Compendium of Theoloy part 1 DR Baier
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                              John William Baier's
                        _Compendium of Positive Theology_
                           Edited by C. F. W. Walther
                                 Published by:
                 St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1877

         [Translator's Preface. These are the major loci or topics of       
         John William Baier's _Compendium of Positive Theology_ as ed-
         ited by Dr. C. F. W. Walther. These should be seen as the
         broad outline of Baier-Walther's dogmatics, but please don't
         assume that this is all. Each locus usually includes copious
         explanatory notes and citations from patristics and other
         Lutheran dogmaticians.]


                                  Chapter One

       On the nature and definition of theology

       1.  "Theology," in the meaning of the word, designates precisely
       "the word concerning God," that is, the word or knowledge about
       God.  However from the way this word is normally used it brings in
       the aptitude [habitus] of knowing God and divine things and
       teaching, confirming  and defending them, which agrees with the
       object of theology and in humans is consistent with the state of
       this life.

       2. True theology for men in this life, because of a double
       principle of knowing, is two-fold, Natural and revealed. The first
       one is supported by the light of nature, the second by supernatural
       manifestation or revelation. Both are about God, not only what he
       is in himself, but also as he is the goal and the highest good to

       3. Natural theology is a knowledge, and indeed a practice, in which
       there occurs a goal, a subject of the operation and a cause and a
       method, likewise a material object and a formal object.

       4. The goal (to which ultimately and in itself it tends, and all
       things which it teaches, which natural theology refers to) is the
       ultimate blessedness of humans, by which in God's name we are
       embraced; as an objective goal, both the consequence and its
       product, and as the formal goal, consisting in the most perfect
       operation of intellect and will.

       5. The subject of the operation is the human pilgrim or the human
       tending toward eternal blessedness.

       6. To the cause of blessedness is referred (1) the effecting cause,
       which is God, (2) the internal motivating cause, which is the
       goodness or free favor of God.

       7. The means of following blessedness in natural theology are the
       act of mind and will occupied about God, by which rightly God is
       recognized and worshipped. It is designated by the one name
       "religion." It is limited by the law of nature or morals, and
       partly it is occupied directly and immediately about God, partly
       directly man to himself, or to the nearest creature, however it is
       arranged consequently to God.

       8. Truly how far this cult of the divine is sufficient, which
       natural theology prescribes, as it follows in order to the
       blessedness after this life, the greatest and most careful
       diversity occurs and is observed,  just as the state of humans are
       diverse, the youthful state or purity, or the state of corruption
       or sin. In that former state humans were able, by the leading of
       natural theology and through the concession of their own power, to
       attain to a sufficient knowledge of God and the worship owed to
       God, standing before Him without defect or sin, and so far in this
       way to obtain eternal blessedness from God. In this later state
       however through the condition of the corrupt nature itself humans
       are inclined to turn from God and to those things which displease
       God; whoever has a hostile God toward themselves on account of sin,
       he does not find in natural theology a means, by which he is able
       to satisfy God gladly and to be led back in grace with Him; on the
       contrary, he is not able to offer those things, which otherwise
       relate to the worship of God, to perfectly know Him and to set it
       down in writing, nor his worship, which he knows by the power of
       the light of nature to be owed to God. From which it is clear that
       for the present state natural theology is not sufficient for the
       salvation of any human.

       9. Sometimes natural theology, as far as its principles, and also
       as far as the conclusions which hang from them, is altogether true
       and certain, and sometimes it is not opposed to the truths of
       revealed religion, and natural religion is allowed, just as people
       after the fall are caught in acts of sin, to be contaminated by
       prejudgement and various errors.

       10. The formal object of natural theology, as a practical science,
       is the goal, and it is the object or God, in so far as it is
       learned from the light of nature before demonstration, through the
       knowledge which is inborn, or a certain light of the in born
       intellect and instinct of nature, also a vulgar or common
       "acquiring" from an inspection of creatures.

       11. To the material object they apply the subject of the operation,
       and the end following the cause and the means, but on the contrary
       in his way also the end itself, with the formal object, also the
       object of the operation, in so far indeed as this is known
       precisely through demonstration.

       12. The parts of natural theology are three: First about the goal,
       second about the subject of the operation, and third about the
       principles and means.

