The Authority of Scripture
Augustine: "I am not bound by the authority of [Cyprian’s] epistle
because I do not hold the writings of Cyprian as canonical, and I accept
whatever in them agrees with the authority of the divine Scriptures with
his approval, but what does not agree I reject with his permission."
Augustine: "I have learned to give this reverence and honour to
those books of Scripture alone which are now called canonical, as firmly
to believe that no one of their authors erred in writing anything ...
but I so read the others, that however excellent in purity of doctrine,
I do not therefore take a thing to be true because they thought so; but
because they can persuade me, either through those canonical authors, or
probable reason, that it does not differ from the truth. Nor do I think
that you, my brother, are of a different opinion. I say further, I do
not suppose that you wish your books to be read as if they were the
writings of the prophets or apostles, which beyond a doubt are free from
Francis Turretin: "The orthodox (although they hold the fathers in
great estimation and think them very useful to a knowledge of the
history of the ancient church, and our opinion on cardinal doctrines may
agree with them) yet deny that their authority, whether as individuals
or taken together, can be called authoritative in matters of faith and
the interpretation of the Scriptures, so that by their judgment we must
stand or fall. Their authority is only ecclesiastical and subordinate to
the Scriptures and of no weight except so far as they agree with them"
(Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, p. 163).
B. B. Warfield: "This church-doctrine of inspiration differs from
the theories that would fain supplant it, in that it is not the
invention nor the property of an individual, but the settled faith of
the universal church of God; in that it is not the growth of yesterday,
but the assured persuasion of the people of God from the first planting
of the church until today; in that it is not a protean shape, varying
its affirmations to fit every new change in the ever-shifting thought of
men, but from the beginning has been the church’s constant and abiding
conviction as to the divinity of the Scriptures committed to her
keeping" (Works, vol. 1, p. 52).
John William Burgon: "... the Bible is none other than the voice of
Him that sitteth upon the Throne! Every book of it, every chapter of it,
every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it (where are we
to stop?) every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High!
... Well spake the HOLY GHOST by the mouth of the many blessed men who
wrote it. The Bible is none other than the Word of God: not some part of
it more, some part of it less; but all alike the utterance of Him who
sitteth upon the Throne, absolute, faultless, unerring, supreme."