Did Paul KNOW He was Sometimes "Inspired"?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Paul wrote at least three letters to Corinth. Only two exist (#2 and #3). Was his first letter "inspired Scripture" and lost?

    I would have a problem with that!

    I contend Paul did NOT recognize his writing (or SOME of their writing) was God-breathed. Very little of the Scripture is "dictation" and that is certainly not seen in the Epistles.

    Paul spoke many areas that were NOT spoken by Jesus Himself or by the other Apostles. But His words in the Scriptures ARE inspired. What about his "other" letters, sermons, words?

    Jump on in.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Well,let's start with this passage. Referring to rules for divorce and remarriage, Paul wrote:

    1 Cor 7:10-12
    10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
    11(but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
    12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.
    NASU

    It would appear that Paul first quotes the words of Christ in the flesh - from the oral tradition or reading a gospel - then gives his own opinion for a situation not previously covered by the received tradition.

    The language he uses would seem to imply that he believes himself to have some authority in what the church should teach but also some humility as to just how far up the instruction originates - specifying that it comes from him instead of divinity. This would seem to imply then that he doesn't consider his own work to be holy scripture, as he writes it.
     
  3. Glory Bound

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    Interesting question, Dr. Bob!

    I guess that the first letter to Corinth was inspired. The fact it didn't make it into the canon doesn't invalidate that inspiration. Perhaps God never intended the letter to be canonized, but rather to be a short lived message directly to the Corinthians. That's like some of the events in Jesus' life - they didn't all make it into the recorded word.

    Of course, like I said, this is my guess.
     
  4. Tim

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    GloryBound,

    Interesting guess, and I don't think we can make anything more than a guess about those "lost letters". But, if I didn't believe in the sovereignty of God in putting the canon together, your guess would raise some disturbing possibilities--like what if some inspired lost letters would have settled some of our incessant theological debates? Why would God let them be lost? Shouldn't we be looking for them? Maybe Joseph Smith got them later? Etc.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    RC say (loosely) that the pope is not inerrant and inspired voice of God except in his official capacity. So when he complains about cold spaghetti it is NOT the word of God. It's just a man.

    My thinking is that it was the same way with Paul. Except that he did not consider what he was saying or writing or whether it was kept or lost as "inspired".

    Or did he? Did he put NT words, books, et al on a par with the inspired OT Scriptures?

    Hmmmmm. :confused:
     
  6. Glory Bound

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    Tim, I think you missed the part of my guess that said that perhaps God didn't intend for the missing letters to be canonized.

    I believe all of what God desired to be in the canon is there. That would then indicate that for some reason God didn't desire the missing letters to be included.

    Now, following that line, God may have intended the letters to be a blessing to the early church only. Or perhaps the letters were of a more personal nature from Paul and not applicable to us today.

    If we were to find them today, then I think God would be behind that also... but I'm not going to believe something is really missing in the canon.

    And Joseph Smith... no way. [​IMG]

    Anyway Tim, I hope this clarifies my "guess".
     
  7. DCK

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    We know that Peter considered Paul's written words to be Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). As for Paul himself, in 1 Timothy 5:18 he quotes both Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7 under the heading of "Scripture." And since he believed all Scripture is inspired by God, he seems to be placing at least one NT book on that level. Whether Paul was fully conscious that his letters would be considered inspired Scripture is uncertain, although he often did insist that God spoke through him.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Artimaeus

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    Are Paul's writings, which are not part of the NT, inspired? No. No reason to think they were.

    Was he aware of the significance of his writings (going to comprise a mjority of NT books)? I doubt it. Was he aware that what he said with the authority of God was indeed the word of God? Yes. He was aware that he was a prophet.

    BTW, DCK [​IMG] on [​IMG]
     
  9. Daniel Dunivan

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    This topic raises a question not only of the inspiration of the texts themselves, but also inspiration of their collection (i.e., a canon). It seems that having an inspired Bible requires God's participation at every level in the development of this group of books. In other words, the inspiration of scripture must by necessity be an ongoing process (not necessarily an infinite one) not an instantaneous event. If this is true, broad variation is allowed in the development of these books and the canon--something that historical analysis supports.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]

    BTW, is it just me or does this question sound a lot like the old "if a tree falls in the woods and no one is present to hear it, does it make a sound"?
     
  10. Artimaeus

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    Oh, Oh, I know, I know, Let me answer.

    The answer to this age old question is, (drum roll please)..........No (ta-dah).

    "does it make a sound?" A sound is, according to the American College Dictionary, the sensation produced in the organs of hearing when certain vibrations (soundwaves) are caused in the surrounding air or other elastic medium as by a vibrating body. Thus, if there are no organs of hearing then there is no sound. Vibrations in the surrounding air, yes, but no sensations, thus no sound. (I have GOT to get a life [​IMG] )
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think it can reasonably be doubted that God was involved at every level. But that is not inspiration. Inspiration is the process of revelation, not canonization.

    Canonization was merely a recognition of inspiration. It was not a further step of inspiration.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    As for the "sound" of a tree falling (only a little off topic), Webster didn't own a cassette recorder.

    Put a tape in. Then listen to it and you will hear the sound of the tree falling, even though no ear was there to hear.
     
  13. Daniel Dunivan

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    Pastor Larry,

    From our previous conversations, my guess would be that our opinions on the relationship between inspiration and revelation once again cause our difference in this area. I would say that God's work of revelation and God's work of assistance in collection are so similar as to be indistiguisable.

    You would say that books are in the Bible because they are inspired, and I would say that they are only recognizably inspired because they are in the Bible. For me the basic seat of revelation is found in the continuing interaction of God with the community faith and not solely in a historical moment of scribal notation. Thus, the scriptures are constantly being inspired even as they inspire us.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  14. Gina B

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    I believe that he knew as he was speaking/writing/teaching that he was doing it with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, just as pastors and teachers may do today. However, I would have an extremely hard time believing he knew that his words would be going down as everlasting.
    So if that's what I believe, why don't I believe that writings and teachings given today by those who are inspired by the Holy Spirit should be considered scripture?
    I don't because God set a beginning and end to the scriptures. No more new revelations, no more new laws. All that's left is teaching and preaching based on what exists already and relating it to the times it is being taught in.
    I do believe that God led the bible to be what it is and to contain what it does. A lost letter doesn't meet the most basic criteria for being included in the canon. [​IMG] So it wasn't meant to be.
    Gina
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    I have no problem with the idea that God has inspired things that we today do not have in our scriptures. So what? What matters, He has providentially given us sufficient scriptures that He has inspired. What else He also did doesn't matter for this point.

    Just because something is perfectly true, even inerrant, doesn't mean it gets to be scripture. I suppose, for example, Euclid's work on geometry has no errors, nor does Robert's Rules of Order. So what?
     
  16. Daniel Dunivan

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    Paul,

    Einstein would disagree about the Euclid thing based on later revelation. [​IMG]

    Just kidding!

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     

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