Monday, October 15, 2018

Quotes of Note

Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.


John Calvin was sure the book of Hebrews belonged in the Bible even though he was also sure it wasn’t written by Paul, but by some other unknown author. In this quote from the introduction to his Commentary on Hebrews, he explains why it merited a place in the canon of scripture.
I, indeed, without hesitation, class it among apostolical writings; nor do I doubt but that it has been through the craft of Satan that any have been led to dispute its authority. There is, indeed, no book in the Holy Scriptures which speaks so clearly of the priesthood of Christ, so highly exalts the virtue and dignity of that only true sacrifice which he offered by his death, so abundantly treats of the use of ceremonies as well as of their abrogation, and, in a word, so fully explains that Christ is the end of the Law. Let us not therefore suffer the Church of God nor ourselves to be deprived of so great a benefit, but firmly defend the possession of it.
[Calvin’s Commentary on Hebrews]


One of the books for my Synoptic Gospels class is F.F. Bruce's Hard Sayings of Jesus. The assignment was to look for some area of disagreement we had with Bruce's analysis. Thankfully, it was a group project. It's kind of daunting to be told to critique someone of Bruce's stature. Here is a conclusion Bruce made regarding the parable of the camel going through the eye of the needle (Mark 10:25):
No doubt Jesus was using the language of hyperbole, as when he spoke of the man with a whole plank sticking out of his eye offering to remove the splinter or speck of sawdust from his neighbour's eye (Matt 7:3-5; Luke 6:41-42). But the language of hyperbole was intended to drive the lesson home: it is impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God --  humanly impossible, Jesus concedes; for God, with whom nothing is impossible, can even save a rich man. But if so, then the rich man's heart must be changed by having his attachment to material riches replaced by attachment to the true riches, 'treasure in heaven.'


  1. Kim,

    You've got me curious. What did you find to disagree with in Bruce (I'm assuming it's not in the quotation above)?

  2. Hi David: It was not an easy assignment! It was a group project, so there were two others, and between the three of us, we didn't find so much to disagree with outright, but rather it was a case of him not presenting other options. My contribution to the project is to evaluate his discussion of the comment about throwing pearls before swine. There is nothing actually wrong with his conclusions, imo, but the way he gets to the conclusion is not the way I'd go. It's a big class, and most people in the class were struggling so much to find something to oppose that the professor included an option whereby we can also talk about ways Bruce helped us to understand something better. One thing Bruce did a lot of is question how the gospel writer may have "misinterpreted" Jesus' words, which were spoken in Aramaic. I found that troublesome, because if we can't be sure the gospel writer got that part right, what is the ultimate conclusion?

  3. That really is troublesome. Thanks.