The plenary divine inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and, as the Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
1. We teach that the Holy Scriptures differ from all other books in the world in that they are the Word of God. They are the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Ghost communicated to them by inspiration, 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21. We teach also that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is not a so-called “theological deduction,” but that it is taught by direct statements of Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16; John 10:35; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:13. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters, John 10:35.
2. We furthermore teach regarding the Holy Scriptures that they are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith, Eph. 2:20. Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and therefore, too, the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged.
3. We reject the doctrine which under the name of science has gained wide popularity in the Church or our day that Holy Scripture is not in all its parts the Word of God, but in part the Word of God and in part the word of man and hence does, or at least, might, contain error. We reject this erroneous doctrine as horrible and blasphemous, since it flatly contradicts Christ and His holy apostles, sets up men as judges over the Word of God, and thus overthrows the foundation of the Christian Church and its faith.1
We reject the following views:
1. That the Holy Scriptures are inspired only in the sense that all Christians are “inspired” to confess the lordship of Jesus Christ.
2. That the Holy Spirit did not inspire the actual words of the Biblical authors butmerely provided these men with special guidance.
3. That only those matters in Holy Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit which directly pertains to Jesus Christ and man’s salvation.
4. That noncanonical writings in the Christian tradition can be regarded as “inspired” in the same sense as Holy Scripture.
5. That portions of the New Testament witness to Jesus Christ contain imaginative additions which had their origin in the early Christian community and do not present actual facts.2
Historic Christianity has always maintained that whatever the New Testament asserts about the Old Testament, or any part thereof, is in principle the dogmatically binding position, to the exclusion of all other interpretations. The Holy Scriptures demand the affirmation, on dogmatic grounds, the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, (the first five books of the Bible), the unity of Isaiah, (the eighth century B.C. Prophet Isaiah wrote the entire book of Isaiah), and the historicity of Genesis and Jonah. The Old Testament directly and consciously predicts a personal Messiah.
While the testimony of Scriptures settles the Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible for the Christian, there is no scholarly reason why we must reject the Mosaic authorship of these books.
The view that these books came from certain sources designated by scholars as J-E-D and P:
a. Contradicts the plain statements of the Old Testament and of the New Testament that Moses is the author of the Pentateuch.
b. Contradicts the internal linguistic evidence of the Pentateuch.
c. Is a theory that has been built up by arbitrary and high handed procedures.
d. Is a theory that leads to absurdities.
e. Is a theory which is built up on a vicious and impossible principle, the evolution of religion, according to which the religion of the Israelites has been a gradual and natural growth from the lower to the higher, and which leaves no room or reason for the supernatural, the divine, the revealed. Such premises are repudiated by every conception of Bibliology and of God which the Scriptures contain.3
Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament more than all the other prophets put together. The New Testament leaves no doubt that Isaiah was the author of the entire book of Isaiah.4
The authorship of the book of Daniel is settled for the Christian by the words of Christ.
The sixth century prophet Daniel wrote the Book of Daniel.5
The Book of Genesis presents an accurate historical record of what took place in real history and not in some realm “above and beyond history.” The Lord Jesus, who is God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, accepted the Genesis creation account as historical fact. God created the world by His almighty power in six ordinary days and not through a gradual process of evolution which required millions of years. While the Bible is not a scientific textbook and is written in popular language, it does not present an outmoded naïve view of the universe.6
Christ accepted the book of Jonah as a factual account of something which actually happened. The question of the historicity of Jonah should be settled forever by the words of Christ.7
The Old Testament predicts a definite personal Messiah, Jesus Christ.8
Law and Gospel
Law and Gospel are the two great doctrines of the Bible.
The Gospel is that doctrine of the bible in which God tells us the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Law shows us our sin and the wrath of God; the Gospel shows us our Savior and the grace of God.
The Law must be preached to all men, but especially to impenitent sinners; the Gospel must be preached to sinners who are troubled in their minds because of their sins.
There is Law and Gospel in both the Old and the New Testaments.9
Final Authority for Faith and Life
The Bible and not modern science, philosophy, tradition, reason, visions, etc., is the only source and authority of a Christian’s faith and life.
The Bible condemns abortion, except in those extremely rare cases where the life of the mother is in danger, as sinful killing. Unborn children are real persons and entitled to the care and preservation which God’s command provides for all mankind.10 Churches which allow for the killing of unborn children are false churches with which faithful Christians should not be in fellowship.11
The Bible condemns both homosexual orientation and practice as sin. There is no room in heaven for unrepentant adulterers, homosexuals, etc. Churches which allow homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors are false churches with which faithful Christians should not fellowship.12
The Bible allows for capital punishment, the right of the government to put murderers to death. Governments may engage in a just war.13
The Bible condemns adultery and allows for divorce only in the case of adultery and desertion. It is a sin to “live together” before marriage.14 A pastor who divorces his wife for no scriptural reason should be removed from the ministry.15
God requires married people to love and honor each other, the husband his wife as his God-given helpmate and the husband her God-given head.16
Marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman unto one flesh. Marriage was instituted by God and is entered into by rightful betrothal, or engagement.17
God requires us to lead a chaste and decent life in thoughts, desired, words, and deed. We should avoid every opportunity for impurity and unchasteness, such as pornography, and fight to overcome all impure thoughts and desires with God’s Word and prayer, work and temperance.18
God demands that we do not use his name in vain. Christians should not use coarse talk, the “four letter” words.19
Women And The Holy Ministry
According to God’s Word, the Christian congregation chooses and calls men as ministers, who in the name of Christ and in the name of the congregation publicly perform the function of the pastoral office, a divine office.20
The Bible teaches that a woman cannot serve as the pastor of a Christian congregation or lead a public worship service. Faithful Christians should not be members of denominations which ordain women to the Holy Ministry.22 When the Apostle Paul declared that women were not to lead public worship services, he was not making some statement merely relevant for his day. He based his argument upon the unchanging order of creation.21
There is no difference between male or female with regard to the order of redemption. Christians are all one in Christ Jesus.22
God forbids us to take the life of a fellow man or our own life. He forbids us to hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, that is, to do or say anything which may destroy, shorten, or embitter his life. He forbids us to bear anger and hatred in our hearts against our neighbor.23
God forbids us to belie our neighbor; that is to lie about him or lie to him or withhold from him the truth to harm him. Christians tell the truth and recognize that it is a sin to lie about any person, people or nation. It is a sin to reveal a person’s private sin without first speaking to the person. If a matter is public, such as when a theologian writes some anti-scriptural views in a book or teaches them in public, it is not a sin to expose the error. Personal contact may first be made but is not mandatory according to Scripture.24
Christian faith, being itself a gift of God, is a living, active, powerful thing, which produces love, humility, self-sacrifice, purity and all other good works.25
We reject the idea that salvation by grace through faith alone is an “easy religion”. On the contrary, “faith without the works is dead”.26 A faith which can exist together with contempt for God’s Word, Sacraments, Church and Ministry, or with impenitent, unchallenged pride, greed, hatred, lust and general indifference to the will of Christ and the welfare of others, is not faith at all, but hypocrisy and delusion. “Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.”27
The Church has both the right and duty to condemn Communism as a moral evil, which violates both natural and revealed law. The efforts of the Communists are in conflict with many of God’s Ten Commandments.28
1 The Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Christian News Encyclopedia, (hereafter CNE) Appendix. CN has published hundreds of articles by LCMS professors and pastors on the inerrancy of the Bible and related matters.
The LCMS is one of the major church bodies which still officially affirms the inerrancy of the Bible in all matters.
Some articles in the CNE defending the inerrancy of the Bible and showing the anti- scriptural and unscientific nature of the historical-critical method are:
"A Book Review Article of 'The Battle For the Bible' " Raymond Surburg, pp. 157-170.
"Unicorns," Kenneth Miller, 170.
"The Inspiration of the Bible," LCMS's Commission on Theology and Church-Relations," 174,5.
"Whither Biblical Inerrancy," John W. Montgomery, 171.
