- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Eagle; New edition edition (31 Dec. 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0863470955
- ISBN-13: 978-0863470950
- Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,387,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Christ and the Bible (Christian View of the Bible) Paperback – 31 Dec 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Jesus view of the OT
2. The authority of Jesus as a teacher
3. Objections to the claims of Jesus
4. The NT writers and the OT
5. Jesus and the NT
6. The extent of the canon
7. The reliabilty of the bible text
Index of biblical references
Index references to the apocrypha and other writings
For another J W Wenham book see Goodness of God (Tyndale Paperbacks)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
He wrote in the Introduction to this 1972 book, "Many years ago the author set out to write a book on the nature, interpretation and application of holy Scripture. It soon became clear that the nature of Scripture provided more than enough material for one book and that any systematic treatment ... must be left behind... It seemed desirable that this should be broken up into four separate but mutually dependent books... The thesis of the whole tetralogy is that Christ's view of Scripture can and should still be the Christian's view of Scripture." (Pg. 7) He adds, "The work is addressed to Christians... It is addressed furthermore to Christians who believe that at least in a general sense the Gospels give a substantially true account of the Jesus of history." (Pg. 9)
He outlines his argument: "belief in the Bible comes from faith in Christ, and not vice versa... [Jesus] regarded the teaching of the Old Testament, his own teaching and the teaching of his apostles as the teaching of God, and therefore as wholly true and trustworthy. Thus belief in Christ as the supreme revelation of God leads to belief in scriptural inspiration---of the Old Testament by the direct testimony of Jesus and of the New Testament by inference from his testimony. The argument here is inductive... [it is based] on the concurrent witness of a large number of passages." (Pg. 9)
He admits, "It would ease the difficulty of belief in the incarnation if it were possible to conceive in some measure how a consciousness of divinity could develop in a human personality without destroying its humanity. The Gospels do not explain the process, they merely give glimpses of Christ's self-consciousness at different stages of its development." (Pg. 58)
He acknowledges, "there are said to be [in Jesus' words] two minor errors of history. Jesus appeared to place in the high priesthood of Abiathar an event which took place during the high priesthood of his father Ahimelech [Mk 2:25 ff, 1 Sam 21:1-6], and he described Zechariah as son of Barachiah, when apparently he was son of Jehoiada [Mt 23:35, 2 Ch 24:20-22]. It needs to be stated with great emphasis that these are a challenge to our Lord's inerrancy only on the supposition of an extremely accurate transmission of his words. " (Pg. 75)
He observes, "there has never been complete unanimity amongst Christians as to the limits of the Canon. Traces of uncertainty about the book of Esther persist in the Eastern church till at least as late as the fourteenth century. From early times there has been difference ... amongst Christians of both East and West as to whether the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha should be regarded as Scripture... In the churches of the East uncertainties about some books persisted far longer, notably with regard to the Apocalypse." (Pg. 124)
He lists a number of books mentioned in the Bible that are not included in it [e.g., the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Num 21:14); the Book of Jashar (Josh 10:13)], and asks, "Is it possible to discover why these books were not included in the Canon? We shall look in vain for a direct answer to this question from the Bible... it is palpably untrue that the Word of God is always recognized as such immediately by all true believers." (Pg. 129)
This detailed and frank study is VASTLY more useful than the minor "Jesus and the Bible" tracts that abound; it will be of great interest to anyone studying this issue.
Wenham does a great job, beginning with a good look at how Jesus himself regarded the Scriptures of His own day, of showing how God guided the whole process of forming and preserving the written Scriptures upon which Christianity is built.
It gets a little technical in places, but is written for the general reader; the few places that were too difficult or detailed I just skimmed over.
The Bible has never, least of all now, fit the standards of the world; it consistently gives a clear call to come out from the world's way of living and follow Christ. So it is of vital importance to know if we can trust it. Wenham does a masterful job of showing that we can.
Wenham's prose is clear enough, but packed so densely that it requires careful and deliberate reading. This is certainly not a weakness, but the reader should recognize this before plunging in. Wenham argues his case well, but presupposing the reality of Christian experience as a prerequisite for Christian doctrine (p. 14) is only likely to convince the convinced. In that sense, this is a book best-suited to stimulate and encourage those already firmly established in the orthodox Christian tradition. Those outside the church, or Christians seeking a justification of faith that transcends experiential validation, will likely be disappointed.