       13. Natural theology can be described (because it is a practical
       science) from the principles of nature about God, prescribing,
       explaining, confirming and defending to human pilgrims the
       appropriate worship of God, and the things following from God and
       the cause by God of eternal blessedness.

       14. As we are instructed rightly about revealed theology, before
       all things it is necessary to be certain, to be given a certain
       supernatural divine revelation. However, this is not so much for
       us, who are born in the church, but also it exists for the

       15. However the aptitude of revealed theology is knowledge, if not
       thus said first or rigorously, at least in broader significance, and
       indeed is a practical knowledge.

       16. The goal of revealed theology is two-fold: Internal, which
       consists in the actions of knowing the object of theology, not in
       any way, but in so far as they are accurately explained, confirmed
       and defended, for the cause of faith and human salvation: and
       external, which is itself faith and human salvation, and which are
       joined with faith.

       17. The external goal is usually distinguished as to the ultimate
       goal and the intermediate goal. Further, both are distinguished in
       object and form. The object is God, infinitely perfect and
       supremely good. The formal is a certain operation about God, by
       which we possess and have the benefit of it as by the highest good.
       And the objective goal of both the ultimate and intermediate is
       one.  Truly the formal goal is different, one thing if talking
       about the ultimate goal, another if talking about the intermediate.

       18. Certainly the ultimate formal goal consists in the intuitive
       and clear knowledge of God, and likewise by the intuitive love of
       God by the most intense knowledge.

       19. The intermediate formal goal is faith in Christ, as the cause
       of the accomplishing grace from God. However then to the same place
       pertains the love of God, as to us being reconciled; on the
       contrary there is also an action to another, by which divine
       goodness we are given back a participation: and in this way a total
       holiness of life.

       20. The subject of the operation is man the sinner, in so far as he
       is being led to eternal life.

       21. The efficient cause of the ultimate formal end is the triune

       22. The internal impulsive cause is the goodness of God; and the
       external impulsive cause is the earned merit of Christ.

       23. But also faith in Christ is rightly reckoned as a saving cause.

       24. And because faith is not attributed to men unless it is applied
       by God, who teaches that faith through word and sacraments, as
       through instruments he produces and confirms such faith; therefore
       also the word and sacraments are also rightly numbered among the
       causes of salvation.

       25. The object of revealed theology is two-fold: Material and
       formal.  The material object is the content [lit. res] of
       revelation, which is known in revealed theology. And this applies
       not so much to the subject of the operation and the cause and means
       of the following goal, but also the goal itself, in so far as it is
       known by the aptitude of theology. The formal object, or principle
       and ground of knowing, from where also the knowledge of things
       come, things which are put forward in revealed theology, is divine

       26. The material object is distinguished in what is believed and in
       what is done. The believing things are said to be that of which
       thus faith exists, so that formally they are not direct operations
       by previous practical acts: however they are believed from this, by
       those who have arrived at salvation; e.g. God loving the human
       race, Christ being the son of God and son of man, etc. The name of
       the things being done is understood themselves as describing the
       operations of theology by practical actions, also as it happened
       the aptitude of transferring to an operation, or acquiring through
       an operation, if not following the cause of salvation, however, not
       healthily we forget these actions; e.g., the actual and habitual
       apprehension of the merits of Christ, which we call faith, the
       actual and habitual love, by which we love God, Christ, and our
       neighbor, the hope of eternal life, etc.

       27. What is believed is otherwise called the articles of faith,
       which in a wider understanding are divided (1) in articles pure and
       mixed, (2) and in articles of faith fundamental and non-fundamental.

       28. The articles of faith are called pure, which are especially
       understood from divine revelations: such is the article about the
       holy Trinity, about the incarnation of the Son of God, and others.
       Mixed articles are said to be those, which not alone from
       revelation, but are also consistent with the truth according to the
       light of nature: e.g., the article about the existence of God, and
       about the divine attributes.

       29. Articles of faith are fundamental, which as they cause the
       aptitude towards the foundations of faith and salvation, so that
       for salvation they are not possible to ignore or at least to deny.
       However the foundation of faith is said to be with that thing, by
       which the faith and salvation of people are supported, and it is
       Christ, in so far as he is the cause of our salvation: also
       doctrine, by which that thing, on which faith is leaning, is held
       together; and it is a complex of many propositions of divine
       revelations, which cause a certain aptitude towards salvation. That
       foundation is real or substantial, and this foundation is called
       dogmatic by authors.

