Bible, Attributes of
Bible, Attributes Of
(Affectiones Scripturce), a title by which, in the 16th century, Protestant theologians designated certain true views of Scripture as opposed to Romish, Socinian, and other errors. They are divided into two classes:
1. Primary attributes (affectionos primarice), i.e. such as directly flow from the divine origin and canonicity of the Scriptures. They are,
(1.) Authority (auctoritas), as opposed on the one hand to the Socinian undervaluing of the O.T., and on the other to the Romish doctrine that the Church settles the authority of Scripture. It is divided into
(a) auctoritas normativa, i.e. the authority of the Bible to bind men to believe and do whatever it teaches or commands;
(b) auctoritas judicialis, as the Bible is the final appeal in questions of faith and practice.
(2.) Sufficiency (sufficientia or perfectio), as the Bible 'contains all things necessary for faith and practice, opposed to the Quaker doctrine of special inspiration or the "inner light," and to the Roman demand for traditional and Church teaching in addition to Scripture.
(3.) Intelligibleness (perspicuitas), opposed to the Romish doctrine that the Bible cannot be understood without the Church's exposition of it.
(4.) Efficacy, i.e. of its doctrines and principles for the salvation of men.
2. Secondary attributes, such as flow indirectly from the same sources:
(1) Necessity of Scripture, as the truth could be preserved and handed down neither by tradition nor by the "inner light."
(2) Integrity, i.e. that no part essential to the canon has been lost.
(3) Purity, i.e. the uncorrupted preservation of the text.
(4) Freedom (legendi omnibus concessa licentia), i.e. the unrestrained reading of the Bible by all Christians, lay as well as clerical.-Knapp, Theology, § xi. SEE BIBLE, USE OF BY THE LAITY.