Re: The Whole Bible Revealed in Zechariah (was Re: NT truth (formerly inerrancy?))

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Wed Jan 07 2004 - 04:54:36 EST

Richard asks:

"Is there any reason we should not take the
visions of Zechariah 3 and 4 as prophetic of the whole Bible?"

Inasmuch as those chapters make no explicit reference to Scriptures whatever, I'd conclude at first reading that the visions were not prophetic of the Bible or Scriptures at all. Perhaps after extended study I might conclude, as you and others have, that they do refer to Scriptures in some way, but that's not a given. In fact I have read those passages and the companion in Revelation 11 many times, and their meaning has generally been obscure. Furthermore, I'm suspicious of those who confidently claim they comprehend the meaning. That is, it's good that you can get something out of them, but it's fairly clear that the meaning you get is not going to be evident to Christians in general.

On the Word of God: The NT of course never refers to "the Bible," but it often refers to "Scriptures," a term that almost invariably refers to writings from OT times--most of which are now in our OT--that were regarded as authoritative. What the Bible never does in any unambiguous way is to say that such Scriptures were the Word of God. Yet today most Christians call a collection of writings--namely, the Bible--the Word of God. There's no scriptural justification for this. George Murphy is on the right track when he says that the Scriptures witness to the Word of God (or whatever word he usually uses). To me the Word of God is far more than any collection of writings, however "God-breathed" they may be.


  ----- Original Message -----
  To: Don Winterstein ; Michael Roberts ; Robert Schneider ; Gary Collins ;
  Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 10:24 PM
  Subject: Re: The Whole Bible Revealed in Zechariah (was Re: NT truth (formerly inerrancy?))

  From: "Don Winterstein"

> Richard McGough wrote:
>> "Concerning the Word of the Lord as refering to the
>> Bible - of course it does not *always* refer to the
>> Bible, but that certainly does not mean that it
>> *never* so applies."
> Some years ago I did a concordance study on
> "Word of God," etc., and as I recall I was
> unable to find a single instance where that and like
> terms referred unambiguously to Scripture. There
> were a couple of cases where that was a *possible*
> meaning. Can you cite instances where Scripture
> is the *only* reasonable meaning?
> Don
  A most excellent question Don. Ambiguity is fundamental to God's Word, but
  that's too deep to go into right now. I will therefore attempt to answer
  your question in a simpler fashion.

  The short answer is "no." Any reference to the Word of God in the Bible was
  written before the Bible was completed. This means that if the words were to
  have any sense when originally given, they had to be interpretable as
  refering to something other than the whole Bible as we currently know it.
  This implies that any reference to the Word of God in the Bible will be
  necessarily ambigous. Case in point, 2 Timothy 3.16:

  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.

  Members of this list take it as quite obvious that the word "scripture" in
  this verse could never be taken as *unambiguously* refering to the whole
  Bible because it was written before the Bible was completed.

  Of course, that conclusion is fully dependant on the belief that the Bible
  is a human book. It is based on reasoning about what the *man* Paul intended
  as the referent when he wrote it, which obviously could not be books that
  were yet to be written!

  My view, on the other hand, is that the Bible is God's Book, and must be
  read in light of God as its ultimate Author. When I read verses like 2
  Timothy 3.16 or Revelation 22.18, it is impossible for me to believe that
  God is speaking of anything less than His whole Bible, which He fully knew
  long before it was manifested on earth.

  This is particularly obvious when I imagine what I would have done if I were
  to write a book like the Bible. If I had written the whole Bible, and placed
  a statement like Revelation 22.18 right at the very end of it, not a person
  on the planet would doubt my intent.

  Reasoning about the Bible in light of God as its true Author really clears
  things up, doesn't it?

  Now let me ask you a question. Is there any reason we should not take the
  visions of Zechariah 3 and 4 as prophetic of the whole Bible?

  Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at
Received on Thu Jan 8 00:29:56 2004

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