Dennis Bratcher’s Scriptures

He, Bratcher, explains that scripture is in errant or infallible, when it is viewed as the revelation by God that is complete in all knowledge and data. Scripture is seen as an absolute. Bratcher does not view it in Absolute terms or the Bible as a direct revelation by God, but as a witness that the community has borne to or about revelation. God is the context of revelation, and the scripture tells us about points to that revelation. This is shown in the Bible where there are specific revelatory events and witnesses how those specific events influenced the life of the people, the proclamation and the teachings. In the New Testament, it can be shown by the gospel proclaiming while the letters of Paul were teachings, where Paul asks Christians to live according to the gospel (Bemmellem, P 2009. Revelation and Inspiration. God is revealed to us today through the events that we have no access to, but are witnessed by a community of faith.

The fact that God is revealed to us through events affirms the objective basis of self-disclosure hence the use of the ‘word ‘event”. It also goes ahead to affirm that his self-disclosure occurs through the testimony and it is not ‘objective’ in the same sense as the ‘event’. This testimony is then used to give meaning and significance to past, present and future events. The scriptures contain how a community of faith recorded the story of God and how it influenced their life. If the story of God was told by those whom it influenced then it means that it will be influenced by those who hear it. The vehicle of testimony is therefore driven by culture, experience and ethos. So scripture can be said to be the story of divine revelation told through literature that has been influenced by the way of life of the people.

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The living God has continued to manifest himself in the history of mankind, especially in the Old Testament and particularly in the history of Israel (Inspiration of Sacred Scripture, 2008.Viewed t 27th January 2012. Revelation language is most commonly used in connection with people, but at times it is also used in connection with natural events this can be shown by phrases, such as ‘the heavens tell of the Glory of God”, that is he reveals himself through his creations. The manifestation of God in man can be revealed in the fact that human beings have a conscience which gives us human beings a sense of moral responsibility, where we can tell the dissimilarity between right and wrong and in good and evil. In Acts 17:28 Paul told the Athenians “In Him we live and move and have our being.” The work of God is present all around us in every aspect of our lives may it be large or small.

In Bemmelem, P 2001‘In reference to God‘s act of revealing Himself and His will and purpose for the human family, these words acquire a new depth of meaning. The essence of divine revelation can be summed up by saying that God reveals Himself in words and acts, through many different channels, but most fully in the person of Jesus Christ.’

In nature, God’s presence is very evident. In the psalms he comes out as a gentle and caring God and in Isaiah, as an Omnipotent and caring God. Jesus poses a question to the crowd where he the congregation whether or not they are more valuable that the lilies and the birds. What Jesus is trying to prove here is that God cares even for the smallest of animals then He is very well aware of our existence. When human beings have turned away from God, they have faced several tragedies and God has used nature as a form of punishment, for example, the great flood and the plagues that hit Egypt.

From history, God has been seen as one who directs nations and their rulers. Since human beings do not live for very long, they may not be able to see the work of God in History; the scriptures are therefore used to give a timeline that patently manifests the hand of God throughout history.

A special revelation is not universal, as is seen with the various works of nature, but it is more personal. The most well acclaimed special revelation is that where God presented himself in Human nature as Jesus Christ and he subjected himself to the limitations of human nature. When human beings erred in their ways, He promised to bring a savior who would deliver man and would be borne by a woman through Immaculate Conception. He used several other human Beings to prepare the way for the Messiah. In order to create testimonies of his work, Jesus had twelve disciples who would continue with his work after he was gone. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and the scriptures, he continues to reveal himself through the scriptures.

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When God uses human beings to reveal himself or to inspire others, he does so using ordinary Human beings who are flawed. He does this to show that great acts are not just a preserve of those who are powerful, wealthy, intelligent or righteous. He used Moses who was a stammer to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, Noah to build the ark who had slept with his daughters, David who stole his friend’s wife, He dined with Zaccheus, who was a tax collector and visited the home of a prostitute.

He used these flawed people to show that He is not a God of the perfect, but also of the imperfect.

It is generally agreed that the scriptures were written by different authors, indeed many of the books have individual names and begin with words like “the words of Jeremiah or the Letter of Paul to the…” God inspired these writers so that they could use the words he wanted to pass on the message. Jesus also quoted scriptures from Hebrews showing that he considered a book of great inspiration. The Bible also gets a human face by the parallels that exist between the laws of the Bible and the ancient laws such as Hammurabi and discrepancies exist between the psalm and other Canaanite laws. The book of Songs of Solomon shows a great deal of human emotion and passion. Books like Ruth and Job create drama, suspense in Esther and distress in the book of lamentations. However, the question that one may ask is how people of different backgrounds came together to compile a book with the perfect mix? This can be said to have been achieved through divine intervention (G.W. Bromiley, “Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Inspiration,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 87 (1955): 66-80.).

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In many instances God is heard to be speaking Himself, He did this through His prophets who He inspired to say the words He wanted said. He called them to be his messengers, guided them, protected and endowed them with the wisdom they needed to turn his word into law.

Human beings are created in his own image and likeness In Genesis 1:31 says” God saw everything he had created and it was very good” this included the very first man and woman whom were perfect in every aspect. If we are created in his own image and likeness and he put in us a conscience then that is His way of revealing Himself to people, since the actions of one human being will influence the life of another. That was the way He hoped it would have been, but human beings erred and they we were condemned to lifelong bondage and a struggle of interpreting God’s revelation in our lives.


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