Reading The Word of God – Week 45

 

No matter how emphatically Luther emphasized the inerrancy and the consistency of the original text of Holy Scripture as the work of the Holy Ghost, he is also, on the other hand, convinced of the personal cooperation of the original authors. They are not, in his opinion, mechanical instruments and dead machines, mere amanuenses who set down on paper only what was dictated to them by the Spirit of God. He regarded them rather as independent instruments of the Spirit who spoke their faith, their heart, their thoughts; who put their entire will and feeling into the words to such an extent that from what Luther reads in each case he draws conclusions concerning the character and the temperament of the authors. So [according to Luther] the Prophet Joel reveals himself in his writing as a “gracious and gentle man, who does not scold and censure like the other prophets but implores and bewails.” Amos, on the other hand, is “violent, scolding almost all the way through his book, so that he is well called, Amos, that is a burden or what is burdensome and vexatious”; and he explains this as being due to his calling and from the fact that he was sent as a “stranger” from the Kingdom of Judah to the Kingdom of Israel, for, he continues, “because he is a shepherd and not one of the order of the prophets, as he says in the seventh chapter, moreover, he goes from the branch of Judah, from Tekoa, into the Kingdom of Israel and preaches there as a stranger.” Of Jeremiah, however, Luther says that he is always afraid that he censures too much, for which reason he compares him with Philip Melanchthon. In Paul he observes the deepest emotion because of his writings and can say of his words, “these words are violent above mea- sure, from which it is easy to see that he was much more violently moved than he was able to express in words.” Yes, he adds, “So it has come about that St. Paul under the influence of his intense thought could not control his own word so well, and his speech has become somewhat disordered and peculiar.” (60)

*For additional information, source material, and details, please visit:  Reading the Word of God – Introduction 

 

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