Talk:F. F. Bruce

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[Untitled][edit]

Although Bruce believed the Bible to the "reliable," I do not think that he would have been confortable with the word "inerrant" in describing his view of the Bible. I speak as one who affirms inerrancy and also admires Bruce's writings. He never affirms the term inerrancy to my knowledge. Those who affirm inerrancy often quote Bruce, but I think they ascribe to Bruce their own view when they say he affirmed the Bible's inerrancy. Bruce while broadly conservative (though not completely!), was more moderate than many who quote him. Kind of like evangelicals at Fuller Theological Seminary I think. Bruce concentrated on what he could prove (reliablily is more testable than inerrancy which is primarily a theological construct). I am thus softening the language about his view of inerrancy.

Two things in particular suggest to me that he did not affirm inerrancy.

  • One, he wrote a Forward to Dewey Beegle's book, SCRIPTURE, TRADITION, AND INFALLIBILITY -- a book that rejects inerrancy. In that Forward Bruce writes "I endorse as emphatically as I can his deprecating of a Maginot-line mentality where the doctrine of Scripture is concerned. The Word of God is something alive and active, not least when it bursts the confining bands in which our well-meant definitions try to enclose and protect it" (p. 10). In endorsing a book that denies inerrancy, Bruce did not necessarily deny it himself (he at other times endorsed books he did not completely agree with), but it suggests that at the least he was uncomfortable with the view that if we were ever to admit an error in the Bible we would have to reject it totally (the 'Maginot-line mentality"), a view often stated by strict inerrantists.
  • A second reason comes from a personal correspondance between Bruce and me. In the 1970s I wrote Bruce concerning his view of women and ministry. He kindly responded by recommending to me Paul Jewett's book, MAN AS MALE AND FEMALE. Jewett (at the time a professor of theology at Fuller Theological Seminary) in that book says that Paul was right when he speaks of men and women being one in Christ (Galatians 3:28) but wrong in demanding male headship and wives to submit to their husbands. If Bruce held strongly to inerrancy, it hardly seems likely that he could have recommended Jewett's book that argues that Paul contradicted himself.

DrJ1m

Above you state, "Bruce concentrated on what he could prove (reliablily is more testable than inerrancy which is primarily a theological construct)." As a matter of fact, if the Bible is the Word of God, then you can prove all kinds of things. And if the Bible is the Word of God then inerrancy is provable, as God cannot lie! If you do not have a Bible that is the Word of God, then you cannot prove much at all theologically about anything. Everything is just opinion. And then it follows that sitting here 2000 years after the Bible was written, you can hardly prove a thing about it. On such a basis, you have little more than hot air. As an example of Bruce, someone was reading a paper in the Ehrhard Seminar at the U of Manchester, in which paper the various accounts of the resurrection of Christ were pitted against each other as contradictory. I questioned that. Bruce broke in to defend the paper, "We all see through a glass darkly."
Now Bruce called himself a Paulinist, saying he would believe what the Bible said if Paul said it -- yet he also told me that Paul overargues himself! I doubt that Bruce believed that Paul wrote the Pastoral epistles. If so, that might have enabled him to discount the elder rules that Paul wrote & the admonition vs. women teaching men. However, that still leaves Bruce with 1 Cor. 11 & 14: let the women keep silent. I could see him writing that one off as referring to chatter in the assembly. (EnochBethany (talk) 23:33, 16 March 2014 (UTC))

A False Impression of F F Bruce[edit]

I added some content to the article which was reverted quickly. However, everything I added was supported by citations. I know more about F.F. Bruce which I did not post because I could not find citations to support it on internet search. I put that he was unsuccessful in getting a Ph.D. from the U of Vienna, as that is supported by citations. I know that in fact he failed his Ph.D. because he told me so in a personal letter, but I did not use the word "failed" because it is based on a primary source. I found reference on the internet to an article that came from an interview with Bruce, "From Scotland with Scholarship," which was published when I was his student at the University of Manchester (starting 1975, ending with his retirement). I believe that this interview article gives further support to what I wrote (though I could not find the full article on the internet). As I recall, that article says, ~"I did not get the Ph.D." (not using the word "fail" either), but recounting how he published in journal form his Austrian Ph.D. research, which evidently helped him more academically than having a Ph.D. In British thought at the time, having publications was more important than holding a Ph.D. He said it had not held him back, but such would not have been the case in America.

I also stated that his status as an evangelical is doubtful and gave citation for it. I know that he was not an evangelical as I would define it, and that he is better categorized as neo-orthodox. I also gave citation for his sympathy with Karl Barth, noted neo-orthodox scholar. Although I did not think it Wiki-legal to quote him from personal engagement, I know from personal engagement that he did not have an evangelical approach to scripture. From comparison with his early writings, it appears to me that he was more of an evangelical when he started his academic career. The content I added with citations should be restored.(EnochBethany (talk) 03:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC))
Yes, you need reliable sources. And it's not enough just to mention a reference - the reference needs to actually back up what you are saying. You did not provide any that say Bruce did not have an evangelical view of Scripture. As far as Vienna goes, Murray Harris says in Bible Interpreters of the 20th Century (p. 217) that "after a year in Vienna... he heard of a vacancy for an assistant lecturer in Greek at Edinburgh University, and knowing that such openings did not occur frequently, he applied for the post..." StAnselm (talk) 04:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
As to Murray Harris (I was his student at Trinity Evangelical Div School; Harris recommended that I go to Manchester and study with Bruce), note that what Harris says does not contradict Bruce's failing the Ph.D. Read it carefully. Yes, my citations claim that Bruce was not evangelical on scripture and sympathized with neo-orthodox Barth. It is a fact that Bruce's status as an evangelical is disputed. (EnochBethany (talk) 04:09, 16 March 2014 (UTC))


Would You Call a Man Who Denies the Resurrection an Evangelical?[edit]

All ye who think of Bruce as an evangelical should read his comments in his famous book on Paul, where Bruce appears to deny the resurrection in his comments on 2 Corinthians 5, as if Paul had changed his mind after writing 1 Cor 15. Check out what Bruce says on "For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. 2 For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven: 3 if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life." To be sure Bruce is probably speaking of Paul's theology (instead of Bruce's faith), but Bruce called himself a Paulinist. I asked him if he believed the Bible was true, & Bruce replied, "If Paul said it." Yet one of the first things Bruce ever said to me as his student was that ~"Paul overargues himself." (EnochBethany (talk) 04:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC))

Is There a Modern Evangelical Understanding?[edit]

The article had an opinion: "founders of the modern evangelical understanding of the Bible." It is debatable that there is a modern evangelical understanding of the Bible recently founded. Thus I changed the statement to an objective (rather than opinionated) claim. The reason I gave had a typo -- I somehow accidentally stated "neo-evangelical," where I meant evangelical. Perhaps a problem with this article is the term "evangelical," capable of various definitions. Karl Barth, the neo-orthodox theologian! is also called "evangelical" on the internet. It is noted that the article calls Christianity Today an evangelical magazine. Would it not better be called "neo-evangelical"? (EnochBethany (talk) 14:08, 17 March 2014 (UTC))