Thy Word Is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today
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Thy Word Is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today

P & R Publishing / 2013 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW384477

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The very beginning of Westminster Theological Seminary, in part, was rooted in a classic and unapologetic confession about the inerrancy and primacy of the Scriptures. As was the case when the seminary began so many years ago, the traditional Reformed doctrine of Scripture has come under increasing pressure both from within and from the outside. Westminster recently reaffirmed their belief in that doctrine and in Thy Word is is Still Truth leading products of Westminster, Peter Lillback and Richard Gaffin, present the historic theological documents-covering nearly 500 years of history (1517-2008)-upon which that doctrine is based.

An elegant and inviting book, Thy Word is Still Truth contains selected writings from theologians and councils who subscribed to a high view of Scripture. Each document is briefly introduced and then presented and, where possible, printed in both the original language and in its English translation.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 1408
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 10 X 7 (inches)
ISBN: 1596384476
ISBN-13: 9781596384477

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Publisher's Description

This is a new collection of Reformed thinkers’ writings, from the Reformation to today, on the inerrancy of Scripture. To these texts contemporary scholars add commentary reflecting the stance of Westminster Theological Seminary.

Editorial Reviews

Since its founding in 1929, Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia has specialized in the doctrine of Scripture. Nearly everyone who has taught there over the years has made some contribution to the subject. The Westminster faculty published three collections of essays on Scripture: The Infallible Word (1946), Scripture and Confession (1973), and Inerrancy and Hermeneutic (1988). The present volume, however, is a contribution of a higher order. It not only republishes some of the best articles from the previous collections, but it contains important writings on biblical authority from the Reformation and post-reformation periods (including the churches’ creedal statements) down to the present day. There are articles from the faculty of Old Princeton, from which Westminster takes its bearings, articles on controversial matters, articles describing the rationale for Westminster’s distinctive emphasis on biblical theology. And the volume is honest in facing up to the recent controversy over Scripture at Westminster itself and the seminary’s forthright response reaffirming biblical inerrancy. Through the years, I have been moved again and again by Westminster’s willingness to stand against the world and for the Word of God. The issue before the world today, as in the Garden of Eden, is “has God said?” I know of no body of literature that can be of more help to people wrestling with this vital question.
Against those who think that a "high" view of Scripture was the creation of nineteenth-century Princetonians, and against those who think that such a view of Scripture amounts to a defensive posture devoid of profound theological reflection, this excellent volume is a much-needed resource. It stands as a bulwark against every form of the question, "Did God really say?" The excerpts and essays drawn from Martin Luther to the present represent an immense reservoir of diverse reflections -- from Calvin's Institutes to Monod's Farewell, from Owen, Turretin, Gaussen, and Edwards to Spurgeon, Hengstenberg, and Machen, from Reformed confessions to the advent of contemporary biblical theology. Although this collection includes statements on recent controversies at Westminster Seminary, its strength is not its coverage of the last half-century but its ample demonstration that today's Reformed Christians find themselves, on this subject, within a heritage rich in theological reflection and powerful synthesis. To lose sight of this heritage or to stand aloof from it is to impoverish our souls and to distance ourselves from the God who "looks" to those who are contrite and humble in spirit and who tremble at his word.
When the Reformation reclaimed the historic apostolic tradition concerning Scripture as the inerrant and infallible word of God, it became incumbent upon the faithful people of God to build bridges of continuity of this heritage from generation to generation. This anthology of the Reformation heritage points to this faithfulness for our global Christianity. In our contemporary cosmic hostility to the gospel, this comes in time to remind us of our history of faith as it stands on the abiding power of Scripture as the infallible word of God which demands our total allegiance.
This encyclopedic collection does remarkable service to the Reformed faith. In this fine bouquet, the hue and the scent of each flower contribute to the beauty of the ensemble. It will be valuable for those who want to admire the prime blooms, but moreso it bears witness to the field where they were gathered. In a day of historical amnesia we are reminded of the truth that cannot and must not be forgotten.
