Thursday, January 26, 2017

D.B. Knox: The Authority of the Bible

From a lecture to the Evangelical Union, Sydney University, as appeared in The Australian Church Record, November 18, 1948.

The Bible is very much a modern book. Its annual sales and circulation easily outrivals its nearest competitor —not only the books in English literature, but, I suppose, the books of any foreign nation. It is a book that is in many ways remarkable. If only for its English style it deserves study. Sir Arthur Quillier Couch, late professor of English literature at Cambridge and editor of the Oxford book of English verse once described the prose style of the English Bible as a “miracle” and asked his students this question: Does it not strike you as queer that the people who set you courses of study in English literature never include the Authorised Version which not only intrinsically but historically is out and away the greatest book of English prose? Perhaps they pay you the silent compliment of supposing that you are perfectly acquainted with it . . .I wonder?

The Bible is remarkable for the length of time it was coming into being. Sixteen hundred years elapsed between the writing of the first book of our Bible and the completion of the last. Sixteen hundred years is a long time. Cast your minds back through the events and epochs which made up English history and sixteen hundred years will bring you the Roman occupation of Britain. Such was the time during which the sixty-six books which go to make up the Bible, were written.

38 authors contributed. They include men of very varied outlook, some were kings, some generals, some priests and clerics, some shepherds and some fishermen. Some of them were men of the highest educational attainments, others were men of the soil, taken from following the plow.

We can imagine how variegated would be the outlook of men from such different levels of society, and from historical epochs of which the mental climate changed with the flux of sixteen hundred years, yet it is a remarkable fact that the Bible has a uniform voice throughout its pages. All its authors hear constant witness to a God of love and righteousness. Read More

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