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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Christian scripture is about God’s revelation, which is ‘ontologically’ prior. But scripture is epistemically prior: people typically first encounter Christian revelation through scripture and individuals inspired by scripture. Sacred writings of Christianity abound with specific revelatory claims of the form ‘God revealed that such-and-such’, and the more general Christian revelatory claim compounds the propositional content of Christian scripture. So the notion of a revelatory claim can be used to explore simultaneously the concepts of Christian revelation and scripture. Three questions are addressed: (1) What general method can a non-believer use in attempting to assess the truth of the Christian revelatory claim? (2) What standard must belief in the Christian revelatory claim meet in order for the belief to be justified or warranted? (3) Are the epistemic standards in theology (with regard to revelation) different from epistemic standards elsewhere?

Keywords: revelation, scripture, revelatory claim, epistemic standards, probable inference, best explanation

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