What is the Bible?

I've been thinking lately about the Bible as it relates to the body of the Church and how we use it. I've glanced through The Ecclesiastical Text by Theodore Letis, but I've don't have time to read it at this point. Maybe I'll get to it sometime this year.

I've read The King James Only Controversy by James White and The King James Debate by D.A. Carson. They are both excellent books for what they're doing, which is to conteract the small group of baptisty evangelicals who believe that the KJV is the only inspired English version of the Bible, and that all other versions are blasphemous and wicked. However, neither of them broach the question of Church authority, which is not a question of which text tradition is superior or more accurate. Rather it is the question of who is qualified to make these decisions about translation: a group of autonomous scholars, or a church council?

Related to this is the question of how we experience the Bible. Is it simply black (or red) words on a blank white page? Or does it have a more dynamic place in the life of the Church and saints? Just some things I've been thinking about.

Here a couple of good articles and a related blog post that I've read on the subject:

How Gutenberg Took the Bible From Us: Some Thoughts on the Ontology of the Scriptures by Alastair Roberts

Inventing "The Bible": Revelation, Theology, Phenomenon, and Text by Joel Garver

The Need for a Church Bible by Paul Owen

Comments

Xindaeltal said…
Well, the Bible was canonized out of hundreds of gospels and epistles that originated as a result of Christ coming to earth. There were hundreds of books, epistles, and gospels within Holy Tradition. The Fathers Canonized the ones that communicated Christ most effectively. Some of the other books in Church tradition are true some needed to be repudiated. The Bible is a Church Document, no question there. The most qualified people to handle the book are those are steeped in the Patristic Tradition of the Church, not autonomous scholars, not, even a lawyer or a humanist who thinks they were called by God.

The Church wrote and eventually canonized the Bible. There is no question that those who are committed to the Church are the ones most qualified to handle it. In a way this leads us back to one of the original questions you posed, who is the church? Which is something that we can discuss another time.

Dale