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The Holy Scriptures are God's Own and Inerrant Word

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The following is an excerpt of Francis Pieper’s address to the students of Concordia Seminary at the opening of the 1930-1931 school year. It is worthwhile endeavor to read the entire address but here is an outstanding excerpt. May we confess the same in our day.

Students of Concordia! You will in our St. Louis Concordia be instructed in the theology that consists in a humble spirit and in the [reverent] fear of the Word of God. For the introduction of the new school year, I shall briefly answer the question:

What does the fear of the Word of God include?

First, the knowledge that the Holy Scriptures are God’s own and inerrant Word. And this is not a “theological deduction.” It is a direct teaching of the Holy Scriptures. When the Savior said in John 10:35 “Scripture cannot be broken,” He gave the guarantee that Scripture in each and every one of its words is the Word of God. The context shows that Jesus speaking about the use of one word of the Scriptures the word אֱלֹהִ֑ים, θεοὶ, [gods] in Psalm 82. Furthermore, the Savior says of His apostles in His High Priestly Prayer (John 17[:14]): “I have given them Your Word,” and right away He added that all belivers until the Last Day will believe in Him through the word of the apostles, διὰ τοῦ λόγου [v.20]. Further as is known, the Holy Scriptures do not consist of thoughts floating in the wind, but of words, of written words, γραφὴ. And regarding these written words, the apostle of Christ, the apostle Paul, testifies in 2 Timothy 3[:16]: πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, all Scripture is given by God. In short, it is not merely a human or theological conclusion, but a direct assertion of Scripture that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are God’s own and therefore infallible Word. All who hold otherwise, all who with modern Lutheran theology would not “identify” the Holy Scriptures and God’s Word, lack reverent fear of God’s Word and become critics of the Word of God. God preserve us and all our compatriots in faith and Confession from this blasphemous and fundamentally destructive error!

At Home in the House of My Fathers: presidential Sermons, Essays, letters and addresses from the Missouri Synod’s great era of unity and growth. Translated and compiled by Matthew C. Harrison. Concordia Publishing House, 2011, p. 683

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