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The Significance of the Bible for Christian Theology - Essay Example

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The Significance of the Bible for Christian Theology

There are several approaches to the authority of the Scripture, with most of them being inadequate. One theory states that every word in the Scripture is inspired by God. That is a very rigid view that leads to many mistakes and claims of Scripture being inerrant at all instances. This doctrine of the authority of Scripture receives much criticism in this modern day and ultimately turns Scripture’s authority into authoritarianism. Another approach to the Bible as to the historical source also proves to be faulty as, alongside with the benefits it yields; it also diverts the attention to factuality and separates the literary form from the meaning of the text. There is also an approach to the Bible as a literary classic. It might be beneficial to have this approach to introduce Bible to otherwise ignorant group of students, but it hardly generates deep interest in it or, what more, introduces spiritual principle to abide by. Approach to the Bible as to a private devotional text helps to have a personal application of the Scripture, but it tends to put less emphasis on the common and universal.
Other theological approach to the Bible is studying it from a viewpoint of it being the “Word of God”, which also puts certain limitation. God does not have limitations, but the language always has some limitations of expression. Also, language evolves with time and words’ meaning change too, thus proving that language itself cannot be attributed to God, Who is infinite and full of possibilities. (Schneider, 1991, p. 205). Approaching the Word of God only as metaphoric expression, although it is a root and a complex metaphor, includes many meanings such as God’s symbolic self-disclosure, sharing of life and His divine self-giving (Schneider, 1991, p. 216). God has to use symbols for the metaphor. Sneider argues that even from the very ancient times God used “symbolic self-disclosure” through nature. For Israelites God’s Word became a mean of communication between them and God, and “made a highly original advance in symbolic interpretation” by understanding “their own history as the story of the relationship between themselves and God” (Schneider, 1991, p. 215). They viewed Jesus “as full and divine revelation of God” (Schneider, 1991, p. 216). From the point of view of God’s Word being metaphoric, the Bible is a symbolic witness of the divine self-gift, and is potentially revelatory. When referring to the Word of God, the reference is usually made to the written word in the Bible, which is understood as the physical object (the book) as well as the text and the message contained therein. The Bible is considered a sacramental object, which at times, leads to distortions such as a temptation to view such objects as magic, taking it out of context or a temptation is to create an idol out it. In actuality, the Word of God is only sacramental when the biblical text is read and interpreted, and that creates the possibility of revelation (Schneider, 1991, p. 220). The Scripture is the unique and sacred book. Another author argues that Gospels tell us about nature of Scripture’s authority and means by which God exerts it, which is the word. The authority of the Scripture therefore equals to the authority of God himself. Its function is didactic - to give the knowledge about God and to lead readers and those who will ...Show more
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The significance of the Bible for Christian theology
Goldingay asserts the central struggle behind belief in Bible being inspired by God. He states that the debate raging is a complex issue, with the superficial “argument about history of theology or church history”…
The Significance of the Bible for Christian Theology
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