'Not the Word of God': Varieties of Antiscripturism during the English Revolution

Hessayon, Ariel. 2018. 'Not the Word of God': Varieties of Antiscripturism during the English Revolution. In: Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó Hannracháin, eds. The English Bible in the Early Modern World. Leiden: Brill, pp. 161-182. ISBN 9789004347977 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

An Antiscripturist, that is one who denies the truth and authority of Scripture, was a polemically constructed term used and popularised by the Presbyterian heresiographer Thomas Edwards in his notorious Gangraena (1646). Hitherto very little scholarly work has focussed exclusively on the category of antiscripturism so in this article I explore the basis of antiscripturian ideas, their evolution and the diverse ways in which they were articulated during the English Revolution by members of various religious communities and political movements. I suggest that, on the whole, initial objections to what was envisaged as an unquestioning adherence to the outward letter of Scripture together with doubts about its salvific potential were reinforced by several interlinked doctrinal positions: the supremacy of the interior spirit over exterior flesh; the supersession of ordinances; seeking and awaiting a return to the primitive Christianity of the Apostles; and belief in the imminent second coming of Christ.

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1 May 2018Published

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30 Nov 2018 10:03

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10 Mar 2021 12:34



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