Hodge on Scripture

A question from a friend this week sent me digging back into Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology, and I was encouraged again by his comments on Scripture. I was reading in volume three on the OT teaching on the afterlife, but it was his handling of Scripture in general that most interested me.

Hodge refer to “Those German writers whose views of inspiration are so low as to enable them to interpret each book of the Bible as the production of an individual mind, and to represent the several writers as teaching different doctrines” (vol 3, p 718). While this view apparently in 1873 was limited to certain German critics, it is increasingly common amongst people in the evangelical world today. It is not uncommon for me to have conversations with pastors or professors who will say, “Well, that’s just Mark’s idea” or “But which Paul are we talking about?” Pitting Scripture against Scripture with the presupposition that we have in the Bible disparate ideas which do not necessarily mesh with one another is a blight that apparently is being too readily accepted.

This is why, as Hodge states, “we know that now the humble Christian who submits himself to the teachings of the Spirit, understands the Bible far better than any mere verbal critic” (719). By “teachings of the Spirit” Hodge does not mean subjective impulses, but the Scriptures themselves. So, the most humble Christian who submits himself to trust and accept the Scriptures will understand them far better than one who merely studies them in an abstract, academic way.

Good reminders.

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