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Collected Writings on Scripture Hardcover – July 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“This book is a road map of pathways to pursue and pitfalls to avoid in handling Scripture. D. A. Carson would be the first to agree that God himself upholds his written word, the Bible. But God uses means. In recent decades, Carson’s voice has been among the most forthright, consistent, rigorous, faithful, and compelling in serving the vital divine end of testifying to Scripture’s veracity. This book guides readers to the priceless destination of confidence in God’s Word through refutation of its critics and commendation of its truth.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“D. A. Carson is one of the most prolific and profound biblical scholars of our generation. Perhaps it is not far-fetched to predict that his Collected Writings on Scripture will become a classic as an evangelical defense of Holy Scripture’s authority. Carson courteously but persuasively reveals the weaknesses of arguments designed by critics to discredit or render obsolete the historic teaching of the Western Christian churches, namely, biblical inerrancy. This book is a masterful, must read for those persons who want to understand better the nature of Scripture’s authority. The volume may very well take its place as a benchmark study, side by side with Inspiration (1881), the influential essay penned by A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield.”
John D. Woodbridge, Research Professor, Church History and History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“D. A. Carson is for this generation what B. B. Warfield was for his—the scholarly stalwart for the doctrine of Scripture, possessed of prodigious skills both as an interpreter of Scripture and as a biblical and systematic theologian, critically engaging the most significant arguments of the day and upholding the historic position of the Christian church and the Bible’s own self-attestation. Everything that comes from his pen is worthy of careful attention. Given the current state of the doctrine of Scripture (in theory and practice) in evangelical academia, this is an important and timely volume. Seminarians and pastors alike need to be abreast of present trends in this vital subject. The classic essays and critical reviews in this book offer a bird’s-eye view of the past thirty years of the discussion, as well as world-class scholarship and discernment in articulating rejoinders to sub-biblical theories while positively presenting a faithful view of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures and their entailments.”
J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

“With tedious regularity, the doctrine of Scripture comes under attack again and again, and while many of the arguments used are familiar and hackneyed, each generation adds its own twists and turns to the cries of criticism. Thankfully, the church has always had eloquent defenders of the truthfulness of the Scriptures and of the God who inspired them. In our time, Don Carson is one such figure; and in this volume, the reader will find many of his most significant essays on Scripture. Scholarly, reverent, carefully argued, and generously footnoted, these pieces all make important contributions to current debates; and taken as a whole, they admirably expose the problems of the revisionism offered by certain voices within the church while pointing readers to a better way.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life

“I’ve always admired Don Carson’s ability to minister so effectively in two different worlds. On the one hand, he’s one of the sharpest-thinking, best-respected minds in the realm of New Testament scholarship. On the other, he’s one of the clearest, most down-to-earth preachers I’ve ever heard. He simply has a remarkable ability both to grasp and to communicate complex issues understandably. This collection is a classic demonstration of that ability.”
Donald S. Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

“As a young theological student I wrestled with the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. No one helped me more to understand what Scripture teaches about itself than D. A. Carson. His insightful essays and incisive reviews preserved and shaped my doctrine of Scripture. I rejoice to see some of those older essays (along with some new essays and reviews) presented together in one place in this volume, for the issues of yesterday are not dramatically different from what we face today, and Carson’s words continue to speak powerfully to our contemporary situation. Fidelity to Scripture and rigorous reasoning mark this volume, reminding us that the words of Scripture are the very words of God.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The breadth of these essays is matched by their depth. When reading Carson’s survey of the scholarly landscape, you know it’s coming from a leading member of the guild; when reading his discerning counsel about how to navigate both spurious and legitimate challenges concerning the nature, authority, and interpretation of Scripture, you know it’s coming from a pastoral heart. This is pure gold.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life

“The Bible is both true and precious to the Christian, as the psalmist reminds us: ‘Your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right’ (Ps. 119:143–44). In this wide-ranging set of essays, D. A. Carson reminds us of these two most important facts. Combining remarkable erudition and keen insight with pastoral sensitivity and an emphasis on the value of Scripture for Christian living, Carson impresses upon us that the Bible is the true word of God and that it is the delight of a believer in Christ. Pastors and church leaders will benefit—both intellectually and spiritually—from digesting these essays. Read them, for your good and for the good of Christ’s church.”
Shawn D. Wright, Associate Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“I have read some of these pieces before in other formats, but they are all excellent and worthily reproduced in one easily accessible volume. The article on N. T. Wright’s view of Scripture is worth the price of the whole. Carson displays eminently his characteristics of intellectual insight and graceful poise, matched with a forensic surgical skill at identifying the weaknesses of those with whom he disagrees. Coming from one of the preeminent evangelical biblical scholars of his generation, Carson’s thoughts on Scripture repay study, reflection, and modeling. The church is the better for his work. Not only are our minds filled when reading this book, but our hearts are moved to worship as a God-centered approach bleeds through every page.”
Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent 

About the Author

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Andrew David Naselli (PhD, Bob Jones University; PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is assistant professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433514419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433514418
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Bird on August 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Both the subject matter and the author made me jump on the chance to request a review copy of this book. Dr. Donald A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is a delight to read or listen to. And I always enjoy studying the doctrine of Scripture (not to be confused with Scriptural doctrine). The title reminded me of Sproul's Knowing Scripture, and I thought that perhaps this would be similar, but I was wrong.

