Scripture’s Self Attesting Authority

When any historical text is read, thought needs to be granted to the context in which the author penned his piece. The original intentions of the author, especially if what is written places itself in an attested historical literary category, need to honored. Truthfulness in reading does no damage to an author’s intent and allows the life and scope of the literature to breath in its own organic way. To force owns own life experience and context into literature that never asks the reader to do so is an all too common literary tragedy, especially when it comes to scripture.
The organic breath of biblical literature comes to us in two primary contexts: The Old & New Testaments we’re penned with Ancient Near East & Greco Roman cultural witnesses. The testimony of the written word was addressed to the people of their time, in a way they spoke and would understand. It came in many literary forms such as historical narrative, poetry, lament, or apocalyptic in nature; it did so with the intent to span generations which required apologetic usefulness. Any sound apologetic communicates truthfully to a person in the language they know most amidst the cultural challenges of their day so that reason may have its way and truthful convictions may result. The Ancient Near East religions were known to Moses as well as the Greek philosophers to Paul; the controversial apologetic was the same in both their voices: absolute monotheism. No God but Yahweh. No salvation but through Christ. Scripture holds this conviction consistently, with knowledge of the other world-views, it is not ignorant of them.
The biblical text reveals the Maker of heaven and earth who is an author and he used real historical people in real historical cultures to reveal Himself to us in literary form. The amazing thing one finds in that same literature are eye-witness accounts of an alien Author who is sovereign over the affairs of mankind. This alien Author literally created a historical nation out of a group of slaves demonstrating His divine power in ways that mankind couldn’t forget. He made promises to these people of a coming suffering servant centuries before he came. He then brought the good news of His kingdom by His Son: all are slaves to sin, not just Israelites but gentiles too, and through faith in Christ are men set free from sin and death. He literally became flesh and walked among us, ate with us, died like us. But we will be lead to marvel and worship as we learn that He is not like us because He was before us and because death couldn’t keep Him: He is risen! His death purchased salvation, a full and eternal pardon for rebel sinners who come to believe in Him. His resurrection is man’s true hope for the new body to come in the next age.
The authority of scripture is self attesting. Any claim to ultimate authority must rely upon its own self-attestation otherwise another authority would be required to validate it. So when reading the Bible it is important to resist reading anachronistically into it. As has been historically observed, when allowing the text to speak for itself, a most holy Author is revealed in scripture that no other text has ever, or ever can equal.

An Old Testament Survey Post

Sharing my most recent post from my online class where I get to learn more about my God’s awesome Word, enjoy: 

In response to the question of how to categorize the literary genre of the Genesis account, in light of some similarities with Mesopotamian accounts, our text offers a blazing insight. In essence, it rightly asserts that the biblical text is apologetic; could it be anything other?! The arguments weighed by the skeptics, always directly aimed at the foundations of God’s Word, like to point out that the Genesis accounts sometimes find similarities with other Ancient Near East literature. I like how our text reminds the reader that these similarities are far and few between, only detectable by trained eyes (which most skeptics oftentimes probably do not have); and that these similarities are literary only and by no means are they theological. The ANE accounts have no correlation with the monotheistic, extremely unique claims of the Biblical Creator and His said purpose for mankind.

I think it is very helpful to think of the author of Genesis as one who would engage the ANE in a language they would understand, for the purpose of evangelizing and sharing the truth with his common ancestors and people of his time. Such is the path for all inspired biblical literature; it’s purpose is to spread and instruct, to teach and rebuke, to remind and remember, to reform and remake sinners into saints…it always has been and always will be good news from start to finish. I’ll quote from the portion of the text that inspired this post: “One may suppose that the author, inspired by God’s revelation, employed current literary traditions to teach the true theological import of humanity’s primeval history” (Lasor, 22).