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  • Franciscus Junius

4. DE AVTHORITATE SACRAE SCRIPTURAE

DE AVTHORITATE SACRAE SCRIPTURAE


On the Authority of Holy Scripture

​1. CVM DEUM (vt est summum bonum) nobiscum per gratiam salutariter communicasse constet: modúmque communicationis vel sermonem, conceptus diuini, vel scripturam, sermonis diuini diuinum symbolum atque instrumentum esse superiori disputatione demonstratum sit; necessarium est vt eius Scripturae authoritas apud omnes deinceps stabiliatur, cùm ad reuerentiam illi conciliandam, tum verò ad animos constanti certitudine & solida securitate obfirmandos. Vt verò certitudo eius & avtonisia hominum pectoribus commodius asseratur, primò constare debet illam in se diuinam esse, deinde verò in nobis diuinam confirmari. Illud in hunc modum secundum omnes caussas demonstramus euidentissimè.

​1. Since it is established that God (as he is the highest good) decided to salvifically communicate to us through grace, and since this communication, whether in a spoken or written mode, has been demonstrated in previous disputations to be a divine symbol and instrument, it is necessary that the authority of Scripture be firmly established among all in what follows, both to win reverence for it and to truly fortify minds with steadfast certainty and solid security. However, in order for its certainty and authenticity to be more suitably sown in the hearts of people, it must first be established that it is divine in itself, and then truly confirmed as divine to us. We demonstrate this most evidently according to each of its causes in the following manner.

​2. Caussae autem prout sunt, vel externae quales sunt, efficiens & finis: vel internae, quales materia & forma: ita omnes diuinam esse Scripturam euincunt certissimè. Efficiens caussa est Primaria & Secundaria. Primaria Deus Pater, Filius & Spiritus sanctus: qui quicquid agit, loquitur, & scribit, conuenienter suae naturae agit, loquitur, & scribit, id est diuino modo & infallibili veritate, 2. Tim. 3. 16. Secundaria caussa sunt serui publicè diuina authorita supra Ecclesiam reliquam. 2. Petr. 1. 21. & donis ad vocationem hanc singularem & extraordinariam necessariis in Ecclesia instructi: Qui velut notarij publici θεόπνεύσως perscripserunt, & tanquam in tabulas publicas retulerunt omnia, quae Spiritus Dei illis in mandata dederat. Haec autem tam vera, & certa sunt, quàm verus est Deus, qui per illos loquutus est, & scripsit.

​2. Causes, as they are either external (such as efficient and final causes) or internal (such as matter and form), all clearly evince that Scripture is divine. The efficient cause is both primary and secondary. The primary cause is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who, in whatever He does, speaks, and writes, fittingly acts, speaks, and writes according to His own nature, that is, in a divine manner and with infallible truth (2 Timothy 3:16). The secondary causes are the servants publicly endowed with divine authority over the rest of the Church (2 Peter 1:21) and equipped with gifts necessary for this singular and extraordinary calling in the Church; who, like public notaries, wrote by divine inspiration (θεόπνεύσως), and, as if onto public tablets, recorded everything that the Spirit of God had given to them in mandates. And these things are as true and certain as God Himself, who spoke and wrote through them.

​3. Caussa externa altera est finis, qui vel primarius, gloria Dei, vel secundarius, salus nostra, diuinitatem scripturae satis arguit. Nam reliqua scripta pleraque plerunque gloriam suam sibi proponunt. 2. Tim. 3. 13. nulla ad aeternam salutem & veram beatitudinem adsurgunt: nulla eiusmodi finem intendunt, nulli per ea contendunt: omnia ad haec naturalia nos deuehunt, isthic subsistunt: sola sacra scriptura ad finem supernaturalem subuehit & transuehit, sola transcendit. Diuina ergo.

​3. The other external cause is the end, which is either primary, the glory of God, or secondary, our salvation; this twofold end sufficiently proves the divinity of Scripture. For most other writings usually promote their own glory (2 Timothy 3:13). None rise to eternal salvation and true blessedness: they do not intend such an end; no one strives for this end through them; all human writings are concerned with natural matters and rest there. Holy Scripture alone rises and passes on towards a supernatural end, singly transcending beyond natural matters. Therefore, it is divine.

4. Sequuntur caussae internae duae: Materia & forma, quae certitudinem eius liquidò conuincunt. Materia est Deus ipse, & res omnes ad Deum ordinatae: quae omnia cùm sacra Scriptura tractet diuina certitudine, tam certa sunt, quàm certum est esse Deum. Reliqua alia “scripta nihil nisi hominem sapiunt. Nihil spirant aliud aut inspirant aliis nisi humana. Et cùm eorum scriptores humana tantùm mente concipiant, alij ab iisdem humana tantum accipiunt, nisi quatenus scripturain sequuntur pedetentim, sed pedibus (vt sic loquamur) lutulentis, qui suis commentis eam conspurcant, atque ita ex diuina humanam faciunt aliquo modo.

