Do Christians disagree in their interpretations of Scripture because Scripture is unclear, perhaps because spiritual truths transcend human language and so cannot be perfectly captured in words? Though many today would answer, “yes,” Samuel Hopkins, writing at the end of the 1700’s, answers with a resounding (and pious) “no.” (By the way….Though the Kindle edition I’m reading has significant defects, such as numerous OCR errors and lack of an Active Table of Contents, an improved edition has since been made available, though I have so far only inspected a portion of the online sample. Since the newer edition includes the entirety of the work rather than being broken into volumes, a search by words in the quotation will likely be more useful to you than the percentage mark.) “…that there should be so many different and opposite opinions respecting the doctrines and duties inculcated in the Bible, among those who enjoy this revelation, and profess to make it their rule….is not the least evidence of any defect in the scriptures, or that they are not sufficiently plain, and in the best manner suited to give instruction; but is wholly owing to the criminal blindness, corrupt propensities and unreasonable prejudices of men, who do not attend to the Bible with an honest heart.”—Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803), The System of Doctrines, contained in Divine Relation, Explained and Defending. Shewing Their Consistence and Connexion with Each Other., at the 4% mark in volume 1 of a 2 volume unpaginated digital/Kindle edition (preparer/publisher not identified beyond Amazon’s “Sold By…Amazon Digital Services”).
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