Vorreden (Walch, XIV) and not what Reuss has called 'die cursierenden von frommen Gesellschaften castrierten Special- Ausgaben'" (The Doctrine, II, p. 166). Exactly. We insist on that, too. Do not read merely those emasculated selections put out by the modems but read the entire Luther. Read only volumes I-IX and XIV, and, says Pastor W. Bodamer in the article "Luthers Stellung zur Lehre von der Verbalinspiration" (Theologische Qu4Tt4lschrift, 1936, p. 240 if.), you will find "more than a thousand statements" of Luther which un- equivocally assert Verbal Inspiration and identify Scripture and the Word of God. A hundred or so of such statements are there quoted. "Hoeret, ihr Herren, Papst und Kaiser, ist denn die Bibel Gottes Wort oder nicht?" (Vll:I089). Princeton Theol. Review, 15, p.502: "We may begin our synthetic presentation of Luther's views with the obvious and all but universally admitted remark that the Refonner, following the custom of the medieval Church and of his own opponents, commonly uses Scripture and the Word of God as synonymous and interchange- able terms." But the modems cannot rid themselves of the hallucina- tion that Luther did not equate Scripture and the Word of God, did not teach the absolute inerrancy of Scripture. The thing is inexplicable. Ladd reads his unexpurgated Luther, reads these two thousand plain statements and declares: Luther could not have meant that! For "Luther holds that the Gospel of John is far to be preferred to the other three and that the epistles of Paul and Peter much surpass the three Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke." (Op. cit .• n, p.l54.) We ask Ladd to prove his assertion that "Luther holds the distinction between the Biblical writings and God's Word" (What Is the Bible? p. 48), and his proof is that Luther held some books of the Bible to be more important than others. That is not normal argumentation. Consider C. A. Wen- dell's proof. "Luther did not claim inerrancy for the Bible. 'Johannes macht hie eine Verwirrung,' 'John is confused here,' in other words, makes a mistake, he says in one of his sennons (VlII:884)." Wendell bases his proof on a mistranslation! Luther did 7Wt say: "Johannes ist hier verwirret." What he does say is that this is one of the many instances where the parallel accounts in the Gospels are seemingly contradictory. The statement "Johannes macht hier erne Verwirrung "cannot be made to mean: "Johannes ist verwirret." But Wendell and others make it to mean that and triumphantly exclaim: Luther did not teach the inerrancy of ScrIpture! (A writer in the Journal of the Am. Luth. Conf., March, 1936, p. 9 if., argues along the same lines. - These and similar arguments are examined CONe. Tm:OL. MTBLY., I, p. 868 f.; ill, p. 306 if.; Vill, p.443 f.) The moderns are going to believe the myth till doomsday. Verbal Inspiration~a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 433 mental acumen, but the very opposite: they serve as a shining example of how God inflicts His just punishment upon all critics of His Word - they lose their common sense and become utterly unreasonable and illogical." (What Is Christianity? P.243.) The comedy of errors presents a tragedy. Another thing that does not speak well for the acumen, theological and otherwise, of the moderns is the matter of the substitutes they offer for Verbal Inspiration. After Seeberg ex- pressed his sorrow or joy over the "fall of Verbal Inspiration" (''Verbal Inspiration has disappeared as if in one night. No theo- logian of any repute now upholds it. . .. The theory of verbal inspiration has been of incalculable service to the Church. . . . How simple and clear must have been the inner life of our fore- fathers with this theory of verbal inspiration!"), he looked around for a substitute. "Every Protestant Christian must form for him- self a reasoned judgment upon this question. This object may be achieved by ... attempts to discover what substitute Protestant Christendom can accept in its place. If that theory (Verbal In- spiration) falls, as fallen indeed it has, the question then confronts us, How shall a substitute be found?" (Op. cit., pp.l-4.) "The whole volume will be discredited," said J. De Witt, "unless a broader definition can be found for the inspiration that produced it than any that has yet been advanced." (What I.~ Inspiration, p.68.) The moderns have found a lot of substitutes. It seems impossible to list them all. They can be roughly divided into two classes. The ultraliberals deal with the no-inspiration-at-all theories. These follow the pattern of Father Semler's definition of inspiration as "die andaechtige Gemuetsverfassung" of the holy writers. The substitutes offered by the more-or-Iess conservatives come under the general head of Partial Inspiration; to these we shall confine our present discussion. The partial-inspiration men offer their wares under different labels. Some prefer to call the Bible "the record of revelation." 