On the Authority of the Scriptures

Peter Head, Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge and a veritable powerhouse in New Testament studies, has written a helpful post on the newly released and massive volume The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, D.A. Carson (ed.). He highlights some shortcomings that, in my estimation, are not to be overlooked. True, Head admits he will benefit from the book, but the concerns he raises warrant attention, which are:

  1. “The ‘authority’ of Scripture is basically regarded as synonymous with the “inerrancy” of Scripture.
  2. And “for whatever reason ‘the clear claims of Scripture for itself’ (quoting Moo & Naselli …) are never discussed in this book.”
  3. “Only seven of the 36 chapters deal directly with the Bible.”
  4.  “Lots of the biblical essays don’t really deal with the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture very straightforwardly. In fact a lot of them barely deal with the Bible at all.”
  5. “There is a problem in relation to the chronology of the essays. The original essays were distributed in advance of a conference held in June 2010 and the book is published in 2016.” This is significant “because the essays don’t address publications from the last five years.” And anyone who is modestly up-to-date on the issues surrounding inerrancy will know there’s been a host of helpful and careful studies published in the last few years.

This said, the jury is out for me whether or not I’ll spend the bucks and pick up this volume.

You may download a PDF of Head’s essay. Oh…and please don’t miss Nijay Gupta‘s post “Why I’m Disappointed with DA Carson’s New Book”. It’s quite insightful.

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