The Authority and Understanding of the Bible
There is the story of a group of British soldiers who got lost in the desert during the Gulf War. They eventually stumbled across an American General who was surveying the scene. ‘Do you know where we are?' The men blurted out. The General, who was somewhat annoyed that they were improperly dressed and hadn't bothered to salute or call him ‘Sir', indignantly replied: ‘Do you know who I am?' ‘Now we are in real trouble,' said one of the soldiers, ‘We don't know where we are and he doesn't know who he is.'
As we consider the subject of the authority and understanding of the Bible in the Church, it is important that we begin by charting where we are. While as evangelicals we may appeal to the canons and the historical formularies and the pride of place they give to Scripture in the role it plays in the doctrine and life of God's people, this is a million light years from the reality of the situation on the ground. The operational place of Scripture, that is the actual effect it has, is not so widespread. Whether it is at the national and semi-national level of synods and chapter meetings or even the local level of the parish, to find that seeking out what Scripture might have to say on a matter and for this to be determinative, so what Scripture says we should think and do we will, is, generally speaking, a rare phenomenon. We all make tacit assumptions, and I would argue what experience confirms, that the prevailing assumption is that even if it can be shown that Scripture is meaningful ( and by that it is usually understood meaningful for a by gone age) it is largely irrelevant.
What I want to do in this paper is to outline why this is the case , then to go on to look a little more closely by what we understand by the terms ‘meaning and relevance', and finally to suggest a model for understanding how the Bible actually functions as the Word of God and so speaks today. Right at the outset let me acknowledge my indebtedness to Kevin Vanhoozer whose work in this area is extremely helpful.
Why is there such little confidence in the Bible such that it has little operational authority in much of the life of the church in the West today? Partly because of the effect of the philosophical and theological attrition that has been taking place during the last 30 years or so.
Philosophical and theological attrition.
At the philosophical level the relevance of ancient texts in general and the biblical text in particular has been seriously brought into question as a result of three movements.
First, cultural relativism. The case for this has been well articulated by James Barr, " The problems of our own time are very different from those of biblical times; how then can material from that very different biblical situation be decisive for our own problems?" (The Bible in the modern World). For over 200 years biblical criticism has struggled with the issue of historical distance. Even if it is possible to discover the meaning of the text for ‘then', that does not guarantee that it will be of any relevance for now.'
Secondly, there is reader response or, ‘meaning lies in the eye of the beholder'. Here the blockage of the text lies at our end. There is no value-free interpretation, we all come to a text with our own baggage, we look at it through tainted lenses, not just tinted ones. Here it is argued that questions about what the text meant cannot easily be separated from what we want the text to mean. In its extreme form it is argued that we, the reader, creates the meaning. So Richard Rorty argues that truth is not ‘out there' it is simply a matter of what we decide is good for us to believe. Some ,like Stanley Fish, argue that it is a community which gives meaning to a text and so one can have multiple readings and multiple meanings resulting from multiple communities- a feminist reading, a WASP reading ad infinitum. It is along this axis that Rowan William's theology lies.
Thirdly, there is deconstruction, ala Derrida. As Nietzsche declared the death of God (and later the death of man) Derrida has declared the death of the author, and with it the power of the text's ‘say so' i.e. authority. No author- no authority, that which commands our attention and assent. This is a complex area, but what in effect we are left with is texts referring to other texts, there is no determinate meaning to be found. Indeed, delight seems to be taken in making the text say the opposite of what it appears to say.
Of course there is a more of a grain of truth in these positions. The bible is culturally conditioned, as is every human enterprise, but that does not mean it is a relative ‘free for all' or that we cannot have access to the intended meaning of the text for there are things which unite us as well as distances us as human being across the centuries. It is also true to say that no reading of a text is free from bias, but that doesn't mean that we cannot allow for such bias or be open to correction by the text itself and so make progress in interpretation.
But theologically an attrition has occurred which seriously emasculates the Scripture of authority understood as that which is to be reckoned with. This can be understood as a reduction of the doctrine of the Trinity.
First, the understanding of God as Father. Is he to be construed as Lord of history or just an immanent presence? It has been argued by David Kelsey that the way we construe God will effect the way we understand Scripture and vice versa. The Scriptural presentation of God is one who is transcendent and immanent, his transcendence distinguishing him from the world, his imminence ensuring his involvement in the world. This is classical theism. Flowing from this God is at work in salvation history which carries with it what is sometimes called the scandal of historic particularity, e.g. that he is at work salvifically in the life of Israel in a way he is not in any other nation, or that he is savingly and revealingly at work in Jesus Christ in a way which he is not in any other individual in history. Many modern theologians deny this. Their model of God relating to the world is essentially a panentheist one: God is in the world and the world is in God. Sometimes the analogy is used of the universe being likened to God's body, and so everything is somehow revelatory (and obscure at the same time!) It then follows that we should expect to find revelation in other religions and in none, pluralism and relativism reign as does uncertainty.
Secondly the understanding of Jesus, God's Son as the Word of God has shifted. The Bible , according to the likes of Barr and Barton, is not a revelation of God , but a very human attempt to understand God's revelation in Christ. It is composed of human, not divine wisdom. So Barton writes: ‘The biblical text mediates not information or opinion but encounter.'- that is not so much an encounter we can have of God mediated through the text, but an attempt to describe an encounter others have had. What distinguishes this from opinion about an encounter or information, however inadequate, of an encounter is difficult to see. Also it is not that easy to comprehend how we can be called to believe in Christ without believing in the biblical witness to Christ.
In the third place , the Holy Spirit has effectively been separated off from the Father and the Son. It is said that it is after all ‘the Spirit' not the Bible, who will lead us into all truth (although that is in itself an authoritative quote from the Bible!). Interestingly enough here some liberals and charismatics meet. Both appeal to the Spirit leading the church into truth, even new truths for a new age. But what this does is to deregulate the Spirit, separating him off from the Father and the Son, whereas he has been sent by the Father and the Son and according to John 16:13, ‘Will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak.' What is more he will remind his followers of all that Jesus has taught (14:26) and his primary role is to glorify the Son .In other words, his mission is Christocentric.
The dismantling of the Trinity like this leading to a weakening of the place of Scripture in the life of the church, and this is not to be wondered at, for as we shall see the way God speaks through the Bible is closely tied to the way he operates as economic Trinity, that is the way the Triune God progressively reveals himself in human history.
Now we can grasp why there is crisis in the Church regarding the place of Scripture. With so many problems and so much uncertainty, it seems more than a little ridiculous to give such a text any authority at all.
Relevance and Meaning.
Let us look a little more closely at what we understand by relevance and meaning and how they relate to each other, and more importantly, how they relate to our interpretation of the Bible.
There is a relative newcomer to the science of communication called ‘relevance theory.' The two most influential writers in this field of Dan Sperber and Diedre Wilson. In their book entitled ‘Relevance', they point out that communication of any kind is linked to intentionality, this is what distinguishes an accidental nudge of the elbow from one which indicates this is a story worth listening to, they write: ‘ To communicate is to claim an individual's attention: hence to communicate is to imply that the information communicated is relevant.' In other words, that information is worth having. Obviously the Bible is irrelevant to some people for certain purposes, it is not relevant for nuclear physics for example. It may also be relevant to people who do not realise it is relevant, like the cry- ‘A bus is coming' may at first sight not appear to be relevant to someone not intending to catch a bus, but is nonetheless relevant to them in that they are on the edge of the road and if they do not move sharpish they will be knocked down!
The problem comes in that some people find it difficult to reconcile the bible's historical relativity with the claim that it is revelatory and so leads them to question its relevance. So while God may have revealed himself say, to Abraham, and such a revelation would have been meaningful and significant and so relevant to him, because that was over 4,000 years ago how can that be relevant to us, surely we need constantly new revelations in order for them to be relevant?
Whether it is thought feasible or not there can be little doubt that both implicitly and explicitly the Bible claims universal relevance.
First, there is a doctrinal relevance, what is true-the reality of what is. Several years ago the famous economist E.F.Schumacher of the book, ‘Small is Beautiful' fame gave a talk in London which began with an account of his recent trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, which then was under communist wraps as Leningrad. Despite having a map in hand which he followed painstakenly,he realised that he was lost. What he saw on the paper didn't fit with what he saw right in front of his eyes, several huge Russian Orthodox churches. They weren't on the map and yet he was certain he knew which street he was on. ‘Ah' said an Inter tourist guide, trying to be helpful. ‘That's simple. We don't show churches on our maps.'
Schumacher then went on to say this: ‘It then occurred to me that this is not the first time I had been given a map which failed to show things I could see right in front of my eyes. All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life.' In other words, the stuff he had been taught at school and college and picked up from the media missed out issues of faith which were so vital to him.
The plain fact is we all have these mental maps with which we operate, some are thought out, others are simply picked up without much reflection at all. What these maps are meant to do is to help us understand how the world works and how we fit into it. Sometimes these maps are called ‘world views' which as the term suggests is how we view the world. This is not merely the stuff of academics. Everybody has a world view- we assume certain things to be true-maybe about the value of human life or its lack of value, what the purpose of life is and so on, and the view we hold will affect the way we live.
But how do you know that the way you are thinking about life is one which corresponds best to the way things really are? Any world view has to satisfactorily answer four big questions: 1. Where do I come from?- the question of origins; 2. Who am I? The question of significance; 3. Why is the world in such a mess? The question of evil; and 4. Is there a future? the question of purpose. It is no good having a world view or faith if you like, which misses out on any of these questions and ignores the hard bits of reality. Our map must have a good ‘fit' with our experience of the world. The map must be coherent, comprehensive, congruous with the world in which we live and consistent. The Bible as a whole provides that map, and as we shall see much, much , more, it is the means whereby we are addressed by the Creator himself and so are encountered by him in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Following on from this, there is an ethical relevance too. Who we are is linked to what we are made for, our purpose and so how we are to relate to each other. As Calvin said, ‘Without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self.' Cut God out of the picture and we have a distorted and reduced view of self, as atheistic humanism makes clear. What the Scriptures provides us with in different forms is both an ethic- what the goal or an aim of an action should be, and morality ,the norms and rules to guide our action. Can you get any more relevant than that? There are several interwoven strands which constitute the Bible's metanarrative which enures the Bible's timeless relevance and they are linked with those four questions which are not abstract but fundamental to existence-questions concerning our origin, our self understanding, the broken nature of the world and purpose. These issues are not culturally specific, they impact every person living on this planet. Given that God does not change, his purposes do not change, his way of working does not change, and human nature does not change, we should not be surprised that God can communicate at specific moments in human history, to specific people and yet the relevance is of universal significance. Certainly, the ways in which we might display our rebelliousness, the outward forms by which God's people show love to each other and the world will vary culturally, but all of these is at a superficial level, the underlying realities which make us fallen humans in need of a divine rescue remain the same.
But that still leaves the question of how do we deal with the gap between the question, ‘What did Scripture mean then?' and ‘What does Scripture mean now?' It is the move from the past to the present that we must make in order to be relevant.
Here is a formula Vanhoozer offers to help us in this hermeneutical question:
Biblical relevance = revelatory meaning + relative significance.
A distinction has been made by E.D. Hirsch between the meaning of a text which is fixed and its significance which can vary. The meaning is the sense the author intended to convey, it is a past communicative action. Significance on the other hand is the application of the meaning in a context which the original author did not envisage. So think of significance as meaning applied, it may not be the intended meaning but extended meaning.
Several things follow from this. First, the text (whether it is a sentence-the basic speech utterance or the wider literary unit) has a determinate meaning, namely, that intended by the author. Second, that because the Bible's meaning is revelatory, concerned with the revelation of God in Jesus Christ (the OT pointing forward to and preparing for him, the NT displaying him), together with its forward anticipation-its eschatological dimension- its meaning is never dated. Thirdly, the significance of the text is relative. The same meaning can be brought to bare on different situations in different ways. So the relativity of Scripture is one of its great strengths. The revealed meaning- the divine-human word- can speak (be of significance and so relevant) at all times in all places. And when you think about it, every time a preacher worth his salt preaches he applies Vanhoozer's formula.
This still leaves the question as to how we get to understand what the author meant and so enable us to recontextualize and apply the Scriptures?
Evangelicals have always adopted the principle of interpreting Scripture by Scripture. This not only means considering the more obscure parts in the light of the clearer parts, but believing that the Scripture itself provides the best context for its own interpretation. This means recognising different levels of textual context.
First, there is the historical-linguistic context. Here we pay close attention to the historical and cultural situation of an author- Paul writing to Corinth for example, and the linguistic conventions employed. This helps to counter anachronistic readings, reading into the text, rather than reading out what was intended.
Secondly, there is the generic context. The Bible is composed of many different literary forms, it is polygeneric. The different forms will ,as it were, have their own rules of interpretation. Thus apocalyptic is read differently in order to ascertain its meaning from historical narrative. Parable is read differently to proverb, and proverb differently to case law. Confuse them and you have misunderstanding. Also, this enables us to be sensitive to what the human-divine author intends to achieve through what is written. For example, the so called parable of the prodigal son leaves the question open as to whether the elder son comes into the party or not. Given the historical context that this was not only part of Jesus defence against the Pharisees criticism that he ‘ate with tax collectors and sinners', but both a challenge to their attitude and an invitation to them to change and join the party. This parable, like pretty well every other parable, is not just a package of information, it is an invitation. Wisdom literature functions differently again, it tends to provide a way of ‘seeing things' - a set of lenses and so enabling God's people to develop virtues, characters and skills which will enable them to live more effectively as God's people in God's world. So meaning is genre- bound and so exposes the shortcomings of proof texting. By these different and rich literary forms a Biblical word view is built up- so making us ‘wise unto salvation and fully equipped for every good work.'( 2 Tim 3:15)
Thirdly, there is the canonical context, understanding particular parts of Scripture in the light of the whole. This is tied in with the idea that God is not only providentially at work in producing and preserving the Scriptures we have, but that revelation is progressive. Does this mean that the meaning of certain passages in the OT change in the light of the Now, for example, Psalm 2 originally was referring to the David King? No, that meaning remains, but its full significance is explained in relation to its referent of God's fulfilment in Jesus Christ.
This also helps us to identify those parts of the Bible which are culturally specific and so relative, such as the Levitical laws and animal sacrifice; the letter to the Hebrews alone assists our hermeneutics here. But this does not mean that certain parts of the Bible have ceased to be the Word of God. It is just that the function changes. So commands to the Jews about cloth making may not be a directive for us, but nonetheless it is still instructive. God's Word should not be confined to the indicative mood, it may also change into the imperative.
All that we have been saying so far is to affirm the evangelical belief in the sufficiency of Scripture and for it to be its own interpreter.
This means two things.
Belief in Tota Scriptura. We acknowledge its overall unity and authority. The biblical texts together form the big picture, or metanarrative, which constitutes the Christian world view. The task of a theologian is to reflect on that and enact it. Through its different literary forms the Bible offers a number of different, complementary and compatible literary lenses on which it maps reality. Taken as a whole the Bible indicates what was only of limited cultural/religious significance.
Second, belief in Sola Scriptura. The Bible is the controlling narrative or story of our world view. This doesn't mean that the Bible is the only resource for the Christian, but it does mean it is the ruling resource, by which other ideas and views are assessed. While the Bible may not directly speak to every ethical situation, we are to consider every ethical situation in the light of what the Bible says and the questions it raises with us about what is the good, and the norms as God determines.
The nature and function of the Bible.
Earlier it was pointed out that one's construal of God affects one's understanding of Scripture and vice versa. I now want to explore that a little more.
Many will be aware that in the past the great divide was between those who stressed non-propositional revelation and propositional revelation. Non-propositional revelation embraced the idea that the primary locus of revelation is in God's personal acts. What is recorded in the Bible, is at best a reflection and an attempted articulation of those acts and their significance. But given that these were written by human, and to be human is to err (although when you think about it that is never strictly applied- can we never have a mathematical text book free from error for example?), the bible is erroneous. Others, wanting to stress that God is a speaking God, emphasised the propositional aspect of revelation, after all the Bible is a book and a book is composed of words-propositions. And since God cannot err, what we have recorded is free from error. Neither is it the case that to stress propositional revelation means a downplaying of the personal, for one of the primary ways we relate to each other and engage in covenantal relationships is by words.
However, there have been some interesting developments in philosophy which come to our aid and enrich our understanding of the nature of language which goes beyond both of these positions-which sees speech as a personal act itself. It is called Speech Act theory, it was introduced by the Oxford philosopher, ‘J.L.Austin' and developed more recently by John Searle and William Alston, and helpfully applied in the area of theology by Anthony Thiselton and Kevin J Vanhoozer. Although there are a few technical terms, the essence of what is proposed is quite simple and appeals to good common sense.
The Bible certainly does present a God who speaks, he is set forth as a communicative agent. This is what he does as evidenced by promising, commanding, forgiving, warning, informing, calling, comforting etc. The Bible opens with a description of God speaking the universe into being, it is the Word (God's self-expression) that is incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, it is not for nothing he is known as ‘teacher', who calms the storm by a word and raises the dead by a word. According to Is 40 and other passages it is the false gods who are dumb.
God as a communicative agent engages in communicative actions, and we may say that that is precisely what the Bible is, a communicative act of God. But when you think about it, communicative acts are not solely to impart information, there intention is to bring about change, even if it is no more than a change of perception and an increase in knowledge and wisdom. That is, speech acts are performative- they get things done: Is 55: 10, ‘ As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.' How are people converted, born again? ‘Through the living and enduring word of God,' according to 1 Peter 1:23ff. It is the Word of truth which sanctifies according to Jesus in John 17. But how?
Let us look at what makes up a speech act, whether it is one sentence- or a whole book( this we may call a Speech text). There are three components. First there is the locution- that is the propositional content or substance of what is said: ‘Close the door'. Then there is the illocution, the kind of utterance, what you are doing in speaking and this is related both to context and intention: ‘Please close the door'- a request, ‘Close that door' -a command, ‘How many times do I have to tell you to close the door' a rebuke , ‘Thanks for closing the door'- appreciation, ‘Do you not think it might be a good idea to close the door?'- persuasion and so on. Then there is the perlocution, what intended effect is produced by the saying of something- the door gets closed, the person is chastened, gratitude is received and appreciated ,someone is persuaded etc.
Let us now apply this to the Bible.
First of all, it means that we must pay careful attention to the content-the locutions. Here the advocates of propositional revelation were right. The claim is that God is speaking, not that the Scriptures are man's attempt to articulate a subjective experience, What we have written are the ‘breathed out words of God'- 2 Tim 3:16, God's expiration as much as inspiration. But then we must attend to the illocutions, what is being done in and through the texts. This means we must pay close attention to the different genres if we are going to appreciate the illocutionary force. Here lies the danger on overemphasising the propositional element of revelation and here the non-propositional exponents had a point, what they failed to see is that speaking itself is an act. To read apocalyptic has a certain ‘feel' with its vivid imagery and symbolism used to achieve the intended purpose of encouraging Christians to persevere and overcome. Here the very nature of the language, the type of literature it is, conveys very powerfully and evocatively a sense of the grandeur of God over history, the victory of his Son over evil and his people being caught up in that victory in such a way that a simple propositional articulation of those truths cannot. Certainly the message of the Book of Revelation can be translated into simple propositions, but that is at the expense of its illocutionary force.
Why is it that evangelicals by and large are happier in the epistles than, say, wisdom? It is because we feel more comfortable with propositions and logical reasoning-systematic theology. But then we do Scripture a disservice if we neglect the greater part of its other literary forms. Maybe that is why some of our preaching is a little predictable and uninspiring. Maybe if we spent more time in narrative for example or prophetic then the wide range of God's illocutions would be better attended and we would be more effective in building up a Christian world view and enabling people to see the relevance of Scripture for themselves.
Going back to Is 55: 11, does that mean that communication only takes place when God's Word is believed and acted upon? Or was Karl Barth right when he said the Bible becomes God's Word when he makes it effectual? A communicative act can be understood in two ways. First it could refer to the process of communicating, the locution and illocution. Once this has been done, like writing a letter, one can said to have communicated. But it could also refer to the complete act, the reception as well as the process, the perlocutionary effect. So as far as the Bible is concerned, whether people read it or not, we have a communicative act and as such it is the Word of God. On the other hand when it is read and received so that people are changed - they trust, obey, rejoice, etc., it also becomes the Word of God operationally.
How does this happen? Here we come to an understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit.
