Do We Confess That The Preaching Of God’s Word Is God’s Word? A Text-Critical Note On The Second Helvetic Confession

Heinrich Bullinger (1504–75) was Hulrych Zwingli’s successor as the Antistes (Chief Preacher) in Zürich and an influential figure in the transition between the first- and second-generation Reformers. He wrote the Second Helvetic Confession in 1561 as a private document but at the request . . . Continue reading →

Does Inerrancy Apply Only To The Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts Of Scripture?

The final authority for Christian doctrine and the Christian life, as the Westminster Divines wrote, the Word of God in the original languages. This is why it is so important that our pastors and teachers receive a genuine education in the original languages and why we should expect them to continue learn and progress in their knowledge and use of the original languages in pastoral ministry. For centuries before the Renaissance and Reformation, most the ministers in the Western church lost the ability to read the Scriptures in the original languages. Indeed, to find an illiterate priest (one who could not read at all) was not unknown. In the Greek church, of course, they could at least read the New Testament but it was not until the Renaissance that the knowledge of Hebrew and Greek began to return more widely and to be taught again in the universities, where pastors were educated. The Reformed churches understood and appreciated the value of the knowledge of the original languages and expected the pastors to learn and use them. Continue reading →

Did Providence Stop Working After 1633?

Recently a regular reader of this space and a valued correspondent wrote to ask about these movements and how we should think about them and especially about those who argue that the Westminster Confession requires orthodox Reformed Christians to reject the practice of textual criticism in favor of those texts that were extant at the time of the Westminster Assembly. Continue reading →