Doctrine (Part 0). Bibliology.
Do you know your Bible? About once every week I am violently confronted by my anemic knowledge of Scripture. Whether while congenially watching a cartoon vegetable misquote Jesus or in the midst of sharing Jesus with my neighbor, I find new and interesting ways to display my biblical ignorance. It is a haunting reality in that everything I believe about God must be taken from the pages of Scripture. If I do not know my Bible, I do not know my God. Theology launches from the Bible. Therefore a solid theological perspective takes root in a healthy bibliology (study of the Bible).
God has revealed himself through special revelation. Special revelation maintains a unique connection with particular people, at particular times, in particular ways (i.e. 2 Kings 17:13). No example of this type of revelation shines brighter than when God revealed himself through the person of his Son Jesus–the Incarnation of God (Heb 1:1-4). However, the Scriptures also have been specially revealed to humanity as God’s Word (2 Tim 3:16-17). It is a manifestation of God that we hold in the sixty-six books of the Bible.
This is not a book that has only spoken, but it is a book that speaks. It is not just a book which a reader read, but it is a book that reads its reader. The Bible is not simply about what has happened, but it is about what is happening. The Word of God is alive.
The Bible maintains a dual authorship with God as the overarching, inspirational author and scribes as human instruments (2 Peter 1:20-21). The words of Scripture are completely inspired, authoritative, sufficient, and inerrant, meant to spur believers on toward love, good deeds and the knowledge of God (Deut 29:29). Even though human hands were chosen to take pen to paper, it was the breath of God that inspired every iota and dot of the Bible (Rev 22:6). Scripture is not in need of addition, subtraction, augmentation, or editing because it is totally sufficient (Deut 12:32). Finally, the Word of God is wholly inerrant in all its claims (Pro 30:5). It is by this Word that we learn of God and ourselves.
The inerrancy of Scripture holds primarily that God is a truthful God (2 Sam 7:28). Translating from the resolute quality of God’s moral purity, the Word of God is also truthful (Num 23:19). The inerrancy of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek documents of Scripture are completely true and trustworthy in all that they claim (Psalm 12:6). The disciplines of catholicity (acceptance by the Church), apostolicity (integrity of the writers), and unity (symmetry of accepted content) ensured that these original revelations were virtuously kept.
Theology is an essential study for every believer. Perhaps not in the ivory tower of academia, but nevertheless every believer must pursue knowledge of God (Eph 3:19). Theological virtue will be maintained if and only if, the theologian (every Christian) remains faithful to the text of Scripture. So, do you know your Bible?