Saturday, February 06, 2010

Peter’s Affirmation of the Epistles of Paul

In a discussion regarding the practice of infant baptism at On the Wittenberg Trail, actually closer to a monolog on my part which the host graciously endured, I became aware of a point in one of the Scripture passages that had previously escaped my notice.

Here is the text:

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Peter 3:15-17)

While I was delving into the text regarding the manner in which people torture the Scriptures to try to force them to agree with their preconceived opinions, I noticed something else declared in this text. Surely this is not a new observation, but it is new to me.

Herein St. Peter states in absolute manner that the writings of St. Paul are Scriptures the same as all the other Scriptures.

While there are plenty of passages to affirm the Scriptures of the New Testament as divinely inspired and truly the revelation of God to man, while I always recognized in this text that St. Peter lovingly affirms St. Paul’s apostolic authority, I never was aware of the fact that St. Peter here declares the writings of St. Paul to be truly the Scriptures akin to all the other Scriptures. But there it is! Plain as day!

Another point, while not a new observation, is that those who torture one part of the Scriptures are said to torture the other Scriptures as well. It is common for people to take parts of the Scriptures and ignore them or to say of them that they are not truly the Scriptures or that they are limited by time or cultural relevance. But as St. Peter declares here and the Scriptures consistently affirm, to wrest or torture one part of the Scriptures sets the person in league with those who torture all the other Scriptures. To deny or wrest or twist or redefine or manipulate one point of the Scriptures is to place oneself in league with all who do so to any and ultimately all of the Scriptures. This is why Jesus declared to those who did so that they were not sons of God but had the devil, the father of lies, as their father.

Anyway, it is delightful finally to observe what has stood written for millennia, that in this text St. Peter affirms the writings of St. Paul as the Scriptures.

No comments: