Scofield Study Bible - An Oldie But Goodie

Scofield Study Bible, King James Version.

Scofield Study Bible, King James Version.

I just recently acquired an Oxford University Press Scofield Study Bible (KJV). It is black bonded leather with the 1917 notes. It's really quite lovely.

I don't want to get into a whole debate about dispensationalist theology - I'll leave that to others - suffice it to say, I am not a dispensationalist, although there are elements of dispensationalist theology worthy of more exploration (on my part). And, if the fact that the Scofield Study Bible is unashamedly dispensationalist causes you grief, I understand.

I also understand that a lot has changed since 1917, and our understanding of history, archaeology, and science are completely different than it was nearly a century ago. But I do want to share a part of what is written in the introduction.

I know most people don't bother to read the xx or so pages of introductory material at the front of their Bibles. Translation philosophies, explanatory essays, and dreadful lists of acknowledgments are for the truly hard core.

I, however, happen to fall into this category, ask my wife. She will testify that the first thing I do when we check into a hotel room is read the over-sized hotel binder cover-to-cover. I want to know about the facilities, amenities, services, attractions, etc. (you never know when you might need an aspirin at 3 a.m., and I want to know if I will have to leave the hotel, trek down to a "gift shop," or call for room service). The same goes for my Bibles.

On page v of my new Scofield Study Bible, there is a section of the introduction entitled "A Panoramic View of the Bible." Without going into the whole thing, one of the sections struck me:

First. The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity. (1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him. (2) The Bible forms one continuous story - the story of humanity in relation to God. (3) The Bible hazards the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment. (4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once, and once and for all. The law is, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn." Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete. (5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption. (6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme - the person and work of the Christ. (7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the Divine inspiration of the Bible (italics in original).

If there is a better, more succinct apologetic for the divine nature of scripture in print, I am unaware of it. Perhaps some of you will enlighten me. Thoughts?

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