Why Does Scripture have Epistemic Priority? Carl F. H. Henry Explains

“The scriptural revelation takes epistemological priority over general revelation, not because general revelation is obscure or because man as sinner cannot know it, but because Scripture as an inspired literary document republishes the content of general revelation objectively, over against sinful man’s reductive dilutions and misconstructions of it.”

-Carl F. H. Henry (God Revelation, and Authority, vol. 1, 1999, p. 223)

What is general revelation? It is the revelation discussed here:

Romans 1:18-23
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

This is in stark contrast to special revelation, which is the kind of revelation discussed here:

Hebrews 1:1-4
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Praise be to God for not leaving us with general revelation alone!


3 Responses to “Why Does Scripture have Epistemic Priority? Carl F. H. Henry Explains”

  1. natamllc Says:

    Oh My Lord is a Gooooooood Shepherd sending the Holy Ghost to pen such Wisdom from above! :)Act 1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, Act 1:2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. Act 1:3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Act 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; Act 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

  2. Paul Hoffer Says:

    It is interesting that in discussing how scriptural revelation is inspired by citing to Romans 1:18-23 where St. Paul is quoting from Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-9 and Hebrews 1:1-4 where St. Paul quotes from Wisdom of Solomon 7:26, particularly since Wisdom of Solomon is a book of the Bible you do not recognize as Scripture. Very interesting, indeed!God bless!

  3. Turretinfan Says:

    Mr. Hoffer,You are incorrect. I’ve corrected your factual errors in a new post (link). The linked post actually addresses both the errors in your comment above as well as at least some of the additional errors in your blog post.-TurretinFan

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