Jonathan Edwards Collection: Edwards, Jonathan - The Scripture is the Word of God: The Scripture is the Word of God

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Jonathan Edwards Collection: Edwards, Jonathan - The Scripture is the Word of God: The Scripture is the Word of God

TOPIC: Edwards, Jonathan - The Scripture is the Word of God (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: The Scripture is the Word of God

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The Scripture is the Word of God


Jonathan Edwards


Dated November, 1753

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God." -- 2Ti_3:16

I. There must be some Word of God.

’Tis unreasonable to think that God would always keep silence and never say anything to mankind.

God has made mankind and given him Reason and Understanding.

Has made him the chief of all the creatures.

Given him reason that he might know God and serve Him.

Did not give the other creatures reason: He did make ’em to serve Him.

Other creatures are made for man.

Man was made for God: to serve God, or else he was made for nothing.

But we may be sure He did not make such a creature as man for nothing.

But how unreasonable is it to think that God would make us for Himself and never say anything to us.

God is the King that rules over all nations.

But how unreasonable is it to think that God would make us for Himself and never say anything to us.

God is the King that rules over all nations.

But how unreasonable is it to suppose that He should be a King and never say anything to His subjects.... be a King and never tell them what His will or what His commands are, that His subjects may obey Him.

Is as a Father: all His Family.

But will a father be always dumb and silent, etc.?

God has given mankind speech: so that they are able to speak and make known their minds to one another.

And therefore ’tis unreasonable to think that God never would speak to men and make known His mind to them.

We need to have God teach us as much as a child needs to be taught by his father.

And since God has given mankind understanding He doubtless will teach him and instruct him.

How can we know Him to worship God if we have no Word of God to tell us?

We should not know what way of worship would please Him... whether to pray to Him or to sing or to keep the Sabbath, or be baptized, or come to sacrament, or what else we shall do.

’Tis certain God has made us for another world.... Men but a little while here.

And how shall we know how God will do with us in another world?

How shall we know how He will punish such as do wickedly in another [world]?

What He will do for good men in another [world]?

Whether He will forgive us after we have sinned?

How shall we know what He expects we should do that we may be forgiven?

In what He will save....Whether He will forgive great sins.

What will men do when they come to die if there be no Word of God to tell ’em?

How should we ever know how the world was made?

How would we know how God made man at first?

We see men in this world are very wicked: the world is full of wickedness everywhere.

Certainly God did not make man so.

How shall we know how mankind came to be so wicked?

We see how the world is full of death: full of war and all manner of misery.

How shall we know how misery and death came, etc.?

And how shall we know what way of salvation there is?

Where shall we find one to be our Savior that will stand for us .... if the Word of God don’t tell us?

How shall we know what God will do with the world at last? how the world will come to an end?

We see that God is kind to mankind: takes care of ’em.

Therefore He can’t leave ’em in darkness and take no care to teach ’em.

We see what necessity mankind stand in , of a Word of God to teach ’em when we consider how it is in those countries where they have no Word of God.

They are all in darkness and blindness about God and Divine things.

They think there is a God.

Yet don’t know what He is.

Many think there is [are] a great many gods.

Worship ‘graven images’ and stones.

Worship the devil.

Don’t know how to serve God.

Know nothing how the world was made.... how man was made.

Know nothing what God will do with men in another world.

Don’t know how men shall obtain forgiveness of their sin.

Some think [by] offering their own children....

Thus we see there must certainly be some Word of God.

But were is any Word of God if it ben’t [be not] in the Bible?

The Heathen han’t [have not] no Word of God amongst them.

The Bible therefore is the Word of God, must be.

The Bible gives right notions concerning God.

Tells how God made the world.... made men.... how men became wicked.

What God will do with men in another world.

What way we may have the forgiveness of sin.

What is the way of salvation?

What God’s mind, and [what His ] will, is.

All the Rules and Commandments in the Bible are holy.

Here told what man’s duty is in many things.

All sin is forbidden.

How God will be served.

The great things God has done for His people through all ages.

What the Savior did and suffered: how He ascended into Heaven.

How the world will come to an end.

How God will judge the world.

Another thing that shows that the Scriptures are the Word of God is this: —

That when God told the wise and holy men to write the Bible He gave ’em power to work great MIRACLES, to convince men that it was His work.

Moses was a man that wrote all the first part of the Bible.

And God, to show that the Word he wrote was His word....

And so the other Prophets that wrote other parts.

Jesus Christ gave us the Scriptures of the New Testament. He spoke the Word of God.

He, to show that His Word was the Word of God, wrought great miracles.

He told His Disciples to write down what He said.... enabled them to do great miracles.

The Apostle Paul.

That there was such a man as Christ.... that great miracles [were wrought] even His enemies own: none deny it.

Another thing that shows the Scriptures to be the Word of God is that the Scripture FORETELLS a great many things.

The Old Testament that was given to the Jews a great while before Christ was born foretold Christ’s coming.

And a great many things concerning Him. All which are FULFILLED.

