Friday, November 22, 2013

What Is Scripture? FAR More than We Tend to Think

I think the definition of scripture in the LDS Church’s Bible Dictionary is instructive. I’m going to quote it below almost in its entirety, with the parenthetical additions and emphases being mine:

“The word scripture means [nothing more than] a writing, and is used to denote a writing recognized by the Church as sacred and inspired.”

(That last statement points more toward “canonized / official scripture”, imo – since it puts limits on the “pure” meaning.)

“It is so applied to the books of the O.T. by the writers of the N.T. (Matt. 22:29; John 5:39; 2 Tim. 3:15)..."

(It’s important to remember that there are LOTS of books referenced in the NT that we don’t have in our OT – meaning there were LOTS of things that the NT authors [and, presumably, Jesus] accepted as scripture but are not available to us currently.)

“Latter-day revelation identifies scripture as that which is spoken under the influence of the Holy Ghost (D&C 68:1–4).”

(That final addition throws the doors wide open for things like “a letter, note, epistle, book, etc.” — basically religions writings [ranging]  from religious romance novels to essays to the five books of Moses to popular music and poetry" [So ... what is scripture] – and I am glad it’s in the Bible Dictionary. I believe it’s determining individually exactly what falls into that final category, both within and without our “canonized scriptures” that is the issue – since even Joseph Smith excluded some of the “canonized scripture” from “actual scripture” (the entire Song of Solomon and everything he changed in his translation), as did Martin Luther (The Epistle of James), for no other reason than they didn’t feel the contents were recorded “under the influence of the Holy Ghost”.)

No comments: