SGBC - 1689 Confession of the Holy Scriptures
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 1  Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, NJ
 2  The Reformed Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI
 3  The Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Mebane, NC
1689 Revised Confession of Faith

of the Holy Scriptures

1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and diverse manners to reveal Himself, and to declare that revelation to be His will unto His church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same only wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scriptures to be the most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.

2. Under the name of Holy Scriptures, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
The Song of

1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

  All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith.

3. The books commonly called the Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are not part of the canon or rule of Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor are they to be any way otherwise approved or made use of other human writings.

4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God who is truth itself, who is its author; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.

5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope (purpose) of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our persuasion and assurance of its infallible truth; and divine authority, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scriptures: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the illumination of the Spirit of God to be the necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.

8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic, authoritative an trustworthy; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar (generally used and accepted) language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.

9. The divine inspiration of the original Hebrew and Greek autographs was verbal, extending to the very words of Scripture, and plenary, including all the words of Scripture alike without exception. Nevertheless, divine inspiration does not obscure, eliminate or violate the humanity of the writers of Scripture, but rather employs, upholds, guides and sanctifies it; so that Holy Scripture in its entirety is the product of both divine and human agency, God's infallible and inerrant Word in language comprehensible to men.

10. The divine preservation of the Scriptures through God's singular care and providence does not consist in His miraculous protection of the inspired originals from decay or harm, but rather in their faithful and abundant reproduction by His people. Despite copying errors and deliberate efforts to alter or destroy God's Word, the Scriptures have been and will be kept throughout all ages so pure that they are a sufficient rule for doctrine and practice, that they do not obscure anything needful for God's glory or man's salvation and that the sum and substance of everything they say and teach is reserved and intact. Nevertheless, the divine preservation of the Scriptures does not insure either every single word of the originals can be ascertained with certainty or that any one manuscript pr set of manuscripts is the infallible standard for all other manuscripts. The Scriptures themselves are the only infallible rule for determining the inclusion of any word or phrase in Scripture.

11. The Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, being thus inspired and preserved by God and therefore authentic (authoritative and trustworthy), are both infallible (incapable of being wrong or mistaken), and inerrant (entirely free from error). Accordingly, whatever they state or pronounce is entirely reliable, completely accurate, and totally true, whether they speak respecting history, science, doctrine, ethics, religious practice, or any other topic.

12. Since the very words of Scripture, not merely its thoughts or ideas, are preserved, and authentic, translators of the Scriptures ought to strive, as much as them lies, to render each and every word of Scripture accurately and plainly, without needlessly interpreting or paraphrasing, adding there own uninspired words, or deleting God's inspired words. No single translation of Scripture is a perfect translation, the ultimate translation, or the infallible standard by which all other translations are to be judged.

13. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold (many), but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

14. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.

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