Andrew Willet, (1562-1621), on the Sufficiency of Scripture

Now the Church must hear Christ’s voice. Christ’s sheep will hear his voice, John 10:16. They will neither hear nor follow a stranger, ver. 5. Christ’s voice is not to be heard but in the Scriptures. Therefore other doctrine must not be received of the Church than is taught and delivered in the Scriptures. This directly impungeth the popish opinion of unwritten traditions which they bring in beside, yea contrary to the scriptures, which the they hold not to contain all things necessary to salvation. But the Apostle saith otherwise, that the Scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation and to make the man of God perfectly prepared to every good work, 2 Timothy 3;15, 17. If perfect wisdom be found in the scriptures, what need is there of any other additions. Whatsoever is added to that which is perfect showeth a defect and is superfluous. Therefore Tertullian saith excellently, We need no curious invention after Christ, nor no inquisition after (of beside) the Gospel. If any will search further, he is like a wayfaring man without a guide in a desert country, and as a ship on the sea without a pilot. To leave the scripture is a way to error, not a stay from erring as he again worthily saith, They believe without Scripture, that they may believe against scripture.

[Tertullian makes an interesting observation in the last quote. To believe without Scripture does not give the believer a neutral viewpoint, or an open-minded perspective, or a scholarly reserved perspective in relation to the Scripture. Rather, to believe without Scripture sets them on a trajectory to “believe against scripture” or to oppose the content of scripture. Again we see the Orthodox Reformation theme of the incompatibility and indeed the warfare between faith human or faith divine.]

Andrew Willet, A Treatise of Solomons Marriage (London: Imprinted by F.K. for Thomas Mann the elder and William Welby, and are to be sold at the Swanne in Pauls church-yard1612), 8-9.

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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