The Self-Authenticating Scriptures
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27
The NT canon we possess today is not due to the machinations of later church leaders, or to the political influence of Constantine, but due to the fact that these books imposed themselves on the church through their internal qualities. In other words, these books were used the most because they proved themselves to be worthy of that use. Dr. Michael Kruger, author of Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books
Let me share today an article from Dr. Michael Kruger on the self-authenticating nature of the Scriptures. In this article not only that he advanced that Christian theologians regard this as foundational and the Reformed thinkers’ core argument in some of the key discussions on Scripture, but he also demonstrated that it is not novel, not even a new idea to battle against Rome.
I will cite three patristic fathers here that Dr. Kruger quoted and you can read the entire article via the link above:
“I was led to put faith in these [Scriptures] by the unpretending cast of the language, the inartificial character of the writers, the foreknowledge displayed of future events, the excellent quality of the precepts” Tatian, (To the Greeks, 29)
“No one will be so impressed by the exhortations of any of the saints, as he is by the words of the Lord Himself.” Clement of Alexandria (Protr. 9).
“If anyone ponders over the prophetic sayings…it is certain that in the very act of reading and diligently studying them his mind and feelings will be touched by a divine breath and he will recognize the words he is reading are not utterances of man but the language of God” Origen (Princ. 4.1.6. ).
Furthermore, Dr. Kruger also answered the most common objection against the self-authenticating nature of the Scriptures, namely, if this is true, why Christians are the only ones who can see the truth of these books and everyone else is blinded to it?
To this, Christians should hold firmly to the noetic effect of sin (Rom 3:10-18) that makes the unbelievers “tone deaf”—unable to see what is objectively there— and the testimonium spiritus sancti internum, or the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit who objectively enables the Christian to recognize the “key” or voice of their Redeemer through the 66 books of the Scriptures.
If you haven’t done so, don’t forget to grab and read his book on Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books that you may be well-equipped in this practical defense for the authority of the Canon and have a greater appreciation of God’s wondrous works in preserving the Canon.
To God be the glory!
Posted with permission from Bro Jeff Chavez, Deacon, Herald of Grace Covenant Bible Church - HGCBC Cavite and owner/writer of the blog TheologyCheck. Original blog post here.