When I was in college my Greek prof, a godly and learned man but perhaps a more liberal man than I, would always tease his more conservative students.
“I just don’t imagine Paul going up to Timothy and saying, ‘Timothy, let’s go write some holy scripture today.’”
While I love the man, that always irked me. Isn’t he attacking the holy and unalterable foundations of the faith? If what he is saying is true, doesn’t this call the Bible, and by extension whole Christian faith, into question?
No, it doesn’t. It took me seven years but I realized that the truth of Christianity is not reduced to cognitive propositions derived from one’s understanding of the Bible. The fullness of the faith transcends the written-down text. We see the truth of Christianity in her liturgy, icons, Creeds, martyrs and yes, Scripture.
I’ve come to realize that the conservative inerrantists had set up a system of belief, upon which their whole literal universe depended, but philosophically was so easy to dismantle. Of course St Paul didn’t plan to “write some Holy Bible today.” But that doesn’t lessen the sacredness of the Bible. It puts it in its right context. Understanding that the fullness and ground of the faith is not found in “a copy of a copy of the original text,” but in Christ’s body, I can now accept many of the hard questions about the canon and inscripturation that hamstrung me as a Protestant.