The Silence of the Scriptures

Bill Jackson

Surely one of the most effective and most scriptural, arguments the saints have made down through the years is that of the authority of the silence of the Scriptures. In hundreds of debates with proponents of every kind of error, audiences were shown that when God legislates in a certain area, making clear His requirements, then man has no authority to go beyond that, adding similar or like things to what God has specified. We have correctly used the gopher wood, the pitch, the dimensions of the ark, in the case of Noah (Gen. 6), and we have used the fruit of the vine and the bread on the Lord’s table (Mat. 26:26-28) on the same point.

Of late, men are stating that there can be no argument based on “the silence of the Scriptures.” As one put it, “Man is free to do any and everything that God has not specifically forbidden.” And one other man, in the kingdom, said that “Any matter falling within the silence of the Scriptures should be treated as options, based on the rule of Romans 14.” In correspondence with one in another state, when the matter of dancing in worship was brought up, and our having no specific condemnation in the New Testament of such, his answer was that if the congregation’s elders gave approval and if they then could see some benefit to be gained, it would be proper! Thus, the end to which one will be taken if he feels there can be no legitimate argument based on the Silence of the Scriptures!

We know the argument we now are supporting is a legitimate one, for we find it used in the Word! In Hebrews 7, as the writer speaks of the priesthood of Christ under the New Testament, he states that there has been a change of the law, thus necessitating a change in the priesthood (v. 12). He speaks of our Lord coming from the tribe of Judah (v. 14), and in making then the point that the Lord could not be a priest if the law of Moses were still in effect, the writer states, “…of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”

Thus, the argument is made that Jesus could not be a priest under the Old Testament law, because the Scriptures said nothing about one of Judah being a priest! Let us, as we continue to stress Biblical authority, and the right handling of the Word (2 Tim. 2:15), also continually stress the silence of the Scriptures!

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Author: Editor

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