This is an unique anthology. It gathers material from the Reformation to the present day on the doctrine of Scripture, and does so in keeping with the historical position of Westminster Theological Seminary. The selection is far-reaching and the addition of a section of Biblical Theology is an excellent decision. A superb resource has now been provided by this volume.
Books that are born in the cradle of controversy are usually books worth having on your shelf. Thy Word is Still Truth proves this point beyond a shadow of a doubt. The genesis of this anthology can be traced back to Westminster Seminary’s recent debates on the doctrine of Scripture. Now we can all benefit from what they learned through the process. The covers of this book hold together a veritable cornucopia of insights from top-notch theologians—both past and present—all united in one laudable aim: upholding the authority and clarity of the Holy Scriptures as God’s inspired Word. Pick it up and read. You’ll be simultaneously instructed and edified.
Thy Word Is Still Truth is the definitive A-to Z resource, a historically rooted, biblically informed, on the doctrine of the Scripture. It pulls together into one convenient, comprehensive volume and the result is a book that seems destined to become one of the best resources available for the church which is in the midst of controversy on the view of the Scripture.
Within the ultra-modern secular cultural environment with its emphasis on relativism, its lack of idealism, its reluctance to commitment and its disrespect towards authority and the sacred, The Word is still Truth, represents a major theological landmark. It reminds the Church of the rich and significant heritage that we can draw on, going back not only to the Reformation, but also to the Early Church Fathers and which is deeply rooted in the Apostolic Faith. It emphasizes the amazing theological unity, diversity and coherence of the biblical doctrine of the Word of God. It underscores the relevance of reformed faith as “a living tradition engaging with the pressing questions of today.” Edited within a specific historical context this anthology of texts on the authority and interpretation of Scripture speaks eloquently and boldly to the whole of the contemporary Church of Jesus-Christ.
Where do you go if you need to check what the reformers and what post-reformation orthodoxy have to say about the Scriptures? Where do you get a selection of relevant passages that span a few centuries and yet agree about the truth and the nature of Scriptural revelation? Where can you find an anthology that shows the roots of Westminster Theological Seminary's core relationship to Scriptural revelation, as well as the contours of a beautiful struggle to remain faithful to that tradition? Now you can actually get a Birdseye perspective in one volume! Kudos for Richard B. Gaffin and Peter A. Lillback for giving us something so good! This is a remarkable selection of key authors and passages that have in common the theme that for many of us is both a passion and an urgent necessity -- the Word is still true and it is still Truth! Please, do not overlook this work!
The contemporary Christian is constantly told, “comprise or you’ll have no place in today’s world.” This compendium of historic Reformed theological and confessional traditions is an eloquent testimony to the fact that we don’t have to yield to such urgings. It is heartwarming to be able to hold in one volume the Reformed faith’s critical engagement with pressing questions of the moment through the ages. I sincerely hope that as this volumes goes out, the rediscovery of biblical authority in the Reformed traditions, which it encapsulates, will be made accessible to the Majority World, thereby expanding the church’s understanding of biblical authority spatially. This will be one way of ensuring that the hold that the global south is taking of Christ will not be an ephemeral one. This volume could not have come at more auspicious time; I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Recent controversies on the doctrine of Scripture, both within and without Westminster Theological Seminary, have forced the Seminary to define its position. This compendium is an attempt to put the present position of Westminster in the context of the historic Reformed position, both as originally formulated and as re-expressed in terms of later issues.. Aside from its value to Westminster, this volume documents the continuity and the diversity of British and Continental thinking on Scripture as those streams have impacted on the current Westminster position.
This new anthology of Reformed thinkers’ writings on the infallibility and the inerrancy of Scripture, from the Reformation Era to today, is timely and beneficial. Borrowing the title of E. J. Young’s classic book Thy Word is Still Truth, this collection is committed to the highest view of Scripture, and it affirms the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Scripture that are both true and of crucial importance for the life of the church, her mission to the world, and the state of believers’ souls. Reading the anthology’s part of contemporary texts, which reflects Westminster Theological Seminary’s strong commitment to Scripture, one knows firmly that by the providence of God, Westminster has been faithful and consistent to the historic Reformed theological and confessional tradition on the doctrine of Scripture. Through this masterful work of Peter Lillback and Richard Gaffin, readers are equipped not only to profit from God’s Word but also to defend and affirm its perfection.