       30. The fundamental articles of faith are distinguished as primary
       and secondary.

       31. The primary articles of faith are commonly said to be those
       which for salvation, faith and health are not able to be denied,
       but also are not able to be ignored.

       32. The primary articles are able to be distinguished in another
       way, that the thing signified by them is about the inward plan of
       the real foundation: e.g., the article about Christ the God-man,
       also the article about Christ's merits and satisfactions for our
       sins; and in another way that the thing signified by them, is not
       permitted to be about the internal plan of a real foundation,
       however it is connected most tightly with it, thus that, unless it
       is clearly understood, the other appropriate things of those
       foundations have not been leading toward the point of generating
       and sustaining saving faith: e.g., the article about God and from
       there the point about Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the article
       about the gracious will of God, which wishes all humans to be
       saved, the article about sin, by which we are defiled, and by God
       are delivered to hatred and are worthy of punishment, the article
       about justification or the remission of sins obtained through
       Christ, and then faith, through which the remission of sins is
       obtained, about the blessed life, which they have tried to gain,
       who by the gracious God have departed from this life.

       33. The secondary fundamental articles are usually described as
       parts of Christian doctrine, which are permitted to be ignored by
       the sound foundation of salvation: however they are not possible to
       be denied by that sound foundation. Such are the articles about the
       characteristic properties of the divine persons, about the clearly
       observed union of persons, and the communication of attributes in
       Christ, about original sin, about the decree of the final election
       in view of faith, about justification through faith alone, apart
       from the merit of works, etc., which articles even if the knowledge
       is not easy for the faith of simple ones, however a denial of them
       on the part of a denier is not able to stand with faith and
       salvation, unless because of a vast simplicity on their part and an
       ignorance of the consequences of the denial, through which the
       denial is turned away from the foundation of faith itself through
       the consequences, and the spirit intercedes from error, which is
       turned directly away from the foundation of faith, shrinking back
       and prepared to admit a better interpretation.

       34. The non-fundamental articles are said to be those which for the
       saving foundation of faith people are not only able to ignore, but
       also to deny, or in each part to dispute. E.g., about the sin and
       perpetual rejection of certain angels, about the immorality of the
       first people before the Fall, about the AntiChrist, about the
       origin of spirits through creation or transference (lit.,
       traducem), etc.

       35. The object of formal theology is divine revelation, through
       which it performs its office, which affects, influences and stirs
       the human will, so that it orders the assent of the intellect.

       36. And from there it is established, that theology is an aptitude
       supernatural in its substance, by our actions indeed, but through
       men of grace and acquired through the operation of the Holy Spirit.

       37. However theology is distinguished from faith, so that including
       from it, because it is included. For theology beyond faith also
       implies the faculty of explaining and confirming those things which
       are revealed.

       38. Theology is able to be defined, as a practical knowledge,
       teaching, confirming and defending everything from divine
       revelation, doing this to human sinners when they are known to
       faith in Christ, then when these things are made necessary to
       sanctity of life, following from God and in God they are the cause
       of eternal blessedness.

       39. The parts of revealed theology are arranged according to
       analytic order, so that first is drawn out, what is about the goal,
       then what is about the subject of the operation, and then what
       applies to the causes and means.

       This text was translated by Rev. Theodore Mayes and is copyrighted        
       material, (c)1996, but is free for non-commercial use or distribu-
       tion, and especially for use on Project Wittenberg. Please direct
       any comments or suggestions to: Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther
       Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.


                                  Chapter Two

       On the principle of revealed theology, or on sacred Scripture.

       1. The principle of learning, or the formal object of revealed
       theology, is divine revelation, and indeed, in the church's state
       today, it is the mediated revelation, of which Holy Scripture is a
       mark available to the senses.

       2. However by the words 'Holy Scripture' is understood that complex
       or volume of books, which not only treat sacred things and direct
       people to faith and sanctity of life, but also truly are books
       recorded by a peculiar operation of the Holy Spirit, books which we
       commonly call the Bible.

       3. The principal efficient cause of Holy Scripture is the Triune
       God; however the Holy Spirit may also be called the efficient cause.

       4. The causal principal of the efficient cause is itself
       "theopnestia," or divine inspiration; that is, such an action by
       which God not only begins the writing of all these things which
       conform to the real objects, but also conceives the words
       themselves and everything by which those things are expressed, and
       he supernaturally communicated them to the intellect of the writers
       and excited their will to the act of writing.

