Never Judge a Book by its Author???
Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: I. The apostle forewarns Timothy what the last days would be, with the reasons thereof (v. 1-9). II. Prescribes various remedies against them (v. 10 to the end), particularly his own example (“But thou hast fully known my doctrine,” etc.) and the knowledge of the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation, and will be the best antidote against the corruptions of the times we live in. In this chapter Paul tells Timothy how bad others would be, and therefore how good he should be; and this use we should make of the badness of others, thereby to engage us to hold our own integrity so much the firmer.
The post’s title is a little misleading, in that the object of it the Bible MUST always be Judged by its true authors the Triune God. However with books written solely by mankind that is not always the case. Here I want to look at a prolific and well-respected Christian author Frederick Dale Brunner. Brunner’s second work, many call a Masterpiece was, Matthew: A Commentary (2 volumes; revised and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 2004). He went on, in 2012 to write another respected work on the Gospel of John.
Then in 2021 came The Letter to the Romans: A Short Commentary (Eerdmans, 2021) which contained the following:
We now rightly dismiss the Paul-attributed texts against women teaching or preaching in the church (1 Tim 2:11 and 1 Cor 14:33b-36), not least because the risen Lord had women sent as his first resurrection messengers in all four Gospels. Should we also, perhaps, pass over Paul’s present condemnation of homosexual practice in the light of Jesus’ general silence on the subject?(The Letter to the Romans, 17)
I hope y’all can see my point here, Bruner, who calls himself a Reformed biblical theologian, just claimed that he/we can rightly dismiss part of the Bible. As our text above noted, this is still the same Bible that all True Christians must hang their beliefs on. The same Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Brunner for his part appears to deny the Three I’s of scripture, therefore claiming God is capable of error.
That is why the title of this blog post. Just because an author has had critical acclaim (see the link to Matthew’s Commentary below) in the past doesn’t mean their new work should not be subject to critical discernment. I would also note that seeming just as many folks jumped on the praise bandwagon for the Romans Commentary either out of ignorance or ???
Brunner’s commentary on Matthew was a text in one of my undergrad classes and I found it well-written. Full disclosure I have not read all of his commentary on Romans, but I plan to but felt compelled to point out this apparent glaring error. Anyone who writes whether it is published or digital knows that words can and often are taken out of CONTEXT. So is it possible that We now rightly dismiss the Paul-attributed texts… has been taken out of context. Sure anything is possible but likely or logical given the context of what we have 😢. That is why being a Berean is so important today.
Think Blog by Andrew Wilson – On Dismissing 1 Timothy 2
Matthew, A Commentary, Volume 2, Frederick Dale Bruner
The Letter to the Romans, A Short Commentary, Frederick Dale Bruner