The Bible And The Holy Bible

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Messer says that for Christians, the Holy Bible is the rich mixture of writings of various kinds, written over many centuries in many different settings collected together in the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament; and by calling this collection of writing “Scripture” we are marking it off from other writings that come from the same places and times and claiming that is has some kind of special status and authority within the community of Christian faith. (Messer p5)

One way for Christians to ask the “how” questions in Christian ethics is to ask what are its sources for moral insight, guidance and authority and how these sources should be used and related to one another. The New Testament scholar, Richard Hays suggests that we should classify these sources as Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. (Messer p5).

While these sources can be used in many different ways and combinations, Hayes says that tradition, reason and experience helps us to read and interpret Scripture rightly and bring its guidance to bear on new and unfamiliar situations.

If we are to regard Scripture as a source of moral authority, we shall need to understand these writings in their own contexts of: kind of literature, moral content, how they communicate and how (if at all) these texts, written in different time and places to ours, speak to our lives, situations and dilemmas. (Messer p5-6)

In their article “The Bible’s Role in Christian Ethics” John Brunt and Gerald Winslow say that in
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