Saturday, 30 April 2011

Revelation through Scripture

Religious Experience

The concept of revelation through sacred writing

What is meant by the term revelation?

Revelation is the disclosure from the divine of something previously hidden. There are two types of revelation; general and special. General revelation is information about God that is available at all times to all people e.g. creation and conscience. Special revelation, then, is revelation which is particular to certain people at certain times and this includes religious experience, scripture and miracles.
What can be revealed through revelation?

God can reveal two things to use:
  1. Propositional revelation - when God reveal facts and information to us
  2. Non- propositional revelation - when God merely makes himself known through revelation
The Bible as a propositional and non-propositional revelation


The Bible, traditionally, has been seen a propositional revelation, revealing truth and facts such as The Virginal conception of Jesus. Aquinas supported this view and requires supporters to believe certain truth and facts such as Jesus is the Son of God.
This is a more modern approach to understanding the revelation of the Bible. The revelation of God to the Bible writers do not communicate facts and truths and is ineffable. The writings in the Bible are a reflation of this revelation, Friedrich supported this idea that Biblical texts were reflections. Faith is not a belief that X and Y must be obeyed but rather a belief in Z and the trust and relationship between Z and themselves.
Difference between ‘From Criticism’ and ‘Source Criticism’

From Criticism

It is a variety of different texts put together over different periods.
Source Criticism
The way in which the original text was produced and used affects the way it was written down.

Evaluation: Can we trust revelation through the Bible

  • difficulties are due to a literal interpretation
  • Just cause humans were involved doesn’t make it wrong - God was involved in the revelation process
  • Millions of people follow the Bible and their lives have been transformed.

  • Written by man
  • Just word of mouth been written down
  • Contradicts science
  • Some of the commandments make no sense in the 21st century
  • Causes more trouble and conflicts than the good it does
  • Not all messages can be suitable and beneficial on a world level e.g. the Deuteronomy (3rd book) gives you an argument for genocide.
  • Revelation is only given to one man from God, and if not ask to ask others to listen, then the message only applies to him.
  • According to Hume, we should proportion the belief to the evidence we have for it. It is unlikely the revelation is right whereas it is like that the account has been either exaggerated, misreported or misunderstood. 

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