"The Inerrancy of Scripture," Vernon Barley, 178-9.
"How The Word of God Speaks to The Church of The Reformation Today," Elmer Moeller, 180-181.
"Contradictions, Errors in the Scriptures," L. W. Faulstich, 181.
"What Does 'Inerrancy' Mean?" Karl Barth.
"Luther's Attitude Toward Scripture and Basic Hermeneutical Principles," Raymond Surburg, 192-3.
"Monotheism in the Old Testament," Seth Erlandson, 194.
"The Scriptures Are The Word of God," Clarence Schuknecht, 195-6.
"Bible as the Inspired Word of God." John W. Behnken, 196,199.
" A Response to Father Hughes' Attack on Missouri's Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy," Raymond Surburg, 197-8.
"Jesus and the Canon," Raymond Surburg, 199.
"The Ten Commandments of Bible Interpretation," Roger Kovaciny, 203.
"The Untenability of Ecumenism's Attempt to Promote the Apocrypha as Word of God," Raymond Surburg, 204-6.
"Is God The Only Author of the Bible," 211.
"Conflicting Views in Modern Biblical Scholarship," John E . Steinmueller, 213.
" 'Operation Outreach' and the Inerrancy of Scripture" 214-6.
"How Is The Lutheran Church to Interpret and Use the Old and New Testament," Robert Preus, 217-221.
"Implications of Form Criticism For the Historical Understanding of The Old Testament," 222-4.
"The Bearing of the Variant Readings on the Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures," Siegbert W. Becker, 225-6.
"The Implications of the Historical-Critical Method — From Professor to Pulpit to Practice," Phillip Giessler, 229.
"How Modern Is 'Modem' Bible Interpretation," Kurt Marquart, 230.
"Missouri's Critical Issue," Elmer J. Moelier, 231.
"The Historical-Critical Method and Lutheran Presuppositions," Kurt Marquart, 232-6.
"Where Do They Get Their 'History'?" Paul Burgdorf, 236.
“Historical Critical Method of Biblical Interpretation and It's History,” Joe E . Schrul, 237-239.
"The End of The Historical Critical Method," review of Concordia book by Gerhard Maier, 239.
"Form Criticism Examined" review of book by Walter A. Maier,
"Old Testament Introduction," By William Beck, 240.
"HCM-The Magic Formula," Paul Burgdorf, 241.
"The Historical-Critical Method: A Response," by Ralph Klein.
"The Historical Critical Method," by Harold Buls, 243-4. "A Response to Dr. Tepker's The Inspiration and Inerrancy of The Holy Scripture" James Childs, Jr. 245.
"The Inerrancy of the Bible," Robert Preus, 246.
"Does History Repeat Itself,” L.W. Faulstich.
"Theologian Disputes Bible Scholars, Says New Testament Was Completed By AD 70, " John A. T. Robinson, 250.
"The Interpretation of The Bible — The Relationship of Luther, The Lutheran Confessions and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to the Historical-Grammatical Method," Raymond Surburg, 251-2.
"Some Reasons Why Biblical Research Is Having Problems," Ingemar Furberg, 253. "Gospel and Scripture," Vernon Harley, 257.
"Bishop John A. T. Robinson, Underminer of The Foundation of The Christian Faith," Raymond Surburg, 264-5.
"Did Luther Use The Historical Critical Method, Mark Bartling, 267.
"Central Lutheran Thrusts For Today," Kurt Marquart, 263-9.
"Opinion of the Department of Systematic Theology of Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne on the Canon, Anti-legomena and homolegomena,
"Fortress Publishes Studies in Lutheran Hermeneutics-Wide Split Between Lutherans Is Exposed" 270-272.
"Do the Coptic Gnostic Texts Preserve Authentic Traditions About Jesus and First Century Apostolic Christianity?" Raymond Surburg, 275-276, "Newsweek Casts Doubt on Deity, Resurrection, Historicity of Christ," 276.
2 From “A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles" adopted by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 1973. Christian News Encyclopedia, pp. 1230, 31.
