Question about doctrinal prooftexts

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 27 2019 12:03 PM

Does anyone know of a resource that provides a comprehensive list of prooftexts (supporting verses or passages) for key doctrinal positions. Maybe something similar to what we find in topical bibles or cross-reference resources.

I am not really interested in the arguments for or against any doctrines, rather just a list of the passages those who hold that view support their position with. I know I can go through theological resources and build a passage list, but it would be nice if there is a resource that has already done that. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 1:07 PM

I've attempted something similar in regards to passages used to support statements within a creed or confessional statement. In that context, I found the passages used to be highly varied but clustered by denominational leanings. I came to the conclusion it was a task unlikely to ever be truly complete. But I would think that the passage lists in the LST would be a good starting point. I'd then run those passages against the Confessional Documents Guide. After that I'd look at what I had and decide the next step.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 1:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestion MJ

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 4:07 PM

Using "create a new passage list" you can "ADD" …"from selected text" select a Systematic Theology and you will get a list of prooftexts in the chapter.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 4:16 PM

David Thomas:

Using "create a new passage list" you can "ADD" …"from selected text" select a Systematic Theology and you will get a list of prooftexts in the chapter.

Thanks David. I am aware of your suggestion, and it may end up being the way I will have to go. There are a couple of issues with that method. (1) It requires going through the text of each article covering the doctrine. (2) In some cases the scripture references included in an article don't have anything to do with supporting the doctrine itself, rather a text that supports something the author said.

As I said though, that may be the way I will have to go in order to create the kind of list I'd like to end up with.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 6:49 PM

It's not in Logos, but the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) contains proof texts for every doctrine. I have a PBB if you are interested, unless you already have a copy.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 7:20 PM

Thanks Jack, I have the Baptist Faith and Message as a PB. That is an excellent resource, except I am looking for something that provides proof-texts for varying views. For example, in Article X of the BF&M they address the return of Christ, but do not explore related topics like Millennialism, Rapture, etc.

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Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 10:13 PM

The Church I currently attend, their national / denominational / official website has a "What we believe" section which provides scripture for each doctrine. Perhaps the denominations you are researching have something similar?

 

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 27 2019 11:19 PM

I would call it "supporting verses or passages" not "prooftexts". It's fine to show verses that support a given doctrine. I'd just avoid using the word "prooftext" about it since that has a generally negative connotation. It refers to pulling some verse out of context to prove some position that isn't otherwise generally supported in the whole of Scripture. It's usually used in the context of accusing someone else of doing just that.

"Upon investigation, precise origins of the term “proof text” remain unclear. In current parlance, however, the concept is unremittingly negative....Hence, we hear the frequent axiom in many a course on biblical interpretation: 'A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.' Proof-texting is not only an accusation lodged against lay reading or preachers’ rhetoric (Eidenmuller); it is also the increasing label of choice by which exegetes characterize biblical interpretation among theologians." ["Proof Text," Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al., eds., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005), 622.] See also Problem with Proof-Texting.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 28 2019 7:35 AM

Rosie Perera:

I would call it "supporting verses or passages" not "prooftexts". It's fine to show verses that support a given doctrine. I'd just avoid using the word "prooftext" about it since that has a generally negative connotation. It refers to pulling some verse out of context to prove some position that isn't otherwise generally supported in the whole of Scripture. It's usually used in the context of accusing someone else of doing just that.

"Upon investigation, precise origins of the term “proof text” remain unclear. In current parlance, however, the concept is unremittingly negative....Hence, we hear the frequent axiom in many a course on biblical interpretation: 'A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.' Proof-texting is not only an accusation lodged against lay reading or preachers’ rhetoric (Eidenmuller); it is also the increasing label of choice by which exegetes characterize biblical interpretation among theologians." ["Proof Text," Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al., eds., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005), 622.] See also Problem with Proof-Texting.

That is probably good advice Rosie.

One of my frustrations is someone (often someone who disagrees with me) saying they hold a different view than I hold. Then when asked why, they cannot support their position with anything other than "that is what my Pastor or Sunday school teacher said." Perhaps "that's what I have always believed." 

As a pastor or teacher I do not want anyone to form a doctrinal position based solely on what I say. I would rather be able to give them a list of "supporting verses" and help them discover what God says and why I understand those texts the way I do. Additionally I want to put in their hand the "supporting verses" for alternative views of the same doctrine. In the end my aim is to try and equip people to come to their own conclusions, and be able to reasonably support them.

I have a friend who is a pastor in the same denomination I belong to. He and I agree on many things. We also disagree in some areas. We each respect the other because we can both make reasonable arguments to support our views. We also recognize that the areas of disagreement we have, do not preclude us from being friends, worshiping together, and ministering together. Either of us would invite the other into our respective pulpits. 

In fear of this thread detouring down a road that would not be appropriate for these forums, I hope future posts will focus on the original question of resources that might provide the kind of list I am looking for. Right now it appears that I will need to create something from the library resources I have.

I appreciate the input from those who have posted above..

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 28 2019 8:58 AM

Fredc:
As a pastor or teacher I do not want anyone to form a doctrinal position based solely on what I say. I would rather be able to give them a list of "supporting verses" and help them discover what God says and why I understand those texts the way I do. Additionally I want to put in their hand the "supporting verses" for alternative views of the same doctrine.

An idea would be to run a concordance on the relevant "Four Views on..." book that discusses the doctrine.

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Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 28 2019 11:09 AM

You can also try searching the LOGOS website for resources with "perspectives on" or "Views on" as part of the title. There are a number or resources like that on various topics.

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Jerome Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 28 2019 1:14 PM

I have faced the same issues in my own Bible study. I placed sets of cross references for each of several doctrinal viewpoints in my book, available in Logos, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

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