​4. The two internal causes follow: matter and form, which clearly convince of its certainty. The matter is God Himself and all things ordered towards God. Since Holy Scripture treats all these matters with divine certainty, they are as certain as it is certain that God exists. Other writings taste of nothing but humanity. They breathe in nothing else nor inspire others with anything besides what is human. And since their authors conceive with merely human minds, others receive only human matters from the same, except insofar as they follow Scripture step by step, but with muddy feet, which (as we speak thus) soil it with their comments, and thus, in some way, make the divine, human.

5. Forma duplex; interna vna, externa altera, facit ad asserendam Scripturae diuinitatem. Interna forma est diuina veritas, iusta sancta, perfecta, cum homine communicabilis & cum ipsa Scriptura ἀντίστροφος: quam cùm nullum and scriptum expresserit (qui enim exprimat, quam in se impressam non habet?) sequitur Scripturam in se omnimodo diuinam esse. Coarguit idem & externa forma (modum alij vocant) quae est oratio. Haec vt contemperata est & dicentis maiestati, & rei dicendae dignitati, & captui illorum quibus dicitur, ita summam ostendit diuinitatem, & incomparabilem de se prodit maiestatem.

​5. The form is twofold: one internal, the other external, which contribute to asserting the divinity of Scripture. The internal form is divine truth, just, holy, perfect, communicable to man, and corresponding (ἀντίστροφος) to Scripture itself. Since no other writing expresses this internal form (for what could express what is not impressed in itself?), it follows that Scripture is entirely divine in itself. The same is proven by the external form (others call it the mode), which is speech. This, as it is suited to the majesty of the speaker, the dignity of the matter spoken, and the understanding of those to whom it is spoken, reveals the highest divinity and exhibits an incomparable majesty about itself.

​6. Haec de certitudine Scripturae in seipsa. Nunc videndum, qua ratione, quae in se certa est, nobis certa esse possit, nòsque certò persuadeamur haec omnia à Deo profecta esse.

​6. Thus far, these theses have treated the certainty of Scripture in itself. Now it must be seen by what method (ratione) that which is certain in itself can be made certain to us and we could be certainly persuaded that all these things have come from God.

7. Hoc fit duobus modis: à Domino, & ab Ecclesia eius. A Domino testificatione Spiritus & ipsius Scripturae. Spiritus enim Sanctus vt Veritatis author in Scriptura, ita eiusdem effector gratiosus in nobis. 1. Cor. 2. 12. & 1. Ioann. 5. 6. Is igitur est qui eam certitudinem scripturae totius & partium eius supernaturali luce sua ita obsignat intus pectoribus & persuadet, vt plenam & indubitatam apud nos inueniat fidem & ineluctabilem illam πληροφορίαν. Alterum verò testimonium est Scriptura ipsa, quae luculentas notas prae se fert, & confert iis, quorum oculi mentis luce supernaturali sunt illustrati: sicut lux suo splendore iis se prodit, quorum oculi corporis luce naturali sunt praediti. 2. Petr. 1. 19.

​7. This is accomplished in two ways: by the Lord and by His Church. From the testimony of the Lord, of the Spirit, and of the Scripture itself. The Holy Spirit, as the author of truth in Scripture, is likewise the gracious producer of the same in us (1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 John 5:6). Therefore, He is the one who so seals that certainty of the whole of Scripture together with its parts by His supernatural light within our hearts and persuades us, that he may effect full and undoubting faith in us, and that ineluctable fullness of assurance (πληροφορία). The other testimony is, indeed, the Scripture itself, which bears resplendent marks and brings them to those whose eyes of the mind are illuminated by supernatural light, just as light reveals itself in its splendor to those whose eyes of the body are endowed with natural light (2 Peter 1:19).

8. Haec testimonia vt per se efficacia sint ad astruendam plenè fidem Sacrae Scripturae, alia tamen cum eis coniuncta suppetunt argumenta ad eius authoritatem magis faciendam in animis nostris. Illa vel sunt insita, & ipsi rei inhaerent, vel adsita & extrinsecus adhaerent. Quae sunt in reipsa, vel à materia sumuntur vel à forma. A materia, quòd doctrinam contineat planè plenéque coelestem, & captui humano non ita peruiam. A forma, tum interna diuinae veritatis: ad quam pertinent praedictiones & earum euentus certissimi: Quales sunt de semine contrituro caput serpentis. De sceptro à Iehuda non remouendo ante nasciturum Messiam. De abductione populi Iudaici in captiuitatem Babylonicam, & reductione eiusdem, ductu & auspiciis Cyri, cui nomen hoc aliquot annos antè, quàm natus esset fuit inditum. Et aliae similes totis scripturis sparsae prophetiae, cum earum complementis. Tum externa: Apta structura orationis & rerum, pulchra partium omnium inter se consensio, incredibilis sub abiecta verborum humilitate vis & efficacia, quae lectorum animos ita rapit & afficit, vt Ethnicorum vel eloquentiae laude clarissimorum δεινότη prae ea sordeat.