The Scriptures of the New Testament foretell a great many things.... all came to pass.

The Jews should become a distinct nation.... that the Pope shall arise.... many turn Papists.... just as it is.

The Scriptures we here read is the same Word that was given of old.

The same Word has been kept all along: it has not been changed.

Here it still is the same language in which it was written at first.

It must be the same that the Jews had, and that God’s People had in Christ’s and the Apostle’s time.

It could not be altered since, because it was scattered about a great many nations all over the world.... which have had it ever since.

Therefore the world could not be cheated.

The Jews, to whom the Old Testament was given: they remain a distinct People still, and have had the Old testament amongst ’em, written in their own language.

They are all over the world and can’t alter it.

The Scripture has all along been among people that have been against one another in their OPINIONS.... could not agree to alter it.... if one altered the other would find it out.

Another thing that shows that the Scripture is the Word of God is this: —

That the Scripture has been the means of enlightening so many nations.

Many nations formerly in great darkness: but now...

All the greatest nations of the world....

No people in the world can come to have right notions of God and of another would any other way than by his Word.

Another thing that shows [it, is]

... Great opposition: the Devil and wicked men make against it.

Another thing that shows [that it is] the Word of God is this: it has PREVAILED against such great opposition.

When it first came abroad in the world all the wicked set themselves against it... kings ... armies... [Christians] put to cruel deaths ... yet it PREVAILED... overcame all the greatest and strongest nations.

Then there is this thing: those [who] first preached were poor men.

So many nations never could have been made to believe it if men had made it.

Not only foolish men, little men, but great men and wise men.

Another thing: no other Word ever was used as the means of bringing men to know the true God but the Scriptures.

Where the Scriptures have come there has been light: all the rest of the world has remained in darkness. So ’tis now all over the world.

Another thing that shows [it] is this: no man could make such a Book as the Bible...

It must be made by wicked men or good men... Wicked men would not make it. Good men could not.

Another thing: no Book reaches the hearts of men so much. No word so AWAKENS the conscience. No word is so powerful to change the heart. Great many have been made ‘new men:’ very wicked men.

No word so powerful to the Bible. Better they are the more they love it... the more they are convinced that it is the Word of God. The more wicked men [are] the more they are AGAINST IT.


1. How thankful we should be to God...

2. Hence we may learn that all the Scripture says to us is certainly true.

God knows... God cannot lie... God is very angry for sin.

About another world. There is another world. Good men die.

About Hell. The Scripture says there is a furnace of fire.

God will not hear. No rest.

Many are ready to think that it may be there is none.

About Heaven. about the Day of Judgment: rise again.

About the sorrowful, miserable condition man is in.

About the way of salvation.

Christ is the Son of God. No other Savior. He will save all that come to him.

About the mystery of being ‘born again.’

Some are ready to say in their hearts there is no such thing.

What we must be in order to go to Heaven —

Therefore let all men that are not ‘born again’ consider these things.

All these are not seeking their salvation.

3. Hence ’tis worth the while to take a great deal of pains to learn to read and understand the Scriptures.

I would have you all of you think of this.

When there is such a book that you may have, how can you be contented without being able to read it?

How does it make you feel when you think there is a Book that is God’s own Word? That tells...

And you think with yourself that you are not able to read it.... See and think about it. All that you know is only what others tell you... see nothing with your own eyes.

Especially I would have you that are young people take notice of these things.

Parents should take care that their children learn...

This will be the way to be kept from the Devil... Devil can’t bear [the Bible.] Kept from Hell. To be happy for ever.

But if you let the Word of God alone, and never use, and you can’t expect the benefits of it...

You must not only hear and read, etc., but you must have it sunk down into your heart. Believe. Be affected. Love the Word of God. Written in your heart.

Must not only read and hear, but DO the things. Otherwise no good; but will be the worse for it.

And you should endeavor to understand. To that end to learn the English tongue.

If you had the Bible in your own language, I should not say so much.

Endeavor to promote your children’s learning to English.

You that can read should often read... meditate... pray that God would enlighten you.

Consider how much it is worth the while to go often to your Bible to hear the great God Himself speak to you.

There you may hear Christ speak.

How much better must we think this is than the word of men. Better than the word of the wisest man of the world.

How much wiser is God than man.

Here all is true; nothing false.

Here all is wise; nothing foolish.

This is the GREAT LIGHT God has given to the world. To make use of this is the way to walk in the Light... to have our souls filled with Light. If we neglect this we shall walk in darkness.

We should value this more than the light of the sun. We see the light of the sun does a great deal of good... gives light... pleasant to see... ’tis comfortable... it gives life.

So Scripture gives light... gives life.

Should hear the Word: come to meeting. ’Tis the way to have God’s mercy, to seek God in His Word. There we may expect to meet with God. God will respect His own Word for the good of men: what great good has been done.

God has often made it a means of great good. Conversion of many souls. Great joy of many. Many have been comforted in affliction... in death.

This will be the way to be wise with the most excellent wisdom.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's Jonathan Edwards Collection by:

Tony Capoccia

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