2i2) The most popular trademark seems to be: Only the Gospel portions are inspired. That is, says P. T. Forsyth, "the saving distinction of the Bible and the Gospel" (Foreword to J. M. Gibson's The Insp. and Auth. of H. Scripture). R. H. Malden puts it this way: "When we call the Bible inspired, we mean (or at least J mean) that it is of unique and permanent religious value." (The Inspiration of the Bible, p.4.) That is what 242) Luthardt: "Scripture is not in itself the revelation, but only a report of the revelation." Volek: "Die Bibel ist die Urkunde der Heilsgeschichte." Hofmann: "Die Schrift ist ein Denkrnal, eine Urkunde der Heilsgeschichte:' Werner Elert at Lausanne (1927): "We believe with all Christians that the Holy Scriptures hold divine authority for us as the true record and historical revelation of God." (See Theol. Mthly., VII, p. 363.) The meaning of this label is: Scripture contains the Word of God. 28 434 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. the United Lutheran Church of America means when it speaks of Inspiration. See Baltimore Declaration, above. That is exactly the substitute which Seeberg found: "The Gospel is both the revela- tion given by Christ and the special understanding of this reve- lation. In the latter sense it is given by a special, personal gift of grace by God, or, as we say, by inspiration. • .. When Luther refers to Scripture, he is thinking of the Gospel of Christ." (Op. cit., pp. 68,18.) These theories vary much in detail, but are one in restricting Inspiration to scattered portions of the Bible.243} 243) Their discoverers like to give them big names. B. Steffen calls his theory "Zentralinspiration"; it means what Seeberg and the Balti- more Declaration mean. W. Sanday calls it "Vital Inspiration" but means the same thing: "In all that relates to the revelation of God and of His will, the writers assert for themselves a definite inspiration." «()P. cit., pp. 46,74.) G. L. Raymond has told us that, if we want to know which portions of the Bible are inspired, we must be able to distinguish between their "literary" and their "literal sense:' What does that mean? See footnote 207. And, says Raymond, we must make a .fu:rther distinction: there are in man "two minds, namely, the conscious and the subconscious, which latter term is used to indicate a mind of the results of which we are conscious, but of the processes of which we are unconscious. . . . It has been shown that, when a man is inspired, the very conditions necessitate that whatever is revealed should affect first the inner or subconscious realm of his mind; that whatever may be received in this inner or subconscious region influences both it and the outer, or conscious, realm, by way of suggestion; and that whatever influences by way of suggestion must, from its very nature, leave the outer or conscious realm free to express itself according to methods dominated by its own inherited or acquired intelligence." What is Raymond driving at? Why, he is showing that not everything in the Bible is inspired. "Specific details can never be supposed to be a necessary part of that which is merely suggested. They are not logically attributable to the spirit that inspired it." (The Psychology of Inspiration, pp. 56, 307.) R. F. Horton's theory; "We best serve the cause of truth by trying accurately to distinguish what is divine truth and what is human hnperfection. . . . According to the simpler and, we may add, saner view of inspired writings these references (Gal. 3: 19; Acts 7:53; Heb. 2:2: and Heb. 11;31,32) only show that the writers were acquainted with the Jewish tradition on the subject and alluded to it without any intention of passing a critical verdict on its Veracity ...• They are shnpiy treating the subject homiletically." (Revelation and the Bible, p. 329t) J.P. Smyth: "Inspiration is the result of contact between the Spirit of God and the spirit of man." (Op. cit., p.119.) That defini- tion is broad enough to take care of any accident that might befall a holy writer. Bishop Gore: ''The Anglican reformers of the sixteenth century devised a question to be answered by those just to be ordained deacons. 