The Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16).

I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16), consisting exclusively of the sixty-six books that comprise the Old and New Testaments. I believe that the Holy Spirit superintended the human authors as they recorded the exact words of God (2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Pt. 1:19-21), providentially employing their unique personalities, abilities, and writing styles. Every word of Scripture is the product of the spiritual, divine breath of God, equally and fully, verbally (Mt. 5:18; Gal. 3:16) and plenarily (Mt. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:16). As a result, every word of Scripture is inerrant, infallible, and entirely reliable – whether in matters of history, science, doctrine, or practical living (Mt. 12:40; Jn. 10:35).

I believe that God has providentially preserved the original words of Scripture within the multiplicity of extant Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscript evidence. He has wondrously made His Word accessible to man in every generation in a variety of languages through reliable translations that faithfully reflect the original text (Ps. 100:5; Is. 59:29; Mt. 5:17-18; 24:35). While inspiration applies specifically to the process of writing the original manuscripts, I believe that a copied manuscript is inerrant and infallible to the degree that it accurately reflects the original wording and a translation is authoritative to the degree that it reflects the meaning of the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16). I am convinced that the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Majority Text (generally and practically reflected in the Textus Receptus tradition) are the best comprehensive manuscript traditions available today.

I believe that the Bible is the singular and sufficient authority for all matters of faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16). I recognize that though some Scripture may be difficult to understand (2 Pt. 3:15-16), those parts which reveal truth about salvation may be plainly understood unto eternal life (Ps. 119:130; 2 Tim. 3:15). The Bible is a spiritual book and the reader must be illumined by the Holy Spirit to understand it properly (1 Cor. 2:14-15). At the same time, the Bible must be interpreted using a normal, literal, grammatical understanding of language, viewing each passage in its immediate context, as well as its historical and theological context (2 Tim. 2:15). This leads me to refuse a covenantal perspective towards God’s revealed plan and to embrace a dispensational understanding (Gen. 15:18; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Rev. 20:1-7).

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