Dust In A Land Of Gold?
The Inspiration of Scripture, by Dewey M. Beegle (Westminster, 1963, 223 pp., $4.50), is reviewed by Frank E. Gaebelein, Headmaster, The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, New York.
This is a book with a purpose. As the author declares in his preface, “There are few areas of Christian life and thought that do not lead back eventually to the issue of the inspiration of the Scripture” (p. 9). Therefore, every generation of Christians must determine what it believes about inspiration. Past convictions regarding the Bible must be reexamined in the light of new knowledge. And, Dr. Beegle continues, “The purpose of this book is to make such a reexamination. All the relevant data possible, both Biblical and non-Biblical, will be reckoned with, in order to ascertain the truth of the matter concerning the inspiration of Scripture” (p. 9).
Does the book actually make this reexamination, reckoning with “all the relevant data possible”?
Dr. Beegle’s wide acquaintance with the literature of his subject is evident. Likewise his personal concern is apparent; he writes with all the fervor of a convinced man who is out to convert others to his position. And his position is essentially this: The Bible is an inspired but errant book. Any thought of errorless autographs of Scripture must be given up once and for all. Not only are there errors of fact in Scripture, but certain canonical books are of questionable value and, in some cases, of lesser spiritual worth than apocrypha or well-known hymns. Biblical writers are sometimes mistaken in their exegesis of the Old Testament, and they have also erred in doctrine. Such a writer as Luke is no more inspired than any other Christian historian. The “fringes” of the inspired Book ...1
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