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This Chapter contains a Treatment of the Principium of Theology, or SACRED SCRIPTURE:
I. A Nominal Treatment: in which the rationale of the denomination of Sacred Scripture is explained, § 1.
II. A Real Treatment: in which a very full Definition of Sacred Scripture occurs, § 2, of which is explained:
A. The Genus, which is the Word of God, which our AUTHOR discusses, § 3-11.
א . That Word is considered as:
α. Formerly ἄγραφον/unwritten,
a. With the prophecy of Enoch, etc., not hindering,
b. On account of various reasons, § 3.
β. Afterwards ἔγγραφον/written at the Commandment of God, who
a. Is shown to have given a Commandment
a. To write to His Ministers,
b. To read to His people, § 4, part 1.
b. Hence the twofold Error of the Papists is rejected,
a. That the Scripture was written down only by chance and at the bare pleasure of men.
b. That the Scripture is not necessary, § 4, part 1.
ב . That is called the Word of God, especially on account of its Infallible Inspiration; of which
α. The Object is set forth, which are
a. All the Persons, that wrote or are set forth as impelled by the Spirit to speak.
b. All the Matters, dogmatic and historical, good and bad, more or less weighty, which last is defended against the Socinians.
c. The individual Words, § 5.
β. The Certitude of θεοπνευστίας/inspiration and of the connected Authority of Scripture in itself and with respect to us,
a. Is asserted in a legitimate manner, § 6
b. And that method of proving the Divinity of the Scripture is defended against the false method of the Papists, whose captious objections are refuted, § 7.
γ. The Authority of Scripture, proceeding from Inspiration, as, with respect to Substance, is in every faithful Edition of the Scripture, so, with respect to the Words also, it is taught to be Independent and Authentic,
a. Positively, only in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and Greek text of the New Testament, which
a. Is proven, § 8.
b. Is defended especially against the Papists, disparaging the current Authenticity of those texts, whose Objections are resolved, § 9.
b. Negatively, hence is rejected the Authenticity
a. Of the Vulgate Latin Version of the Papists, which thesis
1. Is confirmed by Arguments,
2. Is freed from the Objections of the Papists, § 10.
b. Of the Samaritan Pentateuch, § 11, in the beginning,
c. Of the Greek Version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, vulgarly called Viralis, which
1. Is built upon by Reasons,
2. Is defended against Objections, § 11.
B. Its Differences of Species, sought from
א . The efficient, instrumental Cause, or Amanuenses, the Prophets and Apostles, of whose ministry God made use in the writing of His Word, § 12.
ב . The Material from which and the external Form, which
α. Positively is related, § 13-18.
a. The Material of Composition of the Sacred Scripture is the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments, the number and division of which is discussed, § 13.
b. The present Form the Canon of θεοπνεύστων/inspired Books receives by the reception of those Books into the Canon by the Church, to which was competent
a. The Separation of those Books from the ἀκανονίστοις/ non-canonical,
b. The Arrangement, Inscription, Subscription, Division into Chapters, etc., of the same, § 14.
c. The proper Attributes of these Canonical Books are,
a. That they never perish:
1. Neither all at the same time in the Babylonian devastation of the City and Temple of Jerusalem, § 15.
2. Nor any one individually, which
§. Is proven,
§§. Is defended against Objections, § 16.
b. That eduring, all the Canonical books remain,
1. Always, even those Old Testament books under the New, which against the Anabaptists, etc.,
§. Is proven.
§§. Their Objections are resolved, § 17.
2. Equally, which is observed
§. Against the Socinians and those Socinianizing, who sometimes elevate the predictions of the Prophets.
§§. Against the Papists, distinguishing between Books Proto- and Deutero-Canonical, § 18.
β. Negatively from the Canon of θεοπνεύστων/inspired are excluded the books that are called Apocryphal, the repudiation of which
a. Is confirmed, § 19.
b. Is defended against the Objections of the Papists, who hold six of those as Canonical, and of others, § 20.
ג . The Object or internal Material, the Material concerning which, or the Argument of Sacred Scripture, which
α. Is taught to be the Doctrine of true Religion, unto which all the remaining things occurring in the Scriptures ought to be referred in their own manner, § 21.
β. The Mode is explained, in which concerning its own Object the Scripture is conversant. That is, Scripture relates that
a. Truly, and indeed equally Truly in all things, Natural things not excepted, which is proven and defended, § 22.
b. Consistently with itself, to such an extent that no Contradictions, rightly so called, are found among the Sacred Books, § 23.
c. Perspicuously, to such an extent that in necessary matters it is able to be understood by those reading piously. Which perspicuity
a. Negatively, is not Objective, and to such an extent is not able to be understood savingly apart from the Illumination of the Spirit: which
1. Is proven,
2. Is defended against the Socinians, § 24.
b. Positively, is Subjective: which Subjective Perspicuity
1. Is proven against the Papists, § 25.
2. Is freed from their Objections, § 26.
d. Perfectly; in such a way that
a. Positively we hold that the Dogmas necessary for Salvation are contained Perfectly and Sufficiently in Sacred Scripture: which
1. Is proven by arguments,
2. Is defended against various Objections, § 27.
b. Negatively we reject,
1. Both the Traditions of the Papists orally propagated, which Traditions
§. Are refuted by arguments, § 28.
§§. A response is given to the Objections of the Papists on behalf of the same, § 29.
2. And the Enthusiasts’ private Revelations of the Spirit, as if these might be another principium of the Faith: which again
§. Are confuted, § 30.
§§. A response is given to the Objections of the Enthusiasts, § 31.
ד . The Proximate End, which is that it might be a perpetual Canon or Rule of Faith and Manners: Which
α. End itself
a. Is proven,
b. Is defended against the Papists, § 32.
β. The Means tending toward this end are exhibited: which are
a. The Translation of the Scripture into the vernacular Languages, of which
a. The Propriety and Necessity is proven, § 33.
b. The Respect due to Versions is asserted, § 34.
b. The Reading of the Scripture before and by a Christian people, which
a. Is asserted validly, § 35.
b. Is defended against the Papists forbidding the Reading of the Bible to the people, § 36.
c. The Understanding of the Sense of Scripture. Where
a. The Subject is discussed by our AUTHOR, or the Sense of Sacred Scripture, which
1. He observes,
§. Is commonly said to be only One by us, and that either Simple, or Composite.
§§. But is everywhere established by the Papists as Twofold, Literal and Mystical, which Mystical again is Allegorical, Tropological, or Anagogical, § 37.
2. His own Epicrisis concerning that, which concerning the Sense of Sacred Scripture he thinks is to be held, our AUTHOR subjoins in five distinct theses, § 38.
b. And as far as the Predicate, of Understanding, is concerned, to this the Interpretation of Scripture and the Judgment of Controversies of Faith have regard. Of these matters is determined
1. The Subject, with which they agree. And thus
§. The Private Judgment of Discernment agrees with individual Believers; which
̸. Is proven,
̸̸. Is defended against the Papists, § 39, in the beginning.
§§. A Judgment Ministerial, public, and externally definitive, agrees with the Overseers of the Church, which is proven, § 39, in the middle.
§§§. The Judgment Normative or directive agrees with the Scripture itself, § 39, near the end.
§§§§. Whether there be in addition a Judge, Supreme and ἀνυπεύθενος, not accountable, in the Church, is disputed, § 39, at the end.
̸. Negatively our AUTHOR holds that this Dignity is not to be bestowed upon
̅ . An Enthusiastical Spirit, § 40a.
̲̅ . Human Reason or Philosophy, which, against the Socinians and various Philosophers,
†. Is proven,
††. Is defended, § 40b.
̶̲̅ . The Church, which
†. Our AUTHOR proves by various arguments, § 41,
††. And defends against the Objections of the Papists, who maintain the contrary, § 42.
̸ ̸. Positively he concludes that this honor agrees with the Holy Spirit Alone, speaking now in the Word Written; which our AUTHOR
̅ . Proves,
̲̅ . Defends against various arguments, § 43.
2. The Object: which our AUTHOR relates
§. Negatively not to be Dominical sayings alone:
§§. Positively, however, he maintains that the Interpretation of Scripture is extended to the whole Scripture, with the treatment of the Prophecies or of Controversial Passages not excluded, § 44.
3. The Method of arriving at the true Understanding of the Scriptures, and a right Judgment concerning matters of faith: to this have regard
§. The various Means of Interpretation, which are
̸ . Positively
̅ . Prayers,
̲̅ . A Spirit humble, teachable, etc.,
̶̲̅ . The Resources of other Interpretations, an investigation of the original Languages;
̶̲͇̅ . The Analogies
†. Of Faith,
††. Of Context, § 45.
̸̸. Negatively the thesis of the Papists is not admitted, who maintain that the Unanimous Exposition of the Fathers is the best Means of true Interpretation and at the same time a most certain criterion. Which
̅ . Opinion is refuted, § 46.
̲̅ . The Objections of the Papists are resolved, § 47.
§§. The Canons to be observed in Interpretation: of which sort are
̸ . The Interpretation of Scripture, as it ought to be done through clearer words of the Scripture itself.
̸̸. In that, there is to be no receding from the propriety of the words.
̸̸ ̸. There is to be no transfer unto a Mystical Sense upon a slight basis, § 48.
̸̸̸̸. The Force of the Words is to be retained, as far as the Analogy of Faith and of Context permits. With which Canon is compared that other traditional Canon: The Word signify all that, which they are able to signify, § 49.
ה . The Highest End,
α. Both subordinate, the Salvation of the Elect,
β. And supreme, the Glory of God, § 50.
In this Chapter occurs,
I. A Nominal Treatment of THEOLOGY, § 1-6, in which things pertaining to the Name are to be considered:
A. Its Etymology, inasmuch as it is composed ofΘεὸς/theos/God and λόγος/logos/word, with the result that it isΘεοῦ λόγος, a word of, or pertaining to, God, § 1, the former part; hence is exhibited
א . The original signification of the Name Theology, § 1, part two .
ב . Is delivered the first,ἄγραφος/unwritten, use of the word, even as far as the paronymic name of Theology, § 2;
γ. Are set forth the component wordsἔγγραφοι/written, Θεοῦ λόγια, the oracles of God, and Θεοῦ λόγος, the word of God, and this indeed
α. ἐνυπόστατος, or personal, § 3,
β. προφορικὸς, or uttered, § 4, the former part;
ד . The conclusion is hence deduced, that the word Theology is not to be rejected as ἄγραφον, a thing unwritten, § 4, the latter part:
B. Its Synonym, § 5,
C. Its Homonym, as it is used of Theology
א . False, which is said to be chiefly fourfold,
γ. Contemporary Jewish,
δ. Gentile, and that again,
ב . True, § 6.
II. A Real Treatment; in which are to be observed
- The Division of True Theology according to the rationale of the Subjects, according to which in the first place is Archetypal or Ectypal:
- An Explication of this Division; even indeed
א . Of Theology Archetypal, § 7;
ב . Ectypal, which
α. Is explained in general, § 8, in the beginning,
β. Is subdivided into the Theology
a. Of Union, concerning which § 8, in the latter part,
b. Of Vision, concerning which § 9,
c. Of the Race-course; of which
a. The Nature is explained, § 10,
b. The Existence is proven, § 11, and which
c. Is divided again into Theology Natural and Revealed.
1. Concerning Natural Theology the Author treats, § 12-22:
§. The Existence of it
̸. He asserts, and distinctly indeed
̅ . Of Theology Innate, § 12,
̲̅ . Of Theology Acquired, § 13:
As if in parentheses the AUTHOR inserts here two Observations:
I. For the acquisition of Natural Theology Doubt Universal, concerning even the Existence of God Himself, is not to be urged, § 14;
II. In what sense the Idea of God is to be admitted in man, and in what way the argument for the Existence of God thence fetched is valid and not valid, § 15;
̸ ̸. He distinguishes in man Fallen from the Natural Theology of Adam, § 16;
̸ ̸ ̸. He vindicates from the Objections of those denying it, especially of the Socinians, § 17;
§§. The Object of it he delineates, relating just how far
̸. Positively it reaches truly,
̸ ̸. Negatively it does not reach, § 18;
§§§. An Adjunct hence flowing, namely, the Insufficiency of Natural Theology for salvation;
̸. It is constructed with arguments, § 19;
̸ ̸. It is freed from the Objections of the Pelagians and Socinians, § 20:
§§§§. The Agreement and Difference of Natural and Revealed Theology is indicated, § 21;
§§§§§. The Limit of Natural Theology is observed, § 22:
2. Concerning Revealed Theology the AUTHOR speaks, § 23-36,
§. The Necessity of which he demonstrate, § 23;
§§. The various Divisions of which he treats, according to which there is
̸. Practical or Habitual, with a supernatural Character, composed of Knowledge, Wisdom, Prudence, § 24;
̸ ̸. Teaching or Systematic, which
̅ . Again is divided
†. With respect to its Parts, especially into Didactic and Elenctic, § 25, the first part,
††. With respect to the Manner of treatment, into
AA. Positive, and
BB. Scholastic; which latter again
אא . Either is so called in a good sense, which is set forth, § 25, the latter part,
בב . Or in an inferior sense, for the Scholastic Theology of the Papists, concerning which what is to be insisted on is shown, § 26;
̲̅ . Is defined, § 27, which Definition is explained
†. With respect to Genus, § 28-31, which
AA. In general is called Doctrine, § 28, in the beginning,
BB. In species
אא . Practical no less, indeed more, than Theoretical; which
αα. Is proven,
ββ. Is defended against Objections, § 28, in the second part;
בב . Doctrine, not only Noëtic, but also Dianoëtic, in which the use of Consequences
αα. Is asserted, § 29, the first part,
ββ. Is defended against Anabaptists, Lutherans, and Papists, § 29, the second part, § 30;
γγ. The Papistical Division of Consequences into Conclusions Theological and of Faith is rejected, § 31;
††. With respect to the Difference of Species, sought from
AA. Its Principium, whence Revealed Theology is drawn; which
אא . With respect to its own nature,
αα. Is explained,
aa. Positively, inasmuch as it is the sole Word of God:
bb. Negatively; in which are rejected,
aa. The Degrees of Synods,
bb. The authority of the Fathers or of the Philosophers,
cc. The Testimony of the Senses,
dd. Human reason, the manifold Use of which in Revealed Theology is nevertheless indicated,
‡. Ministerial, and that various;
‡‡. The more Principal, § 32;
ββ. Is confirmed, § 33, in the beginning;
בב . With respect to the Mode of Revelation was various, as it is related, § 33, the last part;
BB. Its Object, which is true Religion, § 34,
CC. Its Subject, which is Fallen Man, § 35,
DD. Its End, which is
אא . Supreme, the Glory of God,
בב . Subordinate, the Salvation of Men, § 36.
Bernardinus de Moor was born on January 29, 1709. He studied at the great Dutch University of Leiden, which had been a center of Reformed scholarship from the time of its founding in 1575. Its faculty had included some prominent Reformed theologians, such as Franciscus Junius (1592-1602), Franciscus Gomarus (1594-1611), Antonius Walaeus (1619-1639), Johannes Hoornbeeck (1653-1666), and Herman Witsius (1698-1708), among others. De Moor attended at Leiden from 1726-1730, and had the opportunity to study under Johannes Wesselius (1712-1745), remembered for his Dissertationes academicæ, and Johannes à Marck (1689-1731). De Moor was especially attached to à Marck, and à Marck, shortly before his death, asked De Moor to continue his work, which he would indeed do.
After his time at Leiden, De Moor labored in the pastoral ministry at Ingen, Broek in Waterland, Zaandam, and Enkuizen. He was appointed as professor of theology at Franeker in 1744, but, before he was even able to deliver his inaugural address, he was appointed to succeed his former teacher, Johannes Wesselius, as professor of theology at Leiden, upon Wesselius’ death (1745); de Moor continued in this position for the rest of his life.
It seems that in his teaching method, De Moor honored the dying wish of his teacher and friend, Johannes à Marck. The substance of De Moor’s lectures survives in his massive Continuous Commentary on Johannes Marckius’ Didactico-Elenctic Compendium of Christian Theology (1761-1778; in seven volumes). As its title indicates, De Moor’s lectures were something of a running commentary upon the Compendium of à Marck, while also drawing upon and digesting the fruits of two centuries of Reformed theological thought. De Moor’s Commentary is a masterpiece.
Why undertake such a massive labor? Next installment…
 J. Martin Bac, “Clear and Distinct Freedom: A Compendium of Bernardinus de Moor (1709-1780) in a Cartesian Context,” Reformed Thought on Freedom, eds. Willem J. van Asselt, J. Martin Bac, and Roelf T. te Velde (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010), 201.
 Willem J. van Asselt, Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011), 177.