       5. The internal impulsive cause for the recording of sacred
       Scripture from the divine will is the goodness of God, the external
       impulsive cause is the need for the salvation of humans.

       6. The lesser efficient cause to the principle of sacred Scripture
       were holy men, prophets and apostles.

       7. The material, from which comes holy Scripture are words, phrases
       and sentences, in the Old Testament according to Hebrew, in the New
       Testament according to Greek, recorded in the style itself or
       choice and structure of words from the different talents,
       practices, dispositions and characters which the various authors
       were accustomed to using.

       8. The form or formal reason of sacred Scripture are the concepts
       themselves of the things and the words (the signs of which are the
       written word), in so far as by the minds of the writers they were
       divinely inspired.

       9. The object of Scripture, generally speaking, is all the sacred
       things which holy Scripture reminds us of, especially and primarily
       those things which are arranged through it towards human salvation,
       and either necessary for believing doctrine, or appropriate for
       life by aiding in saving men.

       10. The goal to which Holy Scriptures are directed is in general
       indeed all men who are on this side of the state of the church and
       the secular dividing line, as can be seen that Scriptures proclaim
       not only Christ's teaching but also his works; especially to those
       who are or have been the teachers of the church.

       11. The goal of which Holy Scriptures teach, and it is the ultimate
       goal, is eternal salvation. The intermediate goal, in respect to
       whatever men you speak of, is faith in Christ. In respect of the
       servants of the church uniquely, the goal of Scripture is the
       ministerial operations themselves, depending on divine revelation.

       12. Among the affects of Holy Scripture his authority or revealed
       dignity occupies first place, moving the human intellect to assent
       to his words and providing for the will to submit to his commands.

       13. And this authority of Scripture, in itself and absolutely, or
       as far as it can be seen, comes from the author of Scripture, from
       God, and especially depends and results from his high and infinite
       truth and power.

       14. However for us, or so that we will agree, Scripture is worthy
       of being shown faith and submission, and it is proper to know not
       only the perfections of God, but truly also the dependency of
       Scripture on God, or inspiration [lit., theopneustian].

       15. The authority of Scripture, in so far as it is seen as allowing
       assent to his words, is able to be considered doubly: partly
       precisely in order of causing the assent of believers, through
       which Scripture has its authority, that is the principle of knowing
       and the formal object of faith and revealed theology: partly in
       order for the distinguishing, by speaking the truth, other writings
       and teachings from that inspired Scripture, which leads to matters
       of faith and morals; by which reason Scripture has the authority,
       that is it canonical, or that it is the norm and rule for
       distinguishing true from false.

       16. For the authority of Scripture, in order for the causing of the
       assent of faith to be seen, a knowledge of two complex principles
       is required.  One is: Whatever Scriptures are recorded by
       inspiration of God, that is certainly and infallibly true. The
       other: Holy Scripture is recorded by God's inspiration. The truth
       about the first principle is completely without doubt. About the
       second principle in truth it is discerned a little more fully: in
       so far as either it is about the knowledge of human faith, by which
       the divine origin of Holy Scripture becomes known, or it is a word
       of knowledge about the knowledge of divine faith.

       17. The arguments which recognize the divine origin of Scripture by
       human faith, or declare them worthy of belief - some of them are
       internal, or chosen from the internal nature of Scripture and also
       by its properties; other are external, or chosen from something
       else outside of Scripture.

       18. Some internal arguments are in part material or by style,
       others are in part formal or by the sense of inspiration, and they
       occur of the signified things.

       19. To the class of material internal arguments pertains the
       simplicity of style, joined with a fitting seriousness of the only
       God, and also because often clearly under the name of God himself
       things are put forward to be believed and done.

       20. To the class of formal internal arguments pertains those which
       are derived from the properties of some of Scripture, if those
       parts are destined for humans for the preparing for divine
       salvation, or they are of such a kind that may be judged by natural
       reason itself as if by a judge: truth - assertions without added
       error, holiness - perfect, shutting out all things which are
       dishonest or disgraceful, the sufficiency of them - those things to
       be believed or done for the striving toward salvation are put
       forward by Scripture.

