Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

“What Is the Reason for Certainty in Christian Doctrine?” (Part 4)

Lutherbibel  At long last, the final installment of Chytraeus’ reasons for certainty in Christian doctrine. If readers recall (are there any?), Chytraeus noted that the chief reason for certitudo was divine authority and revelation in Holy Scripture. He then went on to list several sequentia testimonia that confirm this authority and revelation a posteriori. This may make his last testimonium confusing, since it is again Scripture. But he’s doing something a little different here from what he was doing in Part 1, as his Scripture citations show. Here, what he is referring to is Scripture’s own formulation of and reflection upon itself, which serves as a confirmation of the authority already recognized there in the dixit Dominus through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Testimonia scripturae, 1 Thess. 2. Accepistis non verbum hominis, sed sicut revera erat verbum Dei, quod & efficax est in vobis credentibus. 2. Pet. 1. Non voluntate hominum allata est doctrina Prophetica, sed a Spiritu sancto impulsi, locuti sunt sancti Dei homines, &c.

The testimonies of Scripture: “You did not receive it as the word of man, but as truly the Word of God, which also is efficacious in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2). “Not by the will of men has the prophetic doctrine been announced, but holy men of God, driven by the Holy Spirit, have spoken,” etc.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.