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Our Sure Foundation

Paperback or e-book (ePub)

248 pages

Our Sure Foundation

The Christadelphian review (from January 2017)

Our Sure Foundation

Recently I was down to present a lecture entitled, “Proof the Bible is inspired”. Since I first came into the Truth I hadn’t really considered this subject as I accepted 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God …” This was sufficient for my belief that the whole Bible was inspired. But now I had cause to contemplate the inspiration of the Bible, and why this is such an important subject. The fact that the Bible is infallible and inspired is the major foundation of our beliefs; indeed it was added as the foundation clause of the BASF in 1886. This separates us from other churches who base their doctrines on tradition, or from the teachings of their leaders.

About the same time the Christadelphian Office published Our Sure Foundation, based on the Bible’s inspiration and infallibility. Having a renewed interest in this subject I read it, well after I had presented my lecture. It was to my advantage that I did, as I found it fascinating to consider how our earlier brethren were moved to write about this subject. For the Truth to have been revived it was necessary that Brother Thomas believed that the whole Bible was inspired, but this wasn’t so much of an issue in his day. However, since Brother Robert Ashcroft first questioned the Bible’s complete inspiration in 1884, this issue has from time to time resurfaced in the brotherhood, which has caused sound brethren to analyse and expound the subject of the overall reliability of the Bible.

Our Sure Foundation is divided into two broad parts. The first part entitled “Given by inspiration of God” is a compilation of articles in chronological order written by brethren such as John Thomas, Robert Roberts, John Carter, W. H. Boulton, Ron Abel and Alfred Nicholls, who discuss the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible. This section is extremely deep and thought-provoking in parts, discussing issues and questions such as:

  • What does inspiration actually mean?
  • What are the Bible’s own claims to be inspired, and can they be tested?
  • Are parts of the Bible uninspired, and merely the thoughts of the writer?
  • If the Bible is God’s word why did the Gospel writers, for example, when recording the life of Christ, write about different events, or the same event with a different emphasis and with different styles?

The brethren consider many different aspects of the Bible and the difficulties and challenges present. However, through them all we can have confidence that every word written is the word of God, although physically written by men. I was surprised and greatly encouraged to consider the many varied ways the Bible itself explains that it must be the word of God. When one comes to this conclusion the consequence is that we must fashion our lives on its teachings and do its requirements.

The second part is entitled, “The inspired scriptures – our sure foundation”, consisting of an excellent series of articles by Brother Peter Watkins, first published in The Christadelphian between May 1961 and June 1962.

Brother Watkins also discusses the Bible from a variety of angles, such as the unity of the canon of scripture, what the Bible itself claims to be, how inspiration occurred and the reliability of the translations we have. This is very important, as it is one thing to accept that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but can we trust the translations which have been copied for thousands of years?

This book is highly recommended for all Christadelphians who have a desire to defend the Truth against the wiles of the serpent-thinking which from the beginning did not believe that what God had said was true. If we arm ourselves with the sword of the spirit and the words of our brethren who have previously dealt with the issues of inspiration, we can be strengthened and uplifted, and ready for the coming of the great Judge who will judge us by the word which he has spoken (John 12:48).

Manny Schiavone

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