Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Defining “Divine Revelation” in Roman Catholic and Protestant Polemical Discussions, Part 2: what it is not

Now, while a lack of mention of King David did not “disprove” his existence, this archaeological find certainly provides strong confirmation for the truth of the accounts given in the Bible. (I would consider archaeology to be a component of “historical criticism”. In the same way that “grammar” and “other historical sources” lend credibility to an account and help us to understand “what the text actually says” and “what it meant for the writer and the original audience”, so too does this kind of archaeological confirmation provide key information for us as we seek to understand how “divine revelation” works).

But on the other hand, “historical critical” methods can work to oppose an account as well. I’ve written in several places about both sides of this coin. While “historical criticism” as a methodology over the last 200 years has failed to exclude the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, they have on the other hand greatly strengthened the veracity of the New Testament accounts.

These same kinds of methods, however, have not only worked to exclude things like an “early papacy” (especially the kind of “early papacy” that I grew up believing in, and which was prevalent in Roman Catholicism for hundreds and hundreds of years), but it is also enabling us to reconstruct what the actual early church was like in its beliefs, worship, leadership structure, and more. That is the whole point behind Brandon Addison’s excellent article outlining Peter Lampe’s work.

While this phenomenon does not in and of itself confirm or deny “divine revelation”, it certainly comports with how most normal people, with a good understanding of how the world around them works, would tend to view things.

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