3 Walter A. Maier, "The Documentary Hypothesis," from "Notes on Genesis," Lutheran News. October 7, 1963. CNE, p.273. A similar position was taken by Ludwig Fuerbringer in the official theological journal of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Lehre und Wehre, February, 1903. Quoted in Herman J. Otten, Baal or God, Second Edition, p. 55. Available from Christian News. "Computer Study Indicates One Person Wrote Genesis," CNE, p. 272. "Sources of the Pentateuch," Robert Brueckner and Raymond Surburg, CNE, 260-2. "Why Should a Christian Study the Old Testament," Raymond Surburg, pp. 133 191.
4 How Many Men Wrote the Book of Isaiah," CNE, p. 273. John 12:38-41. Otten, op. cit. 55.
5 Matthew 24:15. Otten op. cit. 55. "Defending the Book of Daniel," An Answer to Historical-Critical Objections to The Sixth-Century Date of Daniel and to The Charge of The Book of Daniel’s Historical Blunders," by Raymond Surburg, CNE , p. 258-259. "Where the LCMS Stands on Authorship of Isaiah, Daniel, Pentateuch, Jonah," CNE, p.
6 Matthew 19:4; 1 Corinthians 15:39. Romans 5-12-17; Isaiah 40:22; Job 26:7. Otten, op. cit., p. 61-64.
Many eminent scientists are in total disagreement with evolution. All members of the Creation Research Society, which includes several hundred scientists who have achieved a high degree of success in various fields, subscribe to the following statement of belief:
1. The Bible is the written Word of God, and because it is inspired throughout, all its assertions are historicity and scientifically true in all the original autographs. To the student of nature this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.
2. All basic types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during the Creation Week described in (Genesis. Whatever biological changes have occurred since the Creation Week have accomplished only changes within the original created kinds.
3. The great Flood described in Genesis, commonly referred to as the Noachian Flood, was an historic event worldwide in its extent and effect.
4. We are an organization of Christian men of science who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The account of the special creation of Adam and Eve as one man and woman and their subsequent fall into sin is the basis for our belief in the necessity of a Savior for all mankind. Therefore, salvation can come only through accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
7 Matthew 12:40-2; Luke 11:29-32. Otten, op. cit., p. 56. "God's Man of the Hour and the Great Fish," By August W. Brustat, CNE, 228.
8 John 12:41; Acts 2:29-31. Otten, op. ck. "Like Moses," by William Beck, CNE, p. 176. "Prophet and Prophecy," by Seth Erlandson, CNE, p. 183; "Is Psalm Twenty-Two a Direct (Rectilinear or an Indirect (Typical) Prophecy of the Messiah?" by Jeffrey Kinery, CNE, p.
254-256. "The lnterpretation of Psalm Twenty-Two," by Walter Maier Sr., CNE, p. 256.
H. Old Testament Prophecy
From The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principles, CNE, pp. 1230, 31.
Since the New Testament is the culminating written revelation of God, we affirm that it is decisive in determining the relation between the two Testaments and the meaning of Old Testament prophecies in particular, for the meaning of a prophecy becomes known in full only from its fulfillment. With the Lutheran Confessions, we recognize the presence of Messianic prophecies about Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament. Accordingly, we acknowledge that the Old Testament "promises that the Messiah will come and promises forgiveness of sins, justification, and eternal life for His sake" (Apology, IV, 5) and that the patriarchs and their descendants comforted themselves with such Messianic promises (cf. FC, SD, V, 23).
We therefore reject the following views:
I. That the New Testament statement about Old Testament texts and events do not establish their meaning (for example), the claim that Jesus' reference to Psalm 110 in Matthew 22:43-44 does not establish either that Psalm’s Davidic authorship or its predictive Messianic character.
2. That Old Testament prophecies are to be regarded as Messianic prophecies, not in the sense of being genuinely predictive, but only in the sense that the New Testament later applies them to New Testament events.
3. That the Old Testament prophets never recognized that their prophecies reached beyond their own time to the time of Christ.
