Apostolic fathers viewed scripture as complete and final and that the age of inspiration was ended.

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Introduction:

  1. Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholic and Orthodox leaders all believe inspiration still happens today. The Jehovah's Witnesses have their inspired Watchtower Magazine, the Seventh-day Adventists make bold claims that Ellen G. White was inspired, and we tire of the outrageous and reprehensible claims that all the charismatics and Pentecostals make about being directly guided by the Holy Spirit. Roman Catholic and Orthodox leaders view themselves as directly inspired by God. Too bad no one told them the age of inspiration ended with the apostolic age about 100 AD.
  2. The Bible clearly teaches that direct divine inspiration ceased with the completion of the revelation that God intended for man in the New Testament.
  3. The Montantist heresy where men were condemned as heretics for claiming they could speak in tongues and were inspired by God, sound exactly like modern Pentecostals and Charismatics.

Discussion:

  1. "And so the Montanists came to be criticized also for expanding the realm of revelation beyond the apostolic age. The Pseudo -Tertullian charges, "They say that the Paraclete said more in Montanus than Christ revealed in the Gospel, and they say he has said not only more, but things that are better and greater" (Adv. omn. haer. 7). The opponents of Montanism, therefore, expressed the conviction that the period of revelation had ended." (Lee Martin McDonald, James A. Sanders, Editors: The Canon Debate; Everett Ferguson, Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon, p 316, 2002)
  2. "Moreover, Origen believed the writing of scripture had ceased, and regarded its contents as "complete.' [fn #105] Presumably Eusebius would have had copied his twenty-six book New Testament in addition to the Septuagint. 106 That may help account for the numerous Greek lists of the scriptures that correspond to our New Testament but lack Revelation." [Footnote # 105 Hom. Jes. Nav. 7.1 and Comm. Matt. 10.12. Cf. the end of his Prologue to the Comm. Cant., where Prov. 22:28, "Do not remove the ancient landmark that your ancestors set up," is quoted in support of not giving a place to apocryphal writings.] (Lee Martin McDonald, James A. Sanders, Editors: The Canon Debate; Everett Ferguson, Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon, p 319, 2002)

By Steve Rudd 

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