Zacharias Ursinus, 1587, on Scripture as the immortal seed of the Church

As for that, which some men say, that the Church is more ancienter than the Scriptures, and therefore of greater authority, it is too trifling. For the word of God is the everlasting wisdom of God himself. Neither was the knowledge of it then manifested unto the Church, when it was committed to writing, but the manifesting of it began together with the creation of mankind, and the first beginnings of the Church in paradise: yea, the word is that immortal seed of which the Church was born.

The Church therefore could not be, except the word was first delivered. Now when we name the holy Scripture, we mean not so much the characters of the letters and volumes, but rather the sentences which are contained in them, which they shall never be able to prove to be of less antiquitie than the Church. For albeit there were repeated and declared often after the beginning of the gathering of the Church, yet the sum of the Law and Gospel was the same forever.

To conclude, neither is that which they assume, always true, That the authority of the ancient witness is greater than that of the younger. For such may be condition and quality of the younger witness, that he may deserve greater credit that the ancienter. Christ being man, bare witness of himself. Moses also and the Prophets had long time before borne witness of him. Neither yet is the authority therefore greater, no not of all other witnesses, then of Christ alone. In like sort the Church witnesseth that the holy Scripture, which we have, is the word of God. The Scripture itself also doth witness of itself the same, but with the kind of witness that is more certain and sure than all the others of angels and men.

Zacharias Ursinus, The Sum of the Christian Religion: Wherein are debated and resolved the Questions of whatsoever points of moment, which have been or are controversed in Divinity. Translated into English by Henry Parrie, out of the last and best Latin Editions (Oxford: Printed at Joseph Barnes and are to be sold in Pauls Churchyard at the sign of the Tigers head, 1587), 16.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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