'Do you unfeignedly believe all the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?' To which the answer was required: 'I do believe them.' But our bishops of today have proposed an addition to the question, so that it should run: 'Do you unfeignedly believe all the canonical Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as con- veying to 'US in many parts and in divers manners the revelation of God, which is consummated in Jesus Christ?' And the answer they pro- posed is: 'I do so believe them.''' (Op. cit., p. 63. Italics ours.) Bishop Gore asks the Chuxch to accept this substitute. - The following defini- tions might perhaps be assigned to Class I: No real inspiration at all. But giving the writers the benefit of the doubt, we shall put them into Class n: Partial Inspiration. G. T.Ladd: "At no time, except during Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 435 The moderns have thrown Verbal Inspiration to the bats and moles; and what is this that they have brought in instead? It does not look respectable. It has no scientific respectability. This theory presupposes such an unaccountable behavior on the part of the Holy Ghost and prescribes such an unworkable use of the Bible that the scientists would unanimously vote to throw it out. This theory of a partial, intermittent, sporadic, spasmodic, and erratic inspiration, asks us to believe that the Holy Ghost constructed His Bible, the Book of Life for man, in such an awkward manner that on one page He breathed His words into the minds and hearts of the apostles, on the next page He pennitted them to set down their own ruminations, and in the middle of the page He interrupted them to speak His own words. This stop-and-go theory places the holy writers, too, in a bad light. If that is true, that at times "the human thoughts predominated over the divine thoughts" (Bensow), we must assume that every so often the writer got the signal to go on his own, every so often he was ordered to stop and let the Holy Ghost speak, but occasionally the psalmist refused and kept on speaking his own thoughts. We much prefer the theory of the ultralibera1s: No inspiration at all. That is a clean- cut affair. But the inspiration-in-spots theory is too awkward and clumsy to get serious consideration. H. Kraemer speaks of "the clumsy form of the literal inerrancy of the document in which God's revelation is told" (The Christian Message in a Non-Chris- tian World, p. 218), Horton of "that crude dogma of infallible in- spiration" (op. cit., p. 25) . Weare willing to let any scientist, any philosopher, decide which is the crude and clumsy form, Plenary Inspiration or intennittent inspiration.244) the dominance of the post-Reformation dogma, has the 'inspiration' of the authors of sacred Scripture been regarded as specifically different in kind from that possessed by other believers, or as given to them solely for the purpose of fitting them to compose an infallible Bible." (Op. cit., p. 75.) E. Lewis: "All Scripture is because of the inspiration of God. . . . That means that men wrote because they were under the inspiration of some divinely given truth." (A Philosophy, etc., p. 261.) M. Dods: "Inspiration is the indwelling of the Divine Spirit. All Chris- tians believe that they themselves enjoy this indwelling, but they are not conscious of becoming infallible." (Op. cit., p. 145.) 244) Speaking of the theory that "certain portions of Scripture have resulted from the unaided exercise of human judgment or of human faculties, . . . that the writer has but partially or imperfectly handed down the communication from heaven," W. Lee observes: "If we had never heard of the difficulties which have been urged against Inspiration, could the suspicion have ever occurred to any fair mind that God may have thus left to all the chances of human fallibility the history of that revelation which (it is assumed) He has given to His creatures, instructing them in their duties and unfolding to them His decrees?" (Op. cit., p.237.) G. Stoeckhardt: "It is difficult to form·a conception of a self-activity of the Holy Ghost-the moderns grant, in theory, that in the recording of God's thoughts concerning salvation this self- 436 Verbal Inspiration-a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. The inspiration-in-spots men become still more unreasonable when they assume that God gave the world a Bible which is a medley of truth and error, of wisdom and folly, but left it to us fallible men to find the dividing line between truth and error. And these same moderns who tell us that we must find this dividing line tell us in the next breath that there is no such dividing line. See Lewis' and Smyth's statements above. Here are some more. Prof. A. E. Deitz: "We may liken the teaching of the Bible to a large circle at the center of which we place Christ and the cross. Around that center