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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Appreciated very much the first two presentations I have heard: Professors Alden Thompson and Zane Yi. Must listen asap to Professor Valentine and the others.

A question for Alden and Zane: “When we speak of the biblical writers as inspired, what are we claiming?” In the Methods of Bible Study document, my sense is that “inspiration” (however conceived) is the source of biblical authority, inspiration being defined in the prophetic model (God spoke directly, or in Ellen White’s additional proviso, “inspired the men and the thoughts, but the words are their own.”) This assumes that every book in the canon was “inspired” for the purpose of being included in the canon, that the guidance of the Spirit given to ancient Israel and the church was primarily to recognize which books were inspired, and therefore authoritative.

That does not seem to me to be faithful to the historical record or to the incredible diversity of the materials. It is the position must closely allied with the Reformation, but we know so much more now about the texts that this view requires significant adjustment if we are to be faithful to what we now know.

What do we lose if abandon this understanding of prophetic inspiration as the source of authority and simply admit that for reasons we cannot completely know, the historical Israel and church chose these writings regardless of their prophetic credentials (some have those credentials and some do not) as authoritative because without them they would not have come into being or continue to be the church (e.g.).

As Zane pointed out, none of the gospels were the result of dreams, visions or other mechanisms; they were “remembrances” or “research” (as in Luke’s gospel) or theological reflections (John, largely?) on the words and teachings of Jesus.

Finally, the suggestion that we must read the entire Bible through the teachings of Jesus is important, and not at all clear to me in the MOB.

Thanks much for the streaming!!