Chapter 1 Part 7-8: The Clarity and Reliability of Scripture
How many of you have heard of The Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647? ‘Massachusetts passed the Old Deluder Satan Act in 1647, laying the basis for public schools in America. The Puritans valued literacy highly; they believed all individuals should be able to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. In 1642 Massachusetts had required parents to ensure their children’s ability to read, and five years later, in this act, the state mandated community schooling.’ 1 This Act was made law in order to prevent satan from deceiving young people. This conviction that the Bible should be read by all, led to America being a very literate and educated nation, at least for a while. There is little biblical literacy to speak of in America as well as what was once called Christendom today. ‘A Barna poll indicated that at least 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham. We are in big trouble.’2 The Puritan forefathers of America were of the Protestant conviction that everyone can and should read their bibles. Given this history of education in America and other Western countries you can see why taking Bible out of schools is a denial of these roots. They believed that they could be understood. This is what lies at the foundation of our next section, chapter 1 paragraphs 7-8.
Paragraph 7 talks about how the Bible can be understood and gives rise to the doctrine of the clarity/perspicuity of scripture. Paragraph 8 talks about how the Word of God was originally given in Hebrew and Greek, how these were faithfully preserved and ought to be translated.