there is a large region of certainty which in- cludes all the great teaching of the Bible about religion and morality. Out at the circumference we may place those unessential matters about which for any reason there may be some doubt, such as historical inaccuracies, numerical errors, etc. Now, if we inquire how far out toward the circumference does the region of certainty extend, answers may differ .... The realm of certainty gradually fades out into the uncertain and unknown just as it does in every department of human knowledge." (The Luth. Church Quart., 1935, p.131 f.) W. Sanday corroborates that: "What is the relation of the natural to the supernatural, of the human to the divine in the Bible? They sMde off into each other by almost insensible degrees." (Op. cit., p.74.) Just try to trace the line on the basis of the directions given by Raymond; find out where the conscious mind and where the subconscious mind of the writers was working. Were the writers themselves able to apply Raymond's test? No; the Bible which the stop-and-go-inspiration men give us does not work. We should not know how to use it. Nay, it works disaster. A man might cast aside the divine as being human and lose his activity took place - which was interrupted every few moments. . • . It is at bottom a most unreasonable idea, this modern distinction between essentials and non-essentials, which recognizes the fonner as God's Word but finds the latter fallible. That is a 'mechanical' construction. On this theory the Holy Ghost sometimes, when unimportant matters were being recorded, rested and slept, as Homer sometimes nodded, and the human pen just kept on writing and, no longer guided by the Holy Spirit, often wrote down nonsense (hat vielfach gefaselt)." (Lehre und Wehre, 32, pp. 257,313.) DisCUSSing the idea that "here the Holy Ghost has allowed Paul's pen to run on," L. Gaussen points out: "What idea can a man have of the sacred writers, when he would impute to them the mad audacity of mingling their own oracles with those of the Most High? That would be similar to the case of the man who was engaged by a Geneva minister to transcribe his sermons, and 'had thought it his duty to enrich all the pages with his own thoughts.'" (Theopneu.stia.. pp. 271, 317, 322.) F.Bente: "Verbal inspiration in theologicis but in all non-theologicis no verbal inspiration, on the same page of the Bible, yes, in one and the same sentence about ten per cent of the words verbally inspired by the Holy Ghost and ninety per cent not inspired, or vice versa, ninety per cent of the words by the Holy Ghost and ten per cent by the writer - that is an incon- ceivable concept and a theory which is as unreasonable as it is anti- Scriptural." (Lehre UM Wehre, 1904, p. 87.) Verbal Inspiration a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 437 soul. The highway constructed by the moderns has the sign: Travel at your own risk! 245) The partial-inspiration men reach the height of unreason when they attempt to square their theory with 2 Tim. 3: 16. It is pathetic to see how their greatest men, Ladd and Orr and others, labor to make this passage prove Partial Inspiration and bring forth nothing better than this: the apostle means to say that that part of Scrip- ture is inspired which is profitable for doctrine.246 ) "Das sind eitel Taschenspielerkuenste," and clumsy ones at that. They are forcing Paul into an embarrassing situation. Paul tells Timothy to study "the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." Timothy begins at Gen. 1. Paul interrupts him and points out that that chapter deals with secular matters and is not inspired. Timothy: "But you said that all Scripture is given by inspiration." Paul: "I did not express myself clearly. I meant that some Scripture is given by inspiration, that some parts of Scripture are profitable." Timothy: "But Jesus, too, said: "The Scripture cannot be broken, John 10:35." 247) Paul: "Jesus did not express himself clearly. He meant that only the doctrinal portions of Scripture are authoritative." - No, no; either Jesus and Paul and Peter (2 Pet, 1: 21) used misleading language, em- ploying universal terms without any restrictions, or the moderns are guilty of employing violent, unreasonable exegesis. The moderns fighting Verbal Inspiration in the name of reason 245) "Again we must press the question, the all-important question: If the Bible is inspired only in spots, which spots are inspired? Who is to decide? Who has the wisdom to tell us with satisfying certainty? We have read after Graf, Wellhausen, Cheyne, Driver, and Robertson Smith down to Kent, Foster, Bade, Fosdick, Faunce, Merril, and the rest and do not feel that we can trust either their logic or their judg- ment. Then, who can point out to the world the parts of the Bible that are inspired and the parts that are not inspired? The world ought to have certainty on this matter." (Bible Champion, 1923, p.599.) 