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Questions regarding yesterday’s Sunday School class July 28, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, First Corinthians, Religion, Signs and Wonders.
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Good morning!

Thank you for your questions arising from the Sunday School class yesterday. Since I will not be able to follow-up since the class will be resuming with John and there was another question that I thought also to be important, I am going to answer them one at a time in an email, also posting the answer on my blog so that anyone might respond there if they should so wish.

I’m going to take the questions in this order. The easiest, the most important, and the most difficult. That is, of course, my opinion. The three questions are…

1. A question was asked about knowledge, is not knowledge that which is deemed “God’s Word?”

2. Could you provide me with express scripture that indicates that membership in a church is commanded? I can not seem to find it.

3. Is it not a threat to the inerrancy of Scriptures when we claim that certain teachings in the epistles are cultural?

These are all good questions but I will start with the first one in this email and get to the other two as I have opportunity.

1. A question was asked about knowledge, is not knowledge that which is deemed “God’s Word?”

Answer: The exact question was this, what is the difference if any between a word of knowledge and the gift of prophecy?

The phrase “word of knowledge” is mentioned only once in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 12:8 (although it is likely that 1 Corinthians 13:2, 8, and 14:6 are all referring to the same gift). It is near the beginning of a list of nine miracle gifts. Some of these gifts, like healings, tongues, and interpretation of tongues are fairly easy for us to understand but the Scripture does not give us any help in differentiating between a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge or a prophecy. All that seems clear is that it is likely some type of miracle gift.

The question that you have is this, does knowledge here refer specifically to the “God’s Word.” I am assuming that you are referring to the Bible, the canonical Word of God. In that case, based on 1 Corinthians 13:8, I would say no because it indicates that the gift of knowledge will pass away but we know that not one jot or tittle of God’s Word will pass away.

However, if you mean that knowledge here refers to a word from God, then I would say “yes”, if that word of knowledge meets the preconditions set down in 1 Corinthians 12:1-4.

Certainly, we cannot always assume that the word “knowledge” refers to “God’s Word” in the canonical sense. If it did then we would have to interpret 1 Corinthians 8:1 to mean that the Word of God(knowledge) puffs up but that love does not. Obviously, that cannot be the main meaning of the word although there are contexts in which the word knowledge might be an equivalent of the Word of God.

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