Part 1: Introduction to Bibliology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:374 (Apr 1937)
Article: Part 1: Introduction to Bibliology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Part 1:
Introduction to Bibliology

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This apologetic, prepared especially for theological students, is a portion of an introduction to Bibliology, which introduction is in two parts, namely, (1) The supernatural origin of the Bible, which material is presented in this thesis; and (2) the general structure of the Scriptures. Bibliology itself falls naturally into seven major divisions: (1) Revelation, (2) Inspiration, (3) Illumination, (4) Interpretation, (5) Animation, (6) Preservation, and (7) Canonicity, or Authority. It is the author’s purpose to present in future issues of BIBLIOTHECA SACRA some further discussions in the field of Bibliology.]

Since Systematic, or Thetic, Theology is the collecting, scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and defending of all facts from any and every source concerning God and His works, and since the Bible in its original writings is by its own worthy claims and by every test devout minds may apply to it the inerrant Word of God, it follows that, if any progress is to be made in this science, the theologian must be a Biblicist-one who is not only a Biblical scholar but also a believer in the divine character of each and every portion of the text of the Bible. Primarily, the theologian is appointed to systematize the truth contained in the Bible and to view it as the divinely inspired Word which God has addressed to man. Therefore, such investigations as men may conduct in the field of proof or disproof that the Bible is God’s inerrant message to man are, for the most part, extratheological and to be classified as pertaining to Biblical criticism rather than Systematic Theology. The student who in spite of the claims of the Bible to be the Word of God is yet groping for added light on that aspect of truth cannot even begin the study of Systematic Theology. So-called Christian Science as a pretended rationale and quite apart from its reversal and abandonment of all that is

distinctly Christian, could promote no science nor could it share in that which true science has achieved. How could surgery be advanced by a system which predicates a fantastic notion that even denies the existence of a corporal human body? Systematic Theology designs to construct a science or order out of the Biblical revelation and on the basis that it is τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ (the Word of God), and, as surgery must proceed on the basis of belief in the existence of the mortal body, so, and in like manner, Systematic Theology must proceed on the basis of the belief that the Bible is, in all its parts, God’s own Word to man.

While the word bible means book, the ...

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