The Making of the New Testament

The Making of the New Testament

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The Making of the New Testament

The Making of the New Testament

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Excerpt

The consolidated 'catholic' church of the third century might seem, so far as its doctrine of Scripture was concerned, to have retraced its steps to a standpoint corresponding completely to that of the synagogue. Only, the paradox still held that the very writings canonized were those supremely adapted to evoke a spirit of resistance to the despotism of either priest or scribe. The Protestant Reformation was a revolt against the former, and it is noticeable how large a part was played by the New Testament doctrine of the 'Spirit' in this struggle of spiritual democracy against hierocratic tyranny. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians became Luther's Palladium.

But the post-Reformation dogmatists took fright at their own freedom. The prediction of the Romanists that repudiation of traditional authority in its cclesiastical embodiment would result in internecine schism and conflict seemed on the point of being realized. The theological system-makers, like their predecessors of the post-apostolic age, could . . .

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