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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: God Has Spoken to Us

Don Stewart :: What Is Propositional Revelation?

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What Is Propositional Revelation?

God Has Spoken to Us – Question 20

God has revealed Himself to humanity by means of a number of truths about Himself, as well as truths about the human race. This is also known as “propositional revelation.”

Propositional Revelation Defined: God Has Spoken in Truth Statements

The idea behind propositional revelation is that God has revealed Himself in a number of propositions, or truths, that humanity can fully rely upon.

Statements about God’s personal nature, His plan, and His mighty acts in history are often given in the form of propositions. For example, the Bible says that God does not go back on His promises. We read in Malachi.

Since, I, the LORD, do not go back on my promises, you, sons of Jacob, have not perished.” (Malachi 3:6 NET)

It also tells us that God will never leave us or abandon us. We read the following in the Book of Hebrews:

Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NET)

Therefore, we find in Scripture a great number of these propositions, or truth statements, that we would not otherwise know unless God reveals them. From these statements we can construct certain beliefs about the nature of God and how He relates to the world in which He created.

Important Observations about Propositional Revelation

Several key points need to be made about the idea of propositional revelation. They are as follows:

1. There Must Be Some Knowledge about God before a Relationship Can Occur

Scripture is clear that we must have some sort of knowledge about God before we can enter into a relationship with Him. First, God reveals specific truths about Himself. These truths are recorded in Scripture. Then the Holy Spirit helps believers understand and correctly interpret these truths as well as apply them in their personal lives. However, we need propositional truths revealed to us before we know how to behave.

2. Scripture Is More than Propositional Truth

Scripture contains numerous propositional statements about God, ourselves, and the world. These statements are true. However, the Bible is more than propositional statements. The Bible, like all forms of communication by human beings is more than a list of propositional statements. There are statements of praise and worship as well as commands that are to be obeyed.

3. Truth Is Not Less than Propositional

We must emphasize that truth is more than a set of propositions such as “God is love.” However, it must also be emphasized that truth is not less than propositional. Biblical truth does not consist of some vague mystical experience that occurs when a person reads the Bible. All genuine experiences are based upon propositional truth revealed in Scripture.

The propositional statements give us a basis by which we can know certain things about God and draw closer to Him in a personal way. The commands found in Scripture, and the statements about God’s faithfulness are more than assertions about God—nevertheless they are true.

Therefore, while the Bible consists of propositional revelation, many of the statements do not fall into this category. Nevertheless, these statements are true.

Summary – Question 20
What Is Propositional Revelation?

Propositional revelation simply means that God has revealed Himself to humanity in a number of truth statements. These statements can be relied upon for correct information about whatever subjects it speaks.

It is important that people have some sort of knowledge about God before we can enter into a relationship with Him. This is why the Bible contains such statements.

However, it also must be appreciated that the Bible is more than a collection of propositional statements, or truths. Indeed, many statements found in Scripture would not be placed in this category.

Has God Personally Revealed Himself to People? ← Prior Section
What Is Progressive Revelation? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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