​8. While these testimonies are efficacious in themselves to fully establish faith in Holy Scripture, there are other arguments at hand, conjoined with them to more surely establish its authority in our minds. Some are implanted and inhere in the thing itself, while others are extrinsic and extrinsically adhere to it. Those that are in the thing itself are either taken from the matter or from the form. On account of the matter, Scripture contains a doctrine that is plainly and entirely heavenly and not so easily grasped by the human mind. On account of the form, Scripture possesses the internal divine truth, to which the most certain predictions and their outcomes pertain, such as: the prophecy of the seed that will crush the head of the serpent, the prophecy of the scepter not departing from Judah until the birth of the Messiah, the prophecy of the abduction of the Jewish people into Babylonian captivity and their return, led and initiated by Cyrus, whose name was given to him several years before he was born. These and similar prophecies are scattered throughout the entire Scriptures, along with their fulfillments. Also, the external aspect includes the fitting structure of the words and things, the beautiful harmony among all its parts, the incredible power and efficacy beneath humble words, which so captivates and affects the minds of readers that the excellence (δεινότη) of the heathen or those most famous from praise of their eloquence might be defiled before it.

​9. Testimonia extrinsecus adiuncta sunt: I. vel antiquitas scripturae. Libri enim Mosis omnium hominum scriptis antiquiores sunt: vt qui historiam suam inde à creatione mundi deductam contexit, quam alij scriptores aut ignorarunt prorsus, aut hinc acceperunt (vt fatentur Aegyptij, teste Diodoro Siculo) aut fabulis multis adsperserunt: prout homo imagine prior est: & probus nummus adulterino. II. Vel inuictum robur veritatis: quae vt saepius à diabolo & hostibus Ecclesiae sit impetita, inexpugnabilis tamen perstitit, & superior euasit. III. Vel consensus piorum etiam alioqui inter se dissidentium, qui eam admirabili Dei prouidentia hactenus conseruatam receperunt: & receptam sanguinis profusione obsignarunt.

​9. The extrinsic, adjunct testimonies are either: (1) The antiquity of Scripture. The books of Moses are more ancient than the writings of all men, since he wove his history from the creation of the world, which other writers either completely ignored, or else learned from here (as the Egyptians admit, according to Diodorus of Sicily) and mixed with many fables, just as a man is prior to his image, and a genuine coin is superior to a counterfeit. Or (2) the invincible strength of truth, which, although often attacked by the devil and enemies of the Church, has remained inexpugnable and emerged victorious. Or (3) the consensus of the pious, even among those who would otherwise disagree, who have received it preserved by the marvelous providence of God, and sealed with the shedding of their blood.

10. Est praeterea aliud testimonium ministeriale Ecclesiae ipsius, quae scripturae authoritatem hanc non indit, sed inditam professione & consensione fidei agnoscit, agnitam commendat & promulgat, promulgatam conseruat ad gloriam Dei & bonum suum. Nam voluntatem suam Deus principali authoritate, Prophetae & Apostoli Secundariâ in Scripturis obsignarunt, Ecclesia teste, & ad rei apud nos testimonium Deo authore obligata.

​10. Furthermore, there is another ministerial testimony of the Church itself, which does not instill any authority into Scripture but acknowledges an already instilled authority by profession and consent of faith, commends and proclaims the acknowledged authority, and preserves the proclaimed authority for the glory of God and its own good. For God, with principal authority, has sealed His will by the Prophets and Apostles secondarily in the Scriptures, with the Church as witness, and bound by the obligation to give testimony to this matter (rei) before us, with God as the author.

​11. Errant ergo Athei, Marcionitae, Manichaei, Valentiniani; quorum illi sacram Scripturam in vniuersum negant: Hi partem eius in dubium vocant. Et Papistae, qui authoritatem eiusdem doctrinae ab Ecclesia, eiúsque certitudinem ab hominum asseueratione pendere statuunt. Quod dogma vt superioribus rationibus abundè refutatum est, ita vanitatem eius sequentia argumenta magis demonstrant.



​11. Therefore, the Atheists, Marcionites, Manichaeans, Valentinians err; of whom the former universally deny Sacred Scripture, and the latter call part of it into doubt. And the Papists, who establish the authority of the same doctrine from the Church, teach that its certainty depends upon the asseverations of men. As that dogma has been abundantly refuted by the preceding reasons, the following arguments demonstrate its vanity even more.


(Junius) 4. DE AVTHORITATE SACRAE SCRIPTURAE
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