Originally posted by josephw
[b] At the very least, is this text so clear that one can properly insist that the notion that the entire Biblical corpus is theopneustos is, in fact, “proved” by scripture itself (or even clearly indicated)?
"The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, bu fied and codified the canon of scripture.
None of it means a thing if it's not true.[/b]
(1) I don’t think that invoking the Holy Spirit necessarily means that one is mounting an MDR argument, though they might.
(2) You are not quite correct in your description of the development of the Biblical canon:
(a) It was not “prophets” but the early church, in council, by vote.
(b) Some of the books were (according to most textual scholars, anyway) not even written by the end of the first century.
(c) The canon, as it stands, was not recognized as such until the fourth century. However, what became canon was specified before then; along with “canons” that were different. In other words, it was not a settled issue.
Those who decided the canon were not, however, sola scripturists
(which is a product of the Protestant Reformation); they also did not believe the Bible was “self-interpreting” (whatever that means), but undertook the responsibility for interpretation; they were also not Biblical literalists, and used allegorical interpretation (which is not to say that they didn’t take some things as factual). I find it ironic that Protestants, who claim that the Christians who decided the canon were inspired by the Holy Spirit in their decision, but reject the notion of such inspiration when it comes to how they read and interpreted scripture, which is treated as “mere” tradition.
The church came first (the earliest documents in the NT are letters that Paul wrote to established churches); the books of the NT are books of the church, written within the church for the church; it was the “church fathers” who interpreted those texts; it was the church that decided the canon. From the point of view of the early church, all the books that became part of the canon were inspired—but, they were not all equally inspired, or all did not equally well convey the inspired message. For example (and I’m making this up, just as a possibility for illustration), Paul may not have the full command of his writing skills all the time: some days, perhaps he was tired and had to struggle more to try to find the right words. That is one reason why context matters—a great number of my arguments over interpretation of the texts on here has come down to the fact that what I used as fundamental text, with which to contextualize others, represented only context for what some else saw as a more basic text.
My question here, however, is not the broader one of claiming inspiration for the canonical texts. It is rather, the extent to which the verses in 2nd Timothy can be taken to directly refer to the whole canon. I think they cannot. Epiphenehas’s “argument by implication”, however, seems a sound one (in context
). Nevertheless, I would at least see that argument as supporting (by implication
) the earliest church interpretive tradition, which was largely, for a time, handed down orally in the context of catechism.