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The Middle Ages, to a large extent, form an interim in the development of doctrine and the truth of the Word of God. The church in the West had been overrun by invasions of Germanic pagans which destroyed the structure of society and culture. With the removal of the government of the Roman Empire to Constantinople in the East, the only effective government in the West gradually became the church. Gregory the Great became Bishop of Rome in 590.

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We have been considering the principle laid down in Scripture and taught us also by the reformers, that Scripture is its own interpreter. Thus far we have focused our attention upon the words and phrases of Scripture and upon doing what are called word studies. The purpose of such study is to listen carefully to the text of Scripture and to submit our understanding to the Word of God. This is also true of the study of the grammar of the text. The word grammar may...

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The Word of God is clear and understandable to the believing child of God. This is the position of the Reformation. Over against Rome, which set aside Scripture’s sole authority and clarity in order to teach the doctrines of men, the Reformers exalted the Word of God to its proper place as the all-sufficient rule of faith and life. This objective principle of truth was the guiding principle of the church’s reformation. It does not stand by itself, however; the Word of God must be spiritually appropriated and its meaning understood. And this is a matter of the inner principle...

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The Middle Ages were characterized in our last article as a period in the history of the church in which there was a famine of the hearing of the Word of God. Social and political chaos had followed the Germanic invasions of Europe, and out of that chaos emerged a church, centralized in the papacy, with great temporal power and influence, capable of lording it over the minds and consciences of men. The Word of God was withdrawn from circulation, and learning and even literacy itself declined and were preserved