       21. The truth of Scripture is shown partly through induction of all
       dogmas, which are taught in it for the cause of salvation, and
       either they are able to be known from the light of nature itself,
       or they exceed the light of nature, in which case none of them are
       able to be proved false: partly  from the consensus of the books of
       the Old and New Testaments and of all the parts among themselves;
       partly by the collected prophesyings touching on future things, such
       as first of all, those things which depend precisely on God and the
       free will of humans, when the events or the fulfillment of them
       accurately match.

       22. The holiness of Scripture is established through induction of
       all the parts of true religion, by which a human life is ordered by
       his law directly to God, then to himself, then to other humans
       according to the eternal will of God, as otherwise each is taught
       perfectly in Holy Scripture.

       23.  The sufficiency of Holy Scripture, having remained in the
       first state, at least is necessarily admitted, unless it is possible
       to point out something necessary to be believed or done for human
       salvation that it not contained in it. Meanwhile truly salvation is
       able to be known from Scripture; the plan of reconciling human
       sinners with God, which no other religion or scripture teaches,
       Holy Scriptures points out so clearly and plainly.

       24. Among the external arguments, by which Scriptures are shown to
       be of divine origin, first happens its antiquity, or that Scripture
       by reason of the doctrine of faith and morals partly when it begins
       with the origin of the world, partly a little after this when the
       first humans are noted, by reason of these written words they truly
       come before the old books of all the nations.

       25. A second argument is able to be chosen from those men, who
       recorded Holy Scripture, both the knowledge of the things handed
       down, then sincerely the study of the truth, without any study of
       parts or affects; from that those who are worthy by faith are
       easily recognized.

       26. A third derived argument is added by the miracles, by which the
       holy writers putting forth both his mission and the doctrines from
       him show the divine origin.

       27. It is followed fourth by the spread of the church throughout
       the whole world now indeed from the time of the apostles and
       harmonious and wholly agreeing are the testimonies about the divine
       origin of Scripture.

       28. Especially fifth is noted the innumerable martyrs of both sexes
       and various ages and peoples, also the innocence and the
       praiseworthy sanctity of the most conspicuous martyrs, who put
       forth in the most serious tortures by their blood and death the
       seal and testimony about the doctrine of that truth and divine
       origin, showing a constancy and strength more than human.

       29. Sixth that Christian doctrine approaches so happy and sudden a
       propagation throughout the whole world, and seventh, the admirable
       preservation of Christian doctrine among so many persecutions.

       30. Nor is the eighth testimony to be neglected - the testimony of
       the rest of the population of the world, that, even though alien
       from those sacred things, however not knowing the things done by
       the people of God and their doctrine they bring them forward as a

       31. Finally also the ninth testimony deserves to be enumerated, the
       manifest and wonderful example of divine vengeance against the
       persecutors and violators of this doctrine.

       32. The doctrine itself of Scripture brought forth, for all time,
       divine faith, by which the divine origin of Holy Scriptures in part
       formally (whether of sense or of doctrine) is recognized, in so far
       as the propositions are read with attention or taught by voice,
       arranged and by hearing are received, through itself immediately,
       but also by divine strength, which it has always and indissolubly
       joined to itself, and more, by a running together and by a
       thrusting forth of this virtue by God, indeed it illumines the
       human mind, or, by the lively holy thought and by a fit object, it
       inclines the mind in assent to the propositions ; truly it draws to
       itself the will of the reader and moves it, as the assent of the
       intellect, commanding to itself (the doctrines comprehended in
       Scripture) as the doctrines are provided by God; and thus it
       determines the intellect itself to the assenting under the plan of
       divine redemption.

       33. And that argument is indeed one, by which divine faith about
       the divine origin of the doctrines comprehended in Scripture is
       implanted in each human; the use of arguments in producing faith is
       allowed [if] perhaps it doesn't interfere. But however it is
       revealed, in order to convert others about the common law setting
       forth those arguments, on the contrary also in the case of
       temptations by faith itself these arguments are useful to apply to
       removing certain difficulties, on the contrary, for the reason of
       their state, to be in a certain way necessary.

       34. The authority of Holy Scripture is canonical, or normative, as
       in part not only the sense, but also the words of those same
       divinely inspired Scriptures, or the original text, in order
       equally to the versions, recorded by human studies, and it has both
       the writings and the investigated doctrine, as in itself and
       absolutely proved, and the authority is founded in the inspiration
       of the God of truth, and Scriptures, by reason of the words of the
       original text, has a dependency on God; thus also in order to us,
       or that by divine faith we might believe, the books of Scripture
       under which, by which are shown to us, by the properties, that is
       by the choice of words in a certain language, by the order and
       context, to be divinely inspired, and thus to have that normative
       force, or canonical dignity, and since the testimony of the church
       alone does not suffice, truly also it is proper to engage this
       internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, or this operation of the
       Holy Spirit, which is effective through the same Scriptures.

       35. However the Holy Spirit witnesses about certain attributes of
       the books of Scripture, that as they are acknowledged to be
       inspired, not having been excluded, by the received testimony of
       the church, not by any period, but by the primitive church, thus
       indeed, that the discurus of faith returns almost to this place:
       By which attributes  Holy Scripture was recorded first, by those
       attributes from God himself who inspired the writing, and thus they
       were recorded from divine inspiration. Also the Holy Scriptures of
       the Old Testament in that Hebrew, which was received in use up to
       this time, and the Scriptures of the New Testament by that Greek,
       which by our use saves, were first written idiomatically. Therefore
       the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament in that Hebrew, which was
       received in use up to this time, and the Scriptures of the New
       Testament by that Greek, which by our use saves, idiomatically
       inspired from God himself into writing, and thus also it is written
       from divine inspiration. The major proposition, of which the
       doctrines themselves comprehended in Scripture are a part,
       certainly are of divine faith, and through the power of the Holy
       Spirit, are joined intimately with all of sacred doctrine, moves to
       the assent of divine faith. The minor proposition, which reflects
       on some single fact, and that fact perceived by the senses, though
       distinct from the doctrine itself of Holy Scripture, depends from
       the proof of the witnesses self-typed [lit., autoptown] and self-
       heard [lit., autekoon], as another fact in the proofs and as it's
       accustomed to be done with perceptible things. In conclusion
       meanwhile the acceptance of the divine origin of Scripture does not
       cease to be on account of faith, just as not only from the two
       revealed premises, but also truly it follows clearly from one
       revealed and the other metaphysically or morally revealed in
       conclusion and believed by divine faith.

       36. And thus the canonical books of the Old Testament, which the
       ancient Jewish church accepted and are handed down to the Christian
       church, are the following: the five books of Moses, the book of
       Joshua, Judges, Ruth, two of Samuel, two of Kings, two of
       Chronicles, one of Ezra, one of Nehemiah (or Second Ezra), the book
       of Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, the
       four books of the major prophets, which are: Isaiah, Jeremiah (with
       which also was Lamentations), Ezekiel, Daniel, the book of the
       twelve minor prophets, which are: Hosea, Joel, Amos Obadiah, Jonah,
       Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi:
       which all remain uncorrupted in the church.

       37. However besides these there are sometimes provided in the
       biblical codex of the Old Testament these books: Judith, Wisdom,
       Tobit, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, two (or three) books of the
       Maccabees, (third and fourth Ezra), fragments of Esther, additions
       to Daniel about Susanna, about Bel and the Babylonian dragon, the
       speech of Azariah, of the three young men and Manasseh, which
       neither by the old Israelite church, nor by the Christian church
       which closely followed was it held to be inspired, or that they had
       canonical authority; but so that they might be discerned from those
       which are canonical, rightly they are called apocryphal.

       38. The canonical books of the New Testament are all those, which
       are held in the biblical codex; truly not only those, about whose
       inspiration there was never any doubt, which are: the  four Gospels,
       Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the
       letters of Paul, one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to
       the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the
       Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus,
       one to Philemon, first Peter and first John: truly also the rest of
       the writings, about which authors, thus also by divine origin
       though for some formerly there was doubt, however today no
       controversy remains: namely the Epistle to the Hebrews, second
       Peter, second and third John, the Epistle of James, the Epistle of
       Jude and the Revelation of John: all of which also remain

       39. To the affects of Holy Scripture pertains further its second
       effect, that it has a force or active power, supernatural and truly
       divine, for the producing of supernatural effects, namely the
       converting, regenerating and renovating of the minds of people,
       from the divine commands themselves, as far as can be seen, also
       intimately and indissoluably united by the first act of inspiration
       beyond the use made of it; and which, approaching it by reading,
       hearing, or meditating, by the second act it stretches itself out,
       thus that the effect of that supernatural grace, as from God, as
       the principle cause, and thus from Scripture itself, as by an
       efficient cause of instrumentality, at the same time and
       successively, those effects are produced effectively by one
       undivided power.

