Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Bibliology"
PART-4: TESTIMONY OF THE EARLY
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- TESTIMONY OF THE EARLY CHURCH
- Clement of Rome
"Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the
Holy Spirit." Wescott on Clement: "He recognizes moreover the lasting import
of the recorded history, and the significance of the most minute details:
the scarlet thread which Rahab hung out of the window was to 'show that a
redemption should be made by the blood of the Lord for all who believe and
hope upon God.'"
- Justin Martyr
"We must not suppose that the language proceeds from the men who are
inspired, but from the divine Word which moves them. Their work is to
announce that the Holy Spirit descending upon them purposes through them to
teach those who wish to learn the true religion. For neither by nature nor
human thought can men recognize such great and divine truths, but by the
gift which came down from above upon the holy men, who needed no art of
words, nor skill in captious and contentious speaking, but only to offer
themselves in purity to the operation of the Divine Spirit, in order that
the divine power of itself might reveal to us the knowledge of divine and
heavenly things acting on just men as a plectrum on a harp or lyre."
"The Spirit of God is not with all men, but abiding with some, whose
conversation is just, and being united with their soul it proclaimed to all
other souls by prophetic teaching that which had been hidden, and those
which obeyed wisdom attracted to themselves a kindred spirit, while those
who did not obey.. .were found to fight against God. "
- Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch
"The men of God being filled with the Holy Spirit and gifted with prophecy,
having inspiration and wisdom from God, were taught of Him, and became holy
and just. Wherefore also they were deemed worthy to obtain this recompense,
to be made instruments of God and receive the wisdom which cometh from Him,
by which wisdom they spake of the creation of the world and all other
things. . .which happened before their birth, and during their own time, and
which are now being accomplished in our days; and so we are convinced that
in things to come the event will be as they say.'
"God sent forth from the first men who by their justice and innocency were
worthy to know God, and to make Him known, and filled them to overflowing
with the Divine Spirit;.. .gave us a written Testament, that we might more
fully and more deeply learn of Him and of His counsels of His will."
"Truly it is most evidently preached in the Churches that the Holy Spirit
inspired each of the Saints, Prophets, and Apostles, and that the same
Spirit was present in those of old time as in those who were inspired at the
coming of Christ; for Christ, the Word of God, was in Moses and the
Prophets. . .and by His Spirit they spake and did all things." ". . .records
of the Gospels are 'Oracles of the Lord, pure Oracles as silver purified
seven times in the fire' (Ps. 12:6), and that there is a meaning in their
minutest details; while they are without error, inasmuch as we believe that
they were accurately written by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit. "
- Concluding Statement
"Amidst the darkness, superstition, ignorance, and corruption of the Middle
Ages, the doctrine of the Plenary Inspiration of all the canonical writings
of the Old and New Testament was uniformly and spontaneously held down to
the time of the Reformation, except by a few stray heretics and a few
heretical sects. The medieval churchmen did not criticize the Bible, nor did
they forbid its use; they translated it, used it in disputes, and had due
respect for its origin and character." (Gaussen)
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