Earlier I said that the way God reveals himself through Scripture can be conceived Trinitarianly. If the Bible is God's communicative action (made up of lots of different communicative acts) it is made up of three aspects. First, there is the Father's locution (Hebrews 1:1-2)- the Words are the authorised words of the Father. Secondly, there is the illocutionary dimension, what God does in Scripture, to testify in various ways to Christ ( Luke 24:27). Thirdly, there is what happens as a result of God speaking which is effected by the Holy Spirit-the perlocution. Going back to Is 55:11ff, and one may think of other passages which link the Word and the Spirit even if it is only at the level of interchangability- eg John 3:5 / 1 Peter 1:23 or Heb 3:7 and 4:7 where we read that ‘The Spirit says' followed by a quotation from Psalm 95 and then what ‘God says through David' and another quote from Psalm 95 - we can say that the Spirit is the efficacy of the Word. As the words of my mouth are carried on my breath so God's Word is carried by His Spirit (breath) so ensuring its intended perlocutionary effects. But, the Spirit accomplishes these effects not independently of the words and illocutions but, by, with and through them. The Holy Spirit enables us to take the texts as they were intended, not apart from understanding but by understanding. Both the meaning and the significance of the Scripture is brought home to us by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture. The perlocutions proceed from the locutions and illocutions just as the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
So there are three aspects of the role of the Holy Spirit in biblical interpretation.
First, he convicts us that the Bible is God's locution to us, his communicative act. This is not a conviction brought about apart from the Bible but through attending the Bible humbly.
Second, the Spirit illumines the Scripture by impressing upon us the full force of its illocutions. He does no alter the biblical meaning, we attend its literal sense (i.e. sense intended by the author and discerned by paying attention to the historic, linguistic and generic contexts) so that we might understand its spiritual sense.
Thirdly, the Spirit sanctifies us through the process of attending to the Scriptures, creating the humility we need to see aright, cultivating the qualities of the sort we find in the righteous man in Psalm 1. He enables us to follow Scripture, not just its logic and flow as it moves from promise to fulfilment in Christ, but to follow it in living, as it shapes our perceptions, attitudes and values, and so enabling us to be increasingly brought into line with God's will. This means hearing the words and doing them and so being like a wise man building a house upon a solid foundation (itself an example of wisdom literature). This does not take place independently of our efforts but in and through them- Philippians 2:12.
Hopefully, what we have seen is that in spite of increased scepticism and a corresponding reduction in confidence in the Bible as divinely authoritative and so sufficient and relevant, we have more than solid grounds to exercise a robust confidence in the Bible as God's Word. It may be because we live in an age which is suffering from information overload that there has been a tendency in some quarters to withdraw from allowing the Bible to have central place in what we do as church. That is nothing short of tragic. As we have seen, the Bible properly understood and handled with its many literary forms in the hands of the Holy Spirit, its author and interpreter, is God's glorious means of encountering us. That encounter, although it involves the mind, is to engage the heart and will too, leading to a whole variety of responses which the Word elicits from us. I would want to argue that in such a post-modern day like ours where the notion of ‘truth' is in theory at least, a questionable commodity, the way ahead in apologetics is to demonstrate the plausibility of the Bible's world view, to show by both proclamation and action in terms of Christian community and engagement with the world, that the way of wisdom is pragmatically the best way, as now the social statistics make clear. We have a great opportunity open before us, as did the early Christians who lived in a world not that dissimilar to ours, to show that there is a better and more wholesome Third Way and that that way is found within the pages of Scripture and the one who is the subject of those Scriptures who described himself as ‘The way the Truth and the Life.'
James Barr, The Bible in the Modern World (London, SCM, 1973).
John Barton, People of the Book: The Authority of the Bible in Christianity (London, SPCK, 1988).
Kevin J Vanhoozer, The Bible- Its Relevance Today in God, Family and Sexuality , ed D.W. Torrance (The Handle Press, 1997)
Kevin J Vanhoozer, God, Scripture and Hermeneutics- First Theology ( Apollos, IVP, 2002).
- 1 Corinthians
- 1 John
- 1 Samuel
- 1 Timothy
- 2 John
- 2 Kings
- 2 Samuel
- 3 John
- Biblical Theology
- New Testament
- Old Testament
- Old Testament Theology
- Song of Songs
- Wisdom Literature