       40. Further third in the affects of Holy Scriptures is its
       perfection, or sufficiency, through which it is able to instruct us
       perfectly and completely about all things which are necessary for
       the acquiring, believing and doing of human salvation.

       41. Finally fourth among the affects of Scripture perspicuity has a
       place, or that thing, by which those things that are necessary for
       the believing and doing of people tending towards salvation, by the
       words and phrases thus clear and by the received use of speech, are
       put forward in Scripture so that actually being able and directing
       attention to the words by a moderate understanding, the true sense
       of the words, as far as they are necessary by decree, it is
       possible to reach out for and to embrace the main points of
       doctrine simply by apprehension of the mind; as the intellect of
       humans, by apprehending the words and the signified things being
       offered, is led supernaturally through Scripture itself and its
       light, or through the divine strength joined to it, to the assent
       of faith.

       42. Since however Scripture is able to be considered by men, even
       if they are unskilled in the holy languages, Hebrew and Greek, and
       to lead them to the doctrine of faith and a knowledge of morals,
       therefore it is useful for various versions of Scripture to be
       visible, and to urge humans to read them.

       43. But so that the true sense of the words of Scripture, chiefly
       the literal sense, which in a particular place is nothing if not
       one, then truly also the mystical sense, if it is to be found
       anywhere, might be rightly understood, and not only where by the
       clear passages an opinion is firmly held against the distortions of
       the heterodox, but also in the more difficult places of spiritual
       knowledge to assist in the explaining and understanding where
       possible, the laws of good interpretation ought to be observed.

       44. The laws of interpreting Scripture, as far as the literal sense
       is concerned, generally comes back to this: I. that the habit and
       construction of the words and phrases according to the usage of the
       holy languages are to be diligently considered; II. that from the
       preceding verses and the following verses, from the occasion, the
       intended audience, the material and other causes, the intention of
       the words is to be investigated; about which rules, there also
       there are other more special rules, which are contained under these
       two, and which are covered more broadly in the school of exegetical

       45. Truly first of all, so that the mystery of faith, taught in
       Scripture, is rightly known, it is observed, that in the properties
       and uses of word a meaning persists, until the circumstances of the
       text are not clear, or the condition of the subject matter, or
       perhaps another urgent reason compels us to descend to an improper

       46.  Finally from Holy Scripture, by clear principles, conclusions
       of theology, which are also created by divine faith, are rightly
       deduced, thus in such arguments, also the conclusion of them is
       pure theology, not only the formal principle of reason without
       doubt usefully being applied, but also the material principle of
       reason rightly being used; not only that, but when they are
       particular or singular, they are attached to the universal
       theological principal, truly by the universal principle of reason
       they are not applied to another, other than those which are of
       absolute necessity, which bring in a clearly opposite

       47. In the normed doctrine of faith and morals according to
       Scripture there is no work to be given as private property as by a
       judge properly and strictly speaking, which bears the opinion for
       authority and is visible. Nevertheless, so that truth and falseness
       might be distinguished rightly, partly it is necessary, that a work
       is put forward and a judging comes, carefully weighing and forming
       accurately and sincerely the state of the question, partly also the
       known opinion that this work compares with Scripture, that either
       by the clear and eloquent words of Scripture, or through the
       necessary deductions, out of the evident and clear words of
       Scripture according to the rules of good interpretation by the
       intellect, also by the observed laws of good deductions, these
       things are deduced, being established to hold that which is in
       truth from the Scriptures, or not to hold the Scriptural truth, or
       to hold the opposite. And this judgment indeed when it agrees with
       doctors and ministers of the church, when alone, then gathered in a
       council, thus also by other Christians it is able to exercised in
       their own way.

       48. Holy Scripture is able to be defined, that it is Scripture,
       inspired by God, recorded idiomatically through the prophets and
       the apostles, partly by Hebrew, partly by Greeks, to human sinners
       about all things, which are necessary for believing and doing,
       equipping, so that they obtain faith in Christ, are reconciled to
       God, live a sanctified life, and at length obtain  eternal life by
       the gift of God.

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Young Women,Idolatry and The Powerful Gospel Elyse