Can the church in the West find its bearings and return to God? Only if it finds the grace to dethrone the Zeitgeist and re-enthrone the LORD and Holy Scripture which reveals him. This volume is a manual for that enterprise. It is a source-book, history review, theology course, and exegesis guide all rolled into one. It should be required for seminary students, acquired by all pastors, and desired by anyone seeking to walk in the steps of the one who modeled and taught reverence for what we call the Bible as the foundation for valid knowledge as well as saving faith (John 17:17; 1 John 2:6).
Indeed, the consistent spirit of Reformed tradition in holding the absolute and profound belief in Scripture as the true truth of the true revelation of the true God must be deeply and universally appreciated by all men in all times. It is nothing more than logical that to believe the absolute God is able and already revealed the perfect will unmistakably to men of all ages is an absolute necessity for those who truly understand and are totally obedient to the only true God. This kind of belief is absolutely needed in our time of pluralism and uncertainty that is leading our society to nowhere. We thank God for the appearance of this monumental work in this crucial time.
Even though the Reformation started with Luther’s return to the Bible as the highest au-thority in the Church, and even though the doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture has been taught in all evangelical confessions and denominations and its development has been influenced by people from many confessions, it was the Reformed doctrine of Scrip-ture, spreading from Switzerland, that became central to the evangelical positions through the centuries, both by means of terminology and manner of defense. For example Calvin’s application of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit to the doctrine of Scripture, declaring that the final evidence for Scripture as the Word of God comes from the author, the Holy Spirit, directly to the believers heart, has been central in the Evangelical movement and balanced any impersonal approach to hermeneutics. No wonder then, that Reformed sem-inaries have been at the forefront of formulating, developing, and defending the doctrine of Scripture. I am glad that Westminster Theological Seminary - Philadelphia takes the lead again by gathering 500 hundred years of good tradition, proving how the old truth has been applied to ever new ages again and again.
The title THY WORD IS STILL TRUTH speaks for itself in a profound way. It expresses both the Scriptural foundation and the Reformed position of the Westminster Theological Seminary. The authority of the Scripture, the Holy Bible, is frequently questioned today by the liberal Seminaries, technological and scientific Institutions across the world. This book echoes not only the apologetic stand of the Seminary but also of the Christendom as a whole. "Thy word is STILL truth" should be the position of every committed Christian at all times. The work is a massive collection of extracts from Christian scholars and godly men over five centuries who held the principle of 'Sola Scriptura', the mandate of a Christian life. The undiluted position to vindicate the Reformed position of Bibliology is repeatedly affirmed in this book which was the attraction and the strong imprint placed on me by the Westminster Seminary through my professors Richard B. Gaffin and Peter Lillback. The integrity of this Seminary among other Seminaries is not the fabulous campus but its commitment to the Word of God. THY WORD IS STILL TRUTH challenges the non-foundational postmodernism of today. Every committed Christian and student of the Scripture must have this book along with the Word of God.
Every generation of Christians must anew believe, confess, understand, and live out the Bible’s teaching that it is the inerrant Word of God. This timely book brings together many invaluable historic and contemporary writings which will encourage us to defend and cherish the Scriptures. It will certainly be a great blessing to those who study it.
Every one of the chapters in this book sound a solid teaching note on how Evangelical Theology came to the positions it currently holds. Many among our younger scholars and members of our Churches will be richly rewarded as they trace the history of how the Spirit of God led his Church in these essays and through these scholars, who fully trusted what God had said in his Word. It is a joy to commend this volume to a wide reading audience.
