Showing posts with label Book Order. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Order. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Absence of Evidence and Evidence of Absence

“As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


The End of (Certain) Spiritual Gifts

Most scholars believe Paul wrote the words quoted above somewhere between AD54 and 55. All Christians can agree he is saying that certain spiritual gifts will cease to exist at some then-future date. The questions much disputed among believers boil down to when and why. Some people say tongues, prophecy and other gifts like them have already ceased. Others argue Paul is saying they will cease at the end of the church era when Christ returns. Perhaps, but if so, why not mention the cessation of teaching, service, hospitality, administration and the other gifts we still see on display in our churches?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Orderly Meditation

Have you ever thought about why the books of our New Testament are ordered the way they are?

They’re not alphabetical, like a reference work. We can see that right away.

They’re definitely not completely chronological, like most novels or histories. Read the NT through a few times and that will certainly become evident. There is some evidence of chronology, certainly, in the sense that the four gospels come first, but Acts is a history that spans a period of decades during which most of Paul’s epistles were written. If we were able to determine precisely when each epistle was written, we might try to slot them in between chapters of Acts, but that would make for an awkward read.

Some have argued that the order is providential (in fact, in 1864, Thomas D. Bernard did that precisely), but good luck trying to make that case. You’d pretty much have to take that on faith.