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

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Fri Jan 09 2004 - 04:42:15 EST

 Richard wrote:

"My suggestion was that the Scriptures were the ANTITYPE intended by God when
He gave the typological prophecies in Zechariah 3 and 4."

Don: Well, there's no obvious reason to think that Scriptures are the antitype. This conclusion comes from someplace quite distant from the text itself.

Richard: "Another problem is that you seem to be responding without even glancing at
the evidence I presented. It is impossible to make proper judgments without
looking at the evidence."

Don: After looking at your Web page in the light of the above comments I conclude we have no meeting of minds on what the word "evidence" means.

Richard: "The lack of an
unambiguous statement regarding the relation between Scripture and the Word
of God...proves nothing. Christians from the earliest times have
received Scripture as the Word of God, and the ancient witness of God's
Church is certainly relevant to this question."

Don: It's not the lack of an unambiguous statement that means anything one way or the other; rather, it's what the term "Word of God" *means when it's used in the Bible*. Frankly, it never refers to Scriptures. It means different things at different times and places, but if I had to come up with an all-inclusive definition, I'd say something like this: the Word of God is the power of God expressed in some physical form. Sometimes the form it takes is language, sometimes it's miraculous events, sometimes (perhaps always) it's the person of Jesus. When it comes it always causes significant changes in those to whom it appears. In the Bible, "Word of God" never means a mere collection of writings.

As for how "Christians from the earliest times" regarded the Word of God, I suggest you study with open mind all occurrences of the term in the Acts before you conclude that it meant Scriptures to the earliest Christians.

Richard: "I don't really know what you mean when you say
that the Bible never refers to any Scriptures as the Word of God. Hundreds
of Scriptures are referred to as the "word of the Lord" (which is equivalent)
within the text of Scripture. Apparently I am missing your intent. Could you
clarify this for me?"

Don: Many OT writings indeed claim to be quoting God directly. Those words indeed (at least in some cases) were the physical form the power of God took when it came to the recipients of such words at the time they were given. Such words can become the Word of God to people today. In fact, my initial "conversion experience" took place as I was reading the prophecy of Jeremiah. So the Word of God to me came initially through the ancient words of Jeremiah. However, it was not Jeremiah's actual message that was the Word of God to me; rather, it was his tone of voice or something of the sort that reached me. Jeremiah's actual message was about as irrelevant to me personally as could be. So Jeremiah's message itself definitely was not the Word of God to me, any more than Ezekiel's prophecy of the destruction of Tyre (Ez. 28) has ever been the Word of God to me. (By the way, I've never been able to find evidence that anything like Ezekiel's prophecy concerning Tyre ever came to pass. If anyone here knows, I'd appreciate hearing!)

Hence I say that the Word of God as it appeared to others is most of the time not the Word of God to me. It can (and often has) become the Word of God to me indirectly through the work of the Spirit. Furthermore I say that the Bible is definitely not the Word of God. Heck, it's just a book; how can it be the Word of God? However, the Bible witnesses to the Word of God when people read it, and it can indirectly through the work of the Spirit become the Word of God to them as they read, and indeed portions of it have become so to many people. The book itself may be good as a doorstop, but it's not the Word of God.

I hope these comments make my meaning clearer.

Don

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: richard@biblewheel.com
  To: Don Winterstein ; Michael Roberts ; Robert Schneider ; Gary Collins ; asa@lists.calvin.edu
  Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 11:30 PM
  Subject: Re: The Whole Bible Revealed in Zechariah (was Re: NT truth (formerly inerrancy?))

  I had asked Don:

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

  To which he replied:

> 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.

  My suggestion was that the Scriptures were the ANTITYPE intended by God when
  He gave the typological prophecies in Zechariah 3 and 4. Let me replace the
  word "Bible" with "antitype" to show you why your statement makes no sense
  to me:

  Inasmuch as those chapters make no
  explicit reference to the ANTITYPE whatever,
  I'd conclude at first reading that the
  visions were not prophetic of the ANTITYPE
  at all.

  The vast majority of prophecies declared to be fulfilled by Christ in the NT
  made no explicit reference to Christ. Indeed, one of the primary purposes of
  typological prophecy is to transfer symbolic imagery from the Type to the
  Antitype, as with the Passover Lamb and Christ. To suggest, let alone
  demand, that the antitype should be explicity stated along with the type
  misses the meaning and import of typological prophecy altogether.

  Another problem is that you seem to be responding without even glancing at
  the evidence I presented. It is impossible to make proper judgments without
  looking at the evidence. I invite you to take five minutes to scan my
  article. It would save us both a lot of time:

  http://www.BibleWheel.com/Wheel/Capstone.asp

  Of particular importance is the graphic near the bottom, which shows the
  full supernatural integration of the prophetic types. It really is
  astounding in beauty, simplicity, and grace, (grace unto it!).

> 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.

  Before addressing your main point, I need to clarify a significant
  oversight. The lack of an "unambiguous" declaration does not justify the
  assertion that there is "no scriptural justification." As I mentioned in the
  previous post, ambiguity is fundamental to God's Word. It is what must
  happen when Infinite Intelligence reveals itself to Finite Minds, when
  Eternity meets Time, when Sovereignty meets Free Will. Take, for instance,
  the fully scriptural doctrine of the Trinity. There is no "unambiguous"
  declaration of this doctrine as such in Scripture. The lack of an
  unambiguous statement regarding the relation between Scripture and the Word
  of God therefore proves nothing. Christians from the earliest times have
  received Scripture as the Word of God, and the ancient witness of God's
  Church is certainly relevant to this question.

  Concerning you main point: I don't really know what you mean when you say
  that the Bible never refers to any Scriptures as the Word of God. Hundreds
  of Scriptures are refered to as the "word of the Lord" (which is equivalent)
  within the text of Scripture. Apparently I am missing your intent. Could you
  clarify this for me?

  Thanks Don,

  Good chatting,

  Richard
  Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at
  http://www.BibleWheel.com
Received on Fri Jan 9 04:38:25 2004

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