“What is needed now, in Old Christendom, New Christendom, and the Next Christendom, and in every generation, is a strong and noble stand for the Word of God in the Seminary. It is for this reason that I am thankful for Thy Word is Still Truth, and I praise God for the incredible labors and dedicated scholarship of Westminster Theological Seminary, her Bible-loving board, her Scripture-saturated faculty and staff, Word-loving students and supporters, and the trusted editors of this great anthology, Drs. Richard Gaffin and Peter Lillback. They have done what Westminster Theological Seminary has always done so well: lead the Church (and stir her sister seminaries) back to the confessional standards, to the timeless river of orthodoxy that flows from the testimonies of the Reformers’ ‘rediscovery of the written Word of God,’ on through the tributaries of the great Reformed confessions that followed, eventually nourishing the faithful fields of stalwart theological timber—from the Old Princetonians to Edward J. Young and younger trees like the living witnesses such as John Frame, and, of course, Drs. Gaffin and Lillback themselves. This glorious river of confessional orthodoxy not only demolishes the idols of doubt concerning the very Word of God as it rushes down through the ages, but also ushers in soul-refreshment and living water for the people of God. The cleansing that this book brings comes, mercifully, at a time when we need it most. “I thank Almighty God for this magnificent volume. There are a few books of which it can be said, ‘this is a comprehensive presentation of this subject.’ Yet, I can say without reservation or hyperbole that this new anthology by P&R Publishing, edited by my esteemed colleagues at Westminster Seminary, is exactly that: a comprehensive presentation of the witness of the Reformed churches, with her finest pastor-scholars and her most radically biblical councils testifying in succeeding ages to the veracity and the life and death importance underscored in the title: Thy Word is Still Truth.”
“We have needed this book for a long time. In Thy Word is Still Truth, Peter Lillback and Richard Gaffin have drawn together the comprehensive witness of the church on behalf of the total truthfulness and inerrancy of Scripture. No serious reader can doubt the case for inerrancy made so consistently and clearly in these pages and no serious defender of Scripture can be without this vital volume that amounts to the most massive arsenal of documentation for the inerrancy of Scripture ever assembled in a single volume.”
“The authority and inerrancy of the Bible should be objectively defended with as many historically authoritative sources as possible in order to counter evil powers today that attempt to destruct our faith in God and his Word. This book is a collection of the most authoritative literature on the Bible, from the Reformation period up to present day. It will provide to be an essential resource for those who want to realize and defend the Bible.”
Thy Word Is Still Truth is an invaluable resource in upholding the inerrancy, inspiration and final authority of Holy Scripture. Not only does it gather together the overwhelming testimony of the Reformed tradition for the Bible's inerrancy, but it brilliantly addresses matters of special concern today, such as canon formation and redemptive-historical interpretation. With this volume, Westminster Theological Seminary reassumes it's position as the leading proponent of the historic Reformed doctrine of Scripture.
The affirmation of the epistemological heart of the Christian faith in the Reformation watch-cry of sola scriptura necessarily entailed what previous generations since the Apostles had believed, namely, the infallible nature of the Bible. Since the battles of the Reformation this truth about God's Word has come under attack again and again--whether it be from Quaker enthusiasm, Deistic rationalism, or liberal Protestantism--and it has only been where this truth has been ardently defended that the fires of Christian piety have continued to burn brightly. This tremendous collection of sources about the infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures is both a powerful reminder of these facts and a stirring impetus to be "a people of the Book." Wrought in recent conflict over this very issue, this volume is a welcome addition to the key reference works of all those who genuinely desire to be Christ-centered and gospel-focused.
"This massive compendium is what it claims to be: a collection of essential writings on the doctrine of Scripture from the time of the Protestant Reformation right up to the present day. The evangelical theology of Scripture that emerged with particular clarity during the Reformation in Europe has enjoyed widespread international influence ever since. The creeds, confessions, sermons, essays, treatises, and personal testimonies in this anthology demonstrate astonishing consistency and remarkable progress across half a millennium of church history. Here, for the first time, a 500-year library of thoughtful, faithful reflection on the nature of biblical truth has been gathered into a single, indispensable volume."
Westminster Theological Seminary established in no small part to faithfully uphold a robust and faithful doctrine of Biblical inerrancy informed by the Scriptural doctrine of inspiration initially communicated to the public by the work of Dr. E.J. Young - Thy Word is Truth has now added a marvelous and needed volume, Thy Word is Still Truth. Through the capable leadership and editorial work of Dr. Peter Lillback and Dr. Richard Gaffin we now have a readable treasury of Biblical expositions, sermons, as well as a thoughtful collection of articles and works which have effectively defended the reliability of Godⷚs Word as Truth from the Reformation to the present. This volume is a must for resource, research and life-changing devotional reading in light of the renewed assault upon the trustworthiness of Godⷚs Word in our day.
