Sep 17, 2009

Recommended Reading: Doctrine of Scripture

4 Min Read

Our understanding of the nature and authority of Scripture is key to our theology. What we think of the Bible will have ramifications on what we think of everything else. What then are some helpful books for those seeking to understand the issues involved? While by no means exhaustive, here are some helpful texts for those interested in studying the issues in more detail.

1. Disputations on Holy Scripture (1588) by William Whitaker

The story is told that Cardinal Bellarmine so respected the learning of Whitaker that he had a portrait of the man in his study. Whether or not this is true, this book is an astounding testament to his ability as a theologian. Whitaker's work is one of the earliest comprehensive defenses of the Protestant doctrine of Scripture.

2. The Divine Inspiration Of Scripture (1847) by Louis Gaussen

This classic by the Swiss pastor Louis Gaussen was first recommended to me by Dr. Roger Nicole. It is an outstanding study of the doctrine of inspiration.

3. The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible by B.B. Warfield

This collection of Warfield's most important writings on this subject dating from 1892-1915 is a Reformed classic. It is not always easy reading, but it is well worth the effort.

4. Thy Word Is Truth (1957) by E.J. Young

E.J. Young was professor of Old Testament at Westminster Seminary, and a staunch defender of inerrancy.

Sola Scriptura

1. Sola Scriptura, revised ed. (2009) edited by Don Kistler

An impressive collection of articles on the subject of sola scriptura.

2. Holy Scripture, 3 vols. (2001) David T. King and William Webster

This is a very helpful (massive) 3 volume work on the doctrine of Scripture. It is especially helpful in the area of church history.

3. The Shape of Sola Scriptura (2001) by Keith Mathison

My own meager attempt to contribute to the discussion.


The books listed below contain academic articles that will be helpful to those doing more in-depth study in systematic theology.

1. Inerrancy (1980) edited by Norman Geisler

2. Scripture and Truth (1983) edited by D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge

3. Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon (1986) edited by D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge

4. A Pathway into the Holy Scripture (1994) edited by Philip E. Satterthwaite and David F. Wright

Four Recent Books

1. Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible’s Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity (2004) by James White

A good introduction to the doctrine of Scripture. Dr. White’s experience debating opponents of the Protestant doctrine enables him to present some interesting illustrative discussions throughout the book.

2. Scripture Alone (2005) by R.C. Sproul

This work is a collection of Dr. Sproul’s most important articles on the subject of Scripture. It also contains his complete commentary on the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

3. The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority (2008) by G.K. Beale

In this work, Beale responds to the claims of Peter Enns.

4. Words of Life (2009) by Timothy Ward

This is a helpful new work dealing with the doctrine of Scripture broadly speaking. Ward uses a lot of the insights of speech-act theory and appears to believe that this entails a translation philosophy more akin to dynamic equivalence. I don’t think this is necessarily so. That said, his unembarrassed defense of inerrancy is a breath of fresh air among contemporary books dealing with Scripture. It also doesn’t hurt that he cites my book positively.

This article is part of the Recommended Reading collection.