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RevelationFrom Metaphor to Analogy$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212460.001.0001

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The Bible

The Bible

(p.239) 10 The Bible

Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Bible consists of small units, woven together into ‘books’ which were put together into the two Testaments, which were put together into one Bible. The meaning of the sentences of a unit depends on its context, including the identity of its author. When a unit is put into a book and the book eventually put into one Bible, the meanings of its sentences change since the context changes. The meaning of a sentence regarded as a sentence of the whole Bible depends crucially on who is the author of the whole Bible. If God inspired its compilation, then he is its ultimate author; and in that case passages of the Bible must be understood to have the meaning they would have if he had written it. For example all its sentences must be understood in such a way as to be consistent with each other, and with everything else God knows (for example the truths of science and history, and doctrinal truths certified by the Church). Our only grounds for believing the Bible to contain revealed truth are that the church declared that God authorized it.

Keywords:   authorization, context, meaning, the Church, doctrinal truths

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