Novel Bible History Again -- By: S. C. Bartlett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 056:221 (Jan 1899)
Article: Novel Bible History Again
Author: S. C. Bartlett


Novel Bible History Again

S. C. Bartlett

Hanover, N. H.

One of the latest new discoveries in biblical history is that our Saviour promised to “all believers in all times” an inspiration “as truly operative now as it was eighteen centuries ago,” apparently identical with that of the apostles, one in fact which should make “believers in Christ know more of Christ than those of the first century,” inasmuch as “it has enabled our Lord to say things to his disciples in recent times which the apostles could not bear while he was still with them,” which makes them “channels” of “revelations from God” to such a degree that “every believer may hope to find for himself and for others truth not known”; and “God calls the men and women of our time to be his inspired prophets.”

This discovery appeared on the 29th of September, 1898—memorable day—in a journal claiming to be “denominational” as well presumably as evangelical, and in the same number young people are urged to support “the denominational paper.” We will presently give these singular claims in their full connection, to show that the meaning is unmistakable.

The article referred to is headed “The Word of God for To-day.” The opening paragraph reads thus: “Is there a word of God yet to be revealed? In former days ‘men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.’ Does the Holy Spirit now move men to speak from God? “Here the reader is requested to observe the entire sentence of which the editor cites the conclusion. After speaking of the voice from heaven which he heard in the holy mount, Peter proceeds, “And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that you take heed as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost” (1 Peter 1:19–21). The bearing of the inquiry is very clear, namely, whether men now have the same kind of inspiration that the prophets had. If the point of the question raised is unambiguous, still less unmistakable is the answer given. To avoid any misunderstanding or charge of misrepresentation, we will cite a continuous part of the article, though

it is not the only statement to the same purport. The way is prepared for the announcement by a series of preliminaries, which, as we will presently show, do not help the statement. After the preliminary half-truth, “The apostles made no exclusive claim to the possession of power to speak the word...

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