A High View Of Scripture Craig Allert Summary

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A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament, Craig D. Allert Book Review By: Kristin Sikkema 386173 for: IDIS 400 Professor Calvin Townsend Trinity Western University December 15, 2014 Craig Allert’s “A High View of Scripture” is an excellent engagement with how an understanding of the formation of the New Testament canon may inform an evangelical doctrine of scripture. Allert’s point is that “a high view of scripture should take account of the historical process that bequeathed to us the Bible, and that examination of this issue should actually precede an investigation of what the Bible says” (10). He critiques the anachronistic approach to canon studies while locating the New…show more content…
These views discount and ignore historical issues, ecclesial context, and patristic exegetical resources. The problem, Allert states, is “that a high view of scripture has been usurped by verbal plenary theorists – the determination of what is high and what is low comes from them” (11). Allert is asking whether the most common evangelical view of scripture is truly a “high” view. His position is that a high view of Scripture “demands an understanding and integration of the Bible’s very formation” within the community of faith…show more content…
He lays out the basics of the formation of the New Testament canon, and 3 principle theories that are held: (1) that the NT was a spontaneous occurrence, (2) the NT was formed in the second century, and (3) the NT was formed in the fourth century. The first theory, Allert shows, is extremely problematic and doesn’t line up with patristic testimony. Theories 2 and 3 are dealt with in chapters 4 and 5. Allert goes on to discuss arguments about the distinction between Scripture and Canon, and the relative significance of citations in early works. Allert stresses the importance of a distinction between “Scripture” and “Canon”. “Scripture” is defined as religiously authoritative literature while “Canon” is a defined collection that is held exclusively, that is, authoritative with respect to all other books. He lays out the criteria of canonicity: apostolicity, orthodoxy, and catholicity. Allert asks the questions: “is inspiration seen by the Fathers to be the unique possession of the canonical books alone?” and, “did the early Church view only the documents that went into the NT canon as inspired and those alone?” (59). The short answer to these questions, given by Allert, is no. Many aspects of the church’s life were viewed as inspired, including: bishops, monks interpreters of scripture, martyrs, and councils, and a wide array of prophetical gifts. Concurrently, in the early

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