Think of something very
special – how do you treat
Think of something holy –
how do you treat it?
Which of these books are special/ holy?
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Story of Philosophy by Bryan Magee
Noddy and Treasure Trail by Enid Blyton
The Third Twin by Ken Follet
The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
• Is ‘The Third Twin’ special too you? Why is it special?
• Is the ‘Bible’ holy to everyone?
• What is the difference between holy and special?
• What does it mean to be holy? Who decides?
• How does something become holy?
An important Skill time!
• Think of something you did over the Christmas
holidays (that you can share with the rest of the
• These are the 6 essential points you must always
mention in an exam.
• Try apply these pointers to Scripture e.g. What is
the Scripture, What is the religion?
What, When, Where, Who, How, Why
How was it revealed?
Who was it revealed to?
How does it describe God/Gods?
Why was it created?
How important is scripture?
Why do people read it?
What are the key teachings?
When was it revealed?
How long did it take to write down?
When was it written down?
Where did this all take place?
How many scriptures are there?
What is the hierarchical structure of Scriptures(if there is one?)
Revelation: (Latin ‘revelare’- ‘to unveil’) is when God is
revealed to the world.
• God directly revealing truths about his nature to his people. E.g
• They are statements of facts.
• Without error or need of interpretation.
• Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theolgica) Propositional revelations are
truths revealed by God but they are not verified using human
‘Non propositional revelation’
•God does not reveal truths to people
•God is recognised by believers through
exploring our history and human experience. E.g
artwork, nature, William Paley's eye
Believers in propositional revelation i.e. Thomas
Aquinas do not reject the use of reason.
Instead God's revelations are not provable by
human reason but God can be revealed through
using reason in the world.
A good example of this are the arguments for the
existence of God – cosmological, teleological.
A) Vision B) Miraculous healing C) Recovering from having cancer
D) Having a baby E) Feeling God is with you F) Admiring beauty of nature
G) Having a near death experience H) Winning the lottery I) Passing your examinations
J) understanding mathematics K) Becoming fluent in a foreign language
L) Reading the Bible M) Having an out of this world experience N) Going to church
write these into propositional (divine closure – God is revealing himself) and non
propositional (God’s nature is revealed) groups.
What happens if you fail your exams, is this also a sign from God?
What about natural disasters, is God also revealing himself?
• Unless a passage
specifically states it is
passages are read as
• E.g. The Creation stories
• Literalists cannot
disregard any passage of
•Everyone from within
a denomination which
takes this approach is
expected to take
and follow it in their
•Scripture is the direct
word of God
•Clearly, this is a
• Most Protestant
Christians are not so
• Believe God
• Has the authority as
the message is
directly from God
•There may be errors in
scripture because writers
were human & influenced
by society in which they
•This allows for changes
•It allows for individual
rather than community
interpretation of passages
approach as it is the
messages, not the actual
words that are focused on
• The scripture records the
experiences of people
seriously seeking to find God
• Words are those of writers
and influenced by their lives
and society in which they lived
• Not directly inspired by God
• Bible therefore doesn’t have
same position of authority
•Free to reject
passages that no
longer seem relevant
•Duty of individual
Christians to decide
which sections are
appropriate to their
•Inconsistencies not a problem
•Steers away from the propositional/ non-propositional
•Because not how scripture came that matters, but how it is
used in people’s lives.
Problems: Verbal Divine Inspiration –
every word from God
1. Bible’s teachings may appear harsh to modern readers
2. Teachings go against modern laws.
3. Can the Bible be disobeyed? Disobeying any instruction in the
Bible would be a rejection of God’s revealed commands.
4. The meaning of the Genesis story is much disputed amongst
5. Contradictions within the text? If it is divinely inspired by God
then this leaves no room for error.
6. What is the exact nature of the revelations/ instructions isn't
this open to interpretation?
7. Some of the passages found within the Bible conflict with many
Christians’ views today. E.g. St. Paul’s statements about
• Look at Brick testament
• Write three examples and explain the ethical
issues that would arise in modern society.
• What would the world be like if all these laws
• How do you think a Christian would deal with
the dilemma of accepting/ not accepting these
• Where is the line drawn between laws to
accept and laws not to accept? What are these
decisions based on (society laws?)
Criticisms of Propositional Revelation.
Are there any problems in believing that God
directly reveals himself through propositional
Are there any strengths?
Criticisms of Non–Propositional Revelation.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of non
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