Here are two views of scripture, one past, one present.
In the introduction to his commentary on the Bible, Matthew Henry, writing in the early 18th century, lists six points about scripture:
- Religion is the one thing useful.
- Divine revelation is necessary to true religion.
- Divine revelation is not now to be found nor expected any where but in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
- Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were purposely designed for our learning.
- The holy scriptures were not only designed for our learning, but are the settled standing rule of our faith and practice.
- It is the duty of all Christians diligently to search the scriptures, and it is the office of ministers to guide and assist them therein.
In the 21st century, Arthur G Broadhurst writes on his blog, The Christian Humanist:
There is no serious doubt among contemporary historians regardless of their religious faith that Jesus was a real person who lived in Palestine in the First Century. We know that he was an itinerant teacher who traveled and taught throughout Palestine and who gathered disciples around him through the force of his personality and the compelling nature of his message. He was viewed by the Romans who occupied Palestine in those days as a religious radical and a disturber of the peace. He was arrested by Temple police and was finally executed by the Romans in the fashion of his day by public crucifixion. We do not know much more than this with any degree of certainty … There is much disagreement among historians about how much of the New Testament record can be relied upon as history in the ordinary sense in which we understand history …
That about sums ups where the church has been and where the church is today.
Of course there is one more view of the church and the Bible: