(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 54

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54. That by means of doctrine the Word not only becomes intelligible, but also as it were shines with light, is because without doctrine it is not understood, and is like a lampstand without a lamp, as has been shown above. By means of doctrine therefore the Word is understood, and is like a lampstand with a lighted lamp. The man then sees more things than he had seen before, and also understands those things which before he had not understood. Dark and contradictory things he either does not see and passes over, or sees and interprets them so that they agree with the doctrine. The experience of the Christian world attests that the Word is seen from doctrine, and is also interpreted according to it. All the Reformed see and interpret the Word from and according to their own doctrine; so do the Papists from and according to theirs, and even the Jews do so from and according to theirs; thus from a false doctrine all see falsities, and from a true doctrine truths. It is evident therefore that true doctrine is like a lamp in the dark, and a guidepost on the way. But doctrine is not only to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word, but must also be confirmed thereby; for if not so confirmed the truth of doctrine appears as if only man's intelligence were in it, and not the Lord's Divine wisdom; and so the doctrine would be like a house in the air, and not on the earth, and would lack a foundation.


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