5:21 “You have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.’ 5:22 But I say to you…”
William Barclay thinks that Jesus ‘Jesus quotes the Law, only to contradict it, and to substitute a teaching of his own. He claimed the right to point out the inadequacies of the most sacred writings in the world, and to correct them out of his own wisdom.’
More generally, Richard Rohr writes this: ‘It is rather clear in Jesus’ usage that not all scriptures are created equal.…
Although we do not deny that the Holy Spirit, in his inspiration of Scripture, is often happy to give us approximations and generalisations, where necessary he calls our attention to the smallest detail of grammar.
Hebrews 12:27 ‘The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.’
The argument turns on one phrase – ‘once more’.
Galatians 4:9 ‘But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[a]?…
Let’s be clear: we worship Christ, and not the Bible. But to slide from that position to one which says that ‘infallibility lies with Christ, and not the Bible’, or, ‘the word of God is to be identified with Christ, and not the Bible’, is to get stuck in a quagmire of confusion. It is to set aside the testimony of Christ himself to the Bible, and also to place in serious jeopardy the Bible’s witness to Christ.…
No thoughtful reader of the Bible will deny that there is progression and development as God’s revelation unfolds. Sometimes, this means that the old has become redundant, in the light of the new. The good becomes the better, and the better becomes the best. Read the book of Hebrews if you have any doubt about this.
But this is a far cry from the teaching of Richard Rohr, who says:-
Far from representing a ‘Jesus hermeneutic’, such a claim can only be made by defying our Lord’s teaching. …
In 2014, Old Testament scholar Peter Enns began a series of posts in which he invited biblical scholars to share key moments when their inherited conservative view of the Bible was challenged, and subsequently modified.
Here’s the (very) distilled essence of each entry in the series:-
Peter Enns – realised that Paul accepted, apparently without demur, the extra-biblical legend about a ‘moveable rock’ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
John Byron – found that Jesus (or Mark) was mistaken about what 1 Samuel 21:1-9 says about David and his men eating the consecrated bread from the tabernacle.
What kind of church do we want to be? A gospel church. Guard the gospel, 1:14. Suffer for the gospel, 2:3. Now: continue in the gospel: v14 – ‘but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of’.
Why? Because ‘there will be terrible times in the last days,’ v1. The present age, between Christ’s first and second comings. If Paul was thinking of some far-off future, why would he tell Timothy in v5 to ‘have nothing to do’ with certain trouble-makers? …
William Jennings Bryan is reported to have said: “I believe the whale swallowed Jonah because the Bible said it, and if the Bible said that Jonah swallowed the whale I would have believed it simply because the Bible said so.”
Much more recently Peter LaRuffa, who is on the staff of Grace Fellowship Church, Northern Kentucky, said:-
Of course, statements such as these tend to incite mockery from those of us who suppose ourselves to be more enlightened. …
Why is it that some Christian scholars engage in what James Barr called ‘maximal conservatism’? Why is it that, according to Peter Enns, evangelical Christians are far too ready to ‘defend’ the Bible against ‘attacks’ on its (supposed) moral uprightness, historical accuracy, and theological consistency? Why is it that Kenton Sparks feels the need to accuse evangelical biblical scholars of giving the impression that they accept all the tools of critical scholarship while, on the other hand, blithely insisting that the use of these tools, ‘when properly used’, must uphold their own predetermined views about the Bible does, and does not, teach?…
On publication in 2005, Peter Enns’ book Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament caused quite a stir. It led, eventually, to his departure from his post as professor at Westminster Theological Seminary.
What was the fuss all about?
The main thesis of the book is that evangelicals need to take more seriously the human aspects of Old Testament. Enns identifies three areas for exploration.
The Old Testament and the literature of the Ancient Near East
We need, says Enns, to recognise that the literature of the Old Testament has much in common with other literature from the Ancient Near East. …