Tuesday 13 September 2005

Herman Bavinck on the authority of the Bible

In his Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1 (1895; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), the great Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck argued that Jesus Christ alone is the “central content” of revelation (p. 344), and that Scripture is the “word of God” precisely because of this content (p. 443).

In other words, the distinctive thing about the Bible is its message, its witness to Jesus Christ. Because it witnesses to Jesus Christ—or, in other words, because it communicates the gospel—the Bible is the word of God. In the Bible we hear the gospel; therefore the Bible is authoritative.

Bavinck’s position was later developed in great detail by G. C. Berkouwer in his brilliant study Holy Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975).


Jim said...

Hey Ben, if Bavinck published his book in 2003 how is it that Berkouwer developed it "later" in 1975?

Ben Myers said...

Well, either Berkouwer was in fact psychic -- or I had forgotten to include the original date for Bavinck's book (now added!)....

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