Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Calvin Book 1, Chapters 6-8
Throughout these chapters, Calvin is giving brilliant arguments for the divine inspiration of Scripture. He notes things such as the fact that Moses' contemporaries could have revolted against him for making up lies when he wrote that he did this or that, or that this supernatural event happened or that one. He also notes that the inclusion of self-incriminating facts lends great support to the idea that Moses was not merely writing lies. In other words, why include stories about your own blunders and weaknesses if you are trying to scare people into submission to you by writing lies? He answers those that think that too much time had elapsed between the supposed origin of the writings and today, by reminded us that Scripture itself records times in Israel's history of its own disuse. That is, it laid unused for decades and at different times God had to urge His people to pick it up again and guard it. Indeed Calvin notes that by the end of the Exile, hardly anyone knew Hebrew and therefore the extant copies of the ancient writings in Hebrew at that time gave witness to their antiquity...
...these and many more 'proofs' are catalogued by Calvin, and should be a source of comfort to believers that their God has miraculously preserved His Word for them and their edification, but Calvin also goes on here to argue that it is not these 'proofs' and arguments that prove the truthfulness of Scripture, but rather this is a persuasion that the Holy Spirit alone can give a person. God must open the heart-and He does so with His children-to 'hear Him'. A great quote in this regard is,
"...those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known." (1.8.13)