Monday, February 3, 2014

P1 What Southern Baptists teach about the Bible - The early days

2 Peter 1:20-21 "But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

What have Southern Baptists generally taught about the nature and authority of scripture? Today's post derives much of its material from the SBC website's section that details the SBC's historic position on the scriptures. The link is: (

I think you will find the quotes below to be illuminating and encouraging to your own faith. The figures below represent a sample of some of the greatest theologians, pastors and statesmen in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention. Today we will consider key figures from the SBC's early beginnings in the 19th century and tomorrow we will consider insights from key leaders from the later years of the twentieth century.

1. John L. Dagg
President, Mercer University

what was spoken and written by inspiration, came with as high authority as if it had proceeded from God without the use of human instrumentality. …Their peculiarities of thought, feeling, and style, had no more effect to prevent what they spoke and wrote from being the word of God, than their peculiarities of voice or of chirography. The question, whether inspiration extended to the very words of revelation, as well as to the thoughts and reasoning, is answered by Paul: "We preach, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth."
--Manual of Theology (1857)

2. James P. Boyce
First President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President, Southern Baptist Convention, (1872-79,1888)

"How came it (the Bible) to be written? God inspired holy men to write it. Did they write it exactly as God wished? Yes; as much as if He had written every word himself. Ought it, therefore, to be believed and obeyed? Yes; as much as though God had spoken directly to us."
--A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

3. John A. Broadus
Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859 – 1895)

"The inspired writers learned many things by observation or inquiry, but they were preserved by the Holy Spirit from error whether in learning or in writing these things. …Those who concede errors in the Scriptures as to matter of fact, in order to remove conflict with some scientific opinions of our time, may tell us that they have great satisfaction in being at peace with science. But there are two drawbacks upon such a peace. It is the peace of sheer submission. …And it is only a partial and temporary peace. Other scientific men at once make still further demands, tending ever toward the complete abandonment of the supernatural. …If we assume that the inspiration of the Bible is only partial where are we to stop? Every man must then select ad libitum (Latin phrase meaning: whatever is up to the discretion of the reader) what portions of the Bible's teachings he will accept as true."
--A Catechism of Bible Teaching (1893);
--Three Questions as to the Bible (1883)

More tomorrow..........

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