Thursday, October 29, 2009

Calvin on Requests for Rational Arguments for the Credibility of Scripture

...Profane men think that religion rests only on opinion, and, therefore, that they may not believe foolishly, or on slight grounds, desire and insist to have it proved by reason that Moses and the prophets were divinely inspired. But I answer,that the testimony of the Spirit is superior to reason. For as God alone can properly bear witness to his own words, so these words will not obtain full credit in the hearts of men, until they are sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who spoke by the mouth of the prophets, must penetrate our hearts, in order to convince us that they faithfully delivered the message with which they were divinely entrusted. (Calvins Institutes, Chapter 7, Section 4)

It's a fallacy to believe that the authority of God's Word rests upon the opinion of man. Readers should note however, Calvin goes on in chapter 8 to provide rational proofs (for the credibility of Scripture) for use when they may be beneficial.

(Thanks to the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics for the reference to the Institutes)


  1. Certainly true, but in these last days God has spoken to us through his Son Jesus Christ who gave us a more complete revelation than Moses and the prophets. Jesus also sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with the redeemed in a much more powerful way than before his incarnation as Romans 6-8 points out.

  2. Jazzy,
    Calvin agrees that in Christ we have a more complete revelation. However, in these sections of the Institutes, he's not dealing with the issue of what portion of Scripture (or whether in Christ) we have a more complete revelation, but the issue of the whether the Scriptures themselves (including the prophets and apostles) are credible and upon what basis this truth rests.

  3. Yes and I have the greatest respect for Calvin and the OT. After all, Jesus said that every jot and tittle of the OT would be fulfilled. This he did and in doing so, he purchased eternal life for all of us who place their faith in Him.

    I appreciate your energy in giving us these recent posts.