This magisterial anthology of important texts edited by Peter A. Lillback and Richard B. Gaffin,, Jr., President and Professor of Historical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary respectively, stands in the grand tradition of biblical inerrancy espoused by Reformed theology for centuries and particularly for the past 85 years by Westminster. The title (without the ‘Still’) recalls the profoundly significant impact of the work by E. J. Young, one that shaped the thinking of many a budding theologian a half century ago, including this writer. Modernity, and especially Post-modernity, has generated the need for a reassessment and reaffirmation of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy because of its foundational underpinning to the whole corpus of biblical authority, reliability, and theology. Lillback and Gaffin have risen to the call and have led the way here to a renascence of the views of the founders of the Seminary and their adherence to the sacred Scriptures that undergirded their potent and cherished Reformed faith.
A magnificent compendium! It has drawn from the best, the truest, and the deepest works on, and affirmations about, the doctrine of Scripture. We need to hear these voices from our past. They are wise, discerning, and profound.
The embattled title casts this book as an apologia for Westminster Seminary's stand in a recent internal debate. Yes, it is all of that, but it is a great deal more. It is a massive array of extracts from major writers over five centuries, demonstrating both the breadth, strength, clarity, humility, openness and rootedness of international Reformed bibliology according to its historic confessional self-understanding. and also the insightful energy with which Westminster's own scholars have labored to vindicate the Reformed position as catholic Christian truth. The book excels as a resource for study and a witness to Westminster's integrity.
Lillback and Gaffin have assembled a trove of resources that will enable serious students of Scripture to mine the wealth of the church’s testimony on one of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith—the doctrine of Scripture, which proclaims the abiding truthfulness and inerrancy of the Word of God. Thy Word is Still Truth offers a scholarly exploration from a great cloud of witnesses that is historical, exegetical, and theological, yet imminently practical and hence immensely beneficial. This volume will serve the church for generations to come.
This is a magnificent and unique sourcebook with its orginal texts and their fine translations. These testimonies on the divine character of Scripture demonstrate that within the variety of protestant reformers, synods and theologians there was, is and can be unity because of the common basis in the Word of God.
In light of recent criticisms of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, a reader containing some of the most important writings on the issue is very welcome. From Luther to familiar names of our own time (Murray, Gaffin, Ferguson), the editors have carefully assembled (with brief introductory comments) all of the essential material. Reading this volume is a bit like discovering solid granite beneath our home. Reading through this volume, our confidence in Scripture’s unassailable trustworthiness as the Word of God, infallible and inerrant, is greatly enhanced.
In every generation it is required of the church (and its institutions) to defend and maintain its commitment to the Scriptures as God's word written. Given the current climate in which pastors and scholars choose to ignore confessional boundaries and recast the faith to suit contemporary predilections it is vital to establish that the trustworthiness of Scripture is an essential component of historic Christian orthodoxy and the foundational assumption of the Reformed tradition. No branch of the church has been as clear-headed and warm-hearted in its defense and articulation of the riches and integrity of the Bible as the Reformed churches. And no seminary has been quite as clear or committed to the primacy of that word in all its academic branches as Westminster Theological Seminary following in the tradition of Old Princeton. This book invites us to review the rich legacy of the church; Westminster's place in that tradition; and the necessity of reasserting this conviction for the health of the church and the cure of souls. I cannot stress enough my gratitude to God that Westminster continues to assert this truth in the clearest and most unambiguous manner.

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    "Thy Word is Still Truth" is a reformed pastor, academic, layman, seminarian or just nerd's dream. All of the best and brightest writers and thinkers in the reformed tradition have been assembled together in one volume to reflect upon Scripture and the faith. The book even includes all of the major confessions and catechisms. I enjoyed a number of the articles, particularly Clowney's, Ferguson's, and Frames. This is a great resource for any serious student of Scripture.
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