Richard Swinburne

in Revelation

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239680
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598562 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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The Bible consists of small units, woven together into ‘books’, which were put together into the two Testaments, which were put together into one Bible. The meaning of the sentences of a unit depends on its context, including who is its author. When a unit is put into a book and the book eventually put into one Bible, the meanings of its sentences change, since the context changes. The meaning of a sentence regarded as a sentence of the whole Bible depends crucially on who is the author of the whole Bible. If God inspired its compilation, then he is its author; and in that case passages of the Bible must be understood to have the meaning they would have if he had written it—for example, all its sentences must be understood in such a way as to be consistent with each other, and with everything else God knows (for example, the truths of science and history). Our only grounds for believing the Bible to contain revealed truth are that the Church declared that God inspired it.

Keywords: Augustine; Bible; Church; context; Hugh of St Victor; inspiration; Origen; revealed truth

Chapter.  21553 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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