246) James Orr: "This is the ultimate test (If 'inspiration' - its power to 'make wise unto salvation.''' (See eighth installment of this series, under No. 21.) Ladd, too, insists that "the post-Reformation theology" garbled "that one passage in the New Testament to which the appeal is sometimes most confidently made - 2 Tim. 3: 16." The apostle never intended to say that all Scripture, being inspired, is profitable for doctrine; what he impressed upon Timothy was that only portions of Scripture are inspired - those that are "morally useful in perfecting a righteous character." (What Is the Bible? p. 95.) 247) "Now what is the particular thing in Scripture for the con- firmation of which the indefectible authority of Scripture is thus invoked? It is one of the most casual clauses-more than that, the very form of its expression in one of its most casual clauses. This means, of course, that in the Savior's view the indefectible authority of Scripture attaches to the very form of expression of its most casual clauses. It belongs to Scripture through and through, down to its most minute particulars, that it is of indefectible authority." (B. B. War- field, Revelation and Inspiration, p. 86.) 438 Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block. to Jews, Etc. do not have reason on their side. Their vaunted substitutes can get no scientific rating.248) And when we examine the long array of arguments which they so confidently marshal against Verbal Inspiration - these baseless assertions, these plain sophistries, these unbelievable fatuities - we think of Luther's word: "Scripture makes fools of all the wise" (XIV: 4). When men set out to subvert a divine truth - in this case the divinity, infallibility, and inviola- bility of Holy Scripture - they cannot but stultify themselves. "They lose their common sense and become utterly unreasonable and illogical." And a greater loss than that of common sense is involved. The hurt touches a more vital spot. One who has come under the in- fluence of God's Word and still presumes to criticize it, risks the impairment and the loss of his spiritual faculties. He who takes offense at Scripture and rails at its "errors" and "immoralities" and "trivialities" may fall under the dread judgment of obduration. God will not be mocked, and He will not have His Word mocked. If a man persists in stifling the glad response to Scripture's tes- timony, to its majesty, infallibility, and inviolability, which this testimony would create or has created in his heart, he will lose the faculty to respond. He will be given over to an obdurate mind. No man may set himself in opposition to God's Word with impunity. Ponder the dread truth set down in 1 Pet. 2: 6-8. " ... and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the Word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed." .Stoeckhardt: "The unbelievers, who absolutely refuse to obey the Word, are, by God's just judgment, set and ap- pointed to that lot that they are yet more and more embittered and hardened through the Word, that the Word of salvation becomes to them a savor of death unto death. God gives them up to their perverse, obdurate mind." That applies not only to those who take offense at the Gospel, but also to those who stumble at Scrip- ture in general. H. Weseloh thus applies it: "If men will not permit the heavenly light to enlighten them, . . . if they wiZZ run against the Word, then they shan do it. For God will not be mocked .... Christ is set for the fall and rising again of men - for the rising again of the contrite and humble, but for the fall of the proud and 248) That is the verdict of Dr. C. E. Macartney: "Those who have departed from faith in an infallible Bible have made desperate but utterly vain efforts to secure a suitable substitute. . . . But as time goes by, the pathetic hopelessness of this effort is more and more manifest:' (See L. Boettner, The Inspiration of the Scriptures, p. 81.) You may think that Dr. Macartney is biased. Then hear Dr. Ladd: "The post- Refonnation theory has tottered and fallen - a ruin complete so far as its own compacted and well-cemented structure is concerned. But no equally elaborate and self-ccnuristent doctrine of Sacred Scripture has arisen to take its place." (Op. cit., p.69.) Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 439 self-righteous. Even so Scripture, coming to us in the lowly form of a servant, is set for the fall of the haughty and self-satisfied, but for the rising up of those who know how deeply they have fallen. Face to face with Scripture, men's hearts are revealed" (Das Buch des Herm und seine Feinde, p.130 f.). When Scripture comes to a man and asks to be received as the Word of God and he, following the reaction of his natural heart, refuses to acknowledge the claim; when Scripture, speaking with divine power, warns him that this offense, this stumbling at the Word, proceeds out of the evil heart and pleads with him to suppress it, and he keeps on treating God's Word as the common word of man, such a man faces the dread judgment of obduration, and it is only because of the wondrous grace of God that in a given case the judgment has not yet been executed. "One who criticizes Scripture - which, as God's Word, will not be criticized but believed - comes under the fearful judgment of God described in Matt. 11: 25." (Pieper, Chr. Dog., I, p.280.) "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes." Will men, following their carnal wisdom and conceit, persist in treating parts of the Bible as the word of fools? Then Scripture shall be to them a stumbling block and the wisdom of God foolishness! "This is the Scripture which makes fools of all the wise and prudent and is open only to babes and fools, as Christ says Matt. 11:25." (Luther, XIV:4.) You refuse to be a babe and simply believe, you refuse to be Christ's fool? Then be your own fool. Be blinded, utterly unable to see, shut out from all spiritual light. It is a wicked thing to charge the Bible, written by inspiration of God, with errors and unethical teachings and puerilities - and there are men who are not able to see this wickedness. Augustine writes in his Harmony of the Gospels (Book I, chap. 7): "Those sacred chariots of the Lord, however, in which He is borne throughout the earth and brings the peoples under His easy yoke and light burden, are assailed with calumnious charges by certain persons, who, in impious vanity or in ignorant temerity, think to rob of their credit as veracious historians those teachers by whose instrumentality the Christian religion has been disseminated all the world over. . .. They still strive by their calumnious disputations to keep some from making themselves acquainted with the faith, while they also endeavor to the utmost of their power to excite agitations among others who have already attained to belief, and thereby give them trouble .... We have undertaken in this work to demonstrate the errors or the rashness of those ... who are in the habit of adducing this as the palmary allegation in all their vain objections, namely, that the evangelists are not in harmony with each other." And there are men who say: Augustine is talk- ing foolishness! Eusebius said: "I deem it wicked presumption 440 Verbal Inspiration - a Stwnbling-Block to Jews, Etc. when a man is brazen enough to say that Scripture has erred." And there are men who say: Eusebius is talking foolishness! They are unable to see the wickedness. Again, men are actually unable to see the wickedness of declaring that the testimony of Christ concerning the Old Testament is unreliable because Jesus lacked the critical acumen! 2411J Once more, men are actually able to apply the warnings against obduration to those who believe every word of the Bible and charge them with harderning them- selves against the truth.250) If a man will not see, he shall not see. A dread judgment is pronounced Matt. 11: 25 and 2 Cor. 2: 16. What is, in itself, the savor of life unto life can become the savor of death unto death. All that is written in Scripture is written for our learning, and much of it has become to "the wise and prudent" an occasion for stumbling. Passages such as the imprecatory psalms and Paul's instruction concerning his mantle and Timothy's ail- ment, which should serve to strengthen our spiritual life, must now serve to strengthen their determination to tear apart the Sacred Volume. "There has come to us a crisis in the history of the Bible," says J. P. Smyth, "a crisis through which our generation must pass amid strife and heartburnings, it may be - amid doubts and fears for the future of religion - but whose results will ultimately be the enthroning of the Bible in a position firmer and more lasting than it has ever held before in the hearts of the Christian people." (Gp, cit., p. 6.) Every generation must pass through this crisis. Yes, and every individual who deals with the Bible. Shall I accept the Bible as being throughout the Word of God? Shall I believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God"? The question must be answered. The Bible presses for a decision. What wlll our answer be? Our flesh insists that we throw Verbal Inspiration to the bats and moles. That is Smyth's advice. He is convinced that that will enhance the glory and influence of the Bible. Scripture itself urges us to give a different answer. Two forces are meeting in your heart and struggling for dominance. You must decide for one or the other. Is every chapter and verse of the Bible inspired and 249) R. Rothe: "The Redeemer never claimed to be an infallible, or even a generally precise, interpreter of the Old Testament. Indeed, He could not have made this claim. For interpretation is essentially a scientific function, and one conditioned by the existence of scientific means; which, in relation to the Old Testament, were only imperfectly at the command of Jesus as well as of His contemporaries." (See Ladd, op. cit., I, p.28.) 250) J. P. Smyth, who has thrown Verbal Inspiration to the moles and the bats, says: "If Christ had to say, why should not the Bible have to say, too, 'Blessed is he who shall not find occasion of stwnbling in me.''' (Op. cit., p.135.) R. Seeberg: "The old theory can only be retained against the monitions of conscience, or the sense of historical truth must be devitalized in order to save the hypothesis." (Op. cit., p. 62.) Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to Jews, Etc. 441 true or not? Has science, evolution, etc., the right, for instance, to correct the first chapter of Genesis? You must answer the question. Your faith is being tested.251 ) Will you decide in favor of your unbelieving, supercilious flesh or in favor of Scripture? The de- cision may be hard to make. There will be heartburnings. Will you break with your flesh and the popular theology of the moderns, or will you break with Scripture? And if I break with Scripture, against its powerful pleadings to remain true, there looms before me the dread judgment of obduration. The struggle will be hard and heartbreaking. But God has given us the strength to pass through the crisis safely. There is that in the Christian heart which responds to the voice of Scripture and rejoices in the truth that "all SClipture is given by inspiration of God." 252) Do not stifle that response. "Blessed is he," says Christ, "whosoever shall not be offended in Me," Matt. 11: 6. Blessed is he who shall not be offended at My Word, at Scripturel In asking us to delete one half of the Bible, the moderns assure us that there is no cause for alarm. The other half remains! And that is the important part; if the Gospel message is inspired, all is well - But the moderns are not through with us. They have additional objections against Verbal Inspiration. And if these are well founded, there is nothing left of the Bible; the words in which the Gospel message is brought us are worthless. (To be continued) TH. ENGELDER 251) Dr. N. R. Melhorn writes in The Lutheran, Sept. 24. 1941: "A Test of Believing. The first chapter of Genesis. indeed the first eleven chapters of that beginning of revelation, has been throughout the Christian era something by which scholars and common people alike tested the character of their faith. One might almost suspect that the attitude which is assumed toward this plain and simple stury of the beginning of things is an illustration of that which is described as the basic sin of our first parents. They yielded, it will be remembered, to the plea of the devil that, if they should eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they should become as gods. Man has never been distinguished by his humility with reference to the search for truth, and from tinle to time the Christian world has been harassed, even aggravated, by attacks upon the verity of the revelation of our world's beginning and continuance. . . . According to learned men who have accepted Darwinism or some development thereof the declarations of Genesis 1 are altogether unsatisfactory. . . . For them Moses was a most unsatisfactory scientist." 252) These two truths that the Christian has the capacity to see, and rejoice in, the light of Scripture and that the glorious light of Scrip- ture blinds those who refuse to respond, are expressed in Rudelbach's observation: "Bei dieser Fuelle des Erweises waere es fast unerklaer- lich, wie diese Stelle (2 Tim. 3: 16) von so vielen seit du Perron und Grotius bis auf Semler und manche neuere herab so sclu'naehlich ge- misdeutet worden 1st, wenn man nicht wuesste, dass auch die groesste Klarheit eine congeniale im Geiste des Auslegers voraussetzt, urn nicht zu blenden." (Zeitschrlft !1.Ier die gesm. Luth. Theol. 1.1. Kirche, 1842, Zweites Quartalheft. p. 9.)