The PostBarthian
14Nov/090

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield: An Introduction

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851 - 1921) is known as the Lion of Old Princeton or commonly known as B. B. Warfield was an amazing American Presbyterian minister and prolific writer that you need to get to know better. I was introduced to him when I found found four volumes of B. B. Warfield's "works" at a used books store in Seattle. B.B. Warfield is particularly known for being the father of Biblical Inerrancy. D. A. Carson complemented Warfield by saying that Warfield never said anything wrong (my paraphrase). Warfield is also controversial in some evangelical circles for supporting Darwinian evolution.

"Inspiration and Authority of Bible" by B.B. Warfield is the foundational text for the doctrine of inspiration used by many evangelical today. Although its influence is waning, it is still an important work to understand the phenomena of Biblical Inerrancy and mechanical forms of inspiration of the scriptures in America today.

"Inspiration and Authority of Bible" divides revelation into three categories: Theophanies, Dreams & Visions, and Conscription. Warfield says that all three times of revelation occur throughout the entirety of the bible, but the age of the patriarchs were dominated by Theophanies, or appearances of God to Man. During the age of the prophets, dreams and visions were the primary way that God provided revelation to man, and then conscription was during the apostolic age, which included typologies and the use of the Old Testament by the Apostles. Warfield notes that the holiness of the man has no influence on the importance of the prophecy. Something is not more important because Moses said it rather than Zephaniah, because ultimately it is not the man but God who has spoken both things, so we should not error by favoring Moses because he provided more numerous prophecies. This is also extremely relevant to church creeds and councils, but their publications are the result of man's deductions and not from God's direct revelation according to the three ways I listed: Theophanies, Dreams & Visions or Conscriptions.

In the second half of "Inspiration and Authority of Bible", Warfield goes to great lengths to demonstrate that Theopneustos in 2 Timothy 3:16 was correctly translated as of divine origin rather than spirit-filled, and the doctrine of biblical inspiration was held by all the apostles and Christ himself, and is not a new invention by fundamentalists. 2 Peter 1:20 is also discussed at great length.

2 Peter 1:20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

The other three books that I purchased are "Calvin and Augustine," "Perfectionism," and "The Plan of Salvation." I will probably read "The Plan of Salvation" next, because it is a shorter book that critiques different views on how salvation is obtained in different Christian denominations, ie. Calvinism, Catholicism, Orthodox, etc. I'm looking forward to it.

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Posted by Wyatt

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