9 C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. (St. Louis, Missouri; Concordia Publishing House, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave.) Reproduced from the German edition of 1397 by W. H. T. Dau. This is one of the finest and greatest books ever produced by any American theologian. CN hopes to be able to publish an inexpensive paperback edition which could be sent to thousands of clergymen in the U.S.
10 Luke 1:41; Ps. 51:5; Ps. 139:13; Jer. 1:5. CNE, pp. 5-38; 1774-1792.
11 Romans 16:17.
12 Romans 1:26,27; 1 Cor. 6:9; Romans 16:17. CNE, pp. 2366-2403; 1002-1636.
13 Genesis 9:6; Matt 26:52; Romans 13:4.CNE. 1916-1912; 314-322. Disarmament, 741-754; Just War, 1506.
14 Matt. 19:6; Matt. 19:9; Heb. 13:4; Mat t 15:9; Matt. 5:28; Eph. 5:3,4; CNE, 1284-1296 ; 2654-2657.
15 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9. CNE, 1284-1296.
16 Ephesians 5:24,25.
17 Matt. 19:6; Gen. 2:13-24. The angel called Mary, who was engaged to Joseph, Joseph's wife and calls Joseph her husband. Matt. 1:19,20,-24.
18 1 Peter 2:11; Phil 4:3; Eph. 4:29; Gen. 39:9; Ps. 51:10; Prov. 23:31-33; 1 Cor. 6:13; 2 Rom. 2:22; 1 Cor. 6:19; Prov. 1:10.
19 Ex. 20:7; Lev. 24:15; Eph. 5:3,4.
20 Acts20:28; Eph. 4:10-12; 1 Cor. 4:1; Matt. 16:19; John20:22,23; 1
Peter 2:9; Matt 18:17,18.
21 1 Tim 2:11,12; 1 Cor. 14:34,35; Romans 16:17.
22 Gal. 3:23.
23 Gen. 9:6; Romans 12:19; Mat t 5:22; 1 John 3:15; Matt 15:19; Eph 4:26; Rom. 12:20.
24 Rev. 19:5; Eph. 4:25; Matt. 26:14-16; Ps. 50:19-22; Matt. 18:15. 1 Cor. 5:1.
25 John 15:5. Gal. 5:22.
26 James: 2:66.
27 Gal. 5:19-21; 1 John 4:20; Luke 14:27.
28 Otten op. cit., pp, 91-92.
C. F. W. Walther, the first president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, already in a series of lectures published in 1379 summarized the Biblical attitude toward Communism. The following is taken from the outline of his lectures on "Communism And Socialism;"
WHY SHOULD AND CAN NO REASONABLE MAN, MUCH LESS A CHRISTIAN, TAKE PART IN THE EFFORTS OF COMMUNISTS AND SOCIALISTS?
I. Because these efforts are contrary to reason, nature, and experience
1. it is a fact that men are not equal;
2. it is a fact that men are naturally selfish;
3. it is a fact that happiness does not consist in external advantages;
4. it is a fact well established by experience, that the communists have never attained their professed end, and only introduced sorrow and suffering.
II. Because these efforts are contrary to Christianity, for
1. What is adduced from the Scriptures in their favor, either proves nothing, or proves the contrary. . . .
2. The efforts of the socialists and communists are in conflict with definite doctrines of Christianity, to wit:
(a) the doctrines of personal property, as involved in the seventh commandment, "Thou shall not steal" and taught elsewhere in Scripture;
(b) the doctrine taught in the fifth commandment and in other passages, that the government alone has the power of the sword;
(c) the doctrine of the sanctity of marriage, as set forth in the sixth
commandment and elsewhere;
(d) the difference recognized the Bible not only
a. between parents and children, man and wife, master and servant, employer and employed, but also
b. between rich and poor;
(e) the scriptural doctrine that man shall eat his bread in the sweat of his face;
(f) the scriptural doctrine that God would use men's adversities for their spiritual welfare;
(g) the scriptural doctrine, that human happiness is not to be sought in this world, but in God and in the hope of a recompense and equalization in the world to come, and in the hope of eternal life, and finally
(h) the scriptural doctrine, that the source of all misery in this world, is sin.