Though the book under consideration is the subject of this review, it may help to know something about the reviewer. I am a layperson. Though I have taken a few courses related to the contents of this book, I have very limited knowledge or experience in the fields of textual criticism and the like. This book is not necessarily popular level reading, and it delves deeper into the doctrine of Scripture than some laypersons may want to go. I mention this, not as a criticism of Dr. Carson's excellent book, but as a qualification to my review. What I offer is a layperson's perspective, which, I hope, will be of value to other laypeople.

These previously published writings (compiled by Andrew David Naselli) fall into two main parts. Part 1, simply entitled "Essays," consists of five articles dealing with issues regarding the nature and interpretation of Scripture: "Approaching the Bible", "Recent Developments in the Doctrine of Scripture", "Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: The Possibility of Systematic Theology", "Redaction Criticism: On the Legitimacy and Illegitimacy of a Literary Tool", and "Is the Doctrine of Claritas Scripturae Still Relevant Today?" Dr. Carson's approach to the Bible is conservative.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By revtcr on January 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book is divided into two parts: (I) Essays: 1. Approaching the Bible 2. Recent Developments in the Doctrine of Scripture 3. Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: The Possibility of Systematic Theology 4. Redaction Criticism: On the Legitimacy and Illegitimacy of a Literary Tool 5. Is the Doctrine of Claritas Scripturae Still Relevant Today? (II) Reviews: Abraham (1981), Barr (1980), Marshall (1982), Webster (2003), Enns (2005), Wright (2005), Sheler (1999), Padgett and Keifert (2006), Boer (2007).

Carson himself stands in the evangelical tradition, that is: accepting the canon of Scripture as we know it (pp. 28-31), Accommodation, Inspiration, and Inerrancy (pp. 82-89). In his essay on "Redaction Criticism," though suspicious of it as a literary tool, adequately demonstrating this, Carson highlights at least two benefits of it. In "Claritas Scripturae," that is the perspecuity of Scripture, Carson begins with what the Scripture says about itself, then moves to the Fathers to the Magisterial Reformers, and up to contemporary times and the challenge of postmodernism.

Worth mentioning are Carson's reviews of Peter Enns' Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problems of the Old Testament, and N.T. Wright's The Last Word (Scripture and Authority of God, British title). Regarding Enns, while he views his "Incarnational Analogy" as a good way to address the problem that Evangelicals face with the Old Testament and even the New Testament writers use of it, Carson offers points of both agreements and disagreements.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Greg A. Wilson on August 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
New Testament scholar and theologian D. A. Carson is one of the foremost defenders of the inspiration and authority of Scripture in our generation. His Collected Writings on Scripture, a collection of essays and reviews on the doctrine of Scripture, is sure to become a classic work on this topic for serious students of Scripture, pastors and teachers. Carson's essay on "Approaching the Bible" is one of my favorites - an excellent study of the Word of God as divine revelation and how it should be interpreted. I also found Carson's essay on "Recent Developments in the Doctrine of Scripture" to be a helpful analysis of some of the more recent revisionist and higher criticism debates. Part Two of Collected Writings on Scripture contains Carson's reviews of nine important books on the doctrine of Scripture. These books, along with Carson's five essays in Part One of the book, represent some of the best scholarship over the last 30 years on the doctrine of Scripture. I commend it to serious students of Scripture, pastors and teachers.

[Disclosure of Material Connection: Crossway sent me a free review copy of this book. I was not asked to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.]

Greg Wilson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevin Wax on May 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This collection includes D.A. Carson's essays and book reviews which touch on a variety of Scripture-related subjects, from the use of redaction criticism to the pitfalls of postmodern hermeneutics. The book is intended for an academic audience, yet Carson's intricate argumentation is punctuated by his brilliant wit:

Reviewing a book by J.D.G. Dunn: "There is an important place for superficial books, but it is sad to see a superficial book claiming to present a profound argument." (126)
On the "spiritual benefits" of studying Bultmann: "I think it likely that few are spiritually uplifted in any distinctively Christian sense by being assured by Bultmann that angels, miracles, resurrection, and self-incarnating God are all impossible..." (217)
On a recent book that downplays propositional truth: "This book abounds in assertions about how unimportant assertions are." (313)

The best part of Carson's work is his insistence that students of Scripture seek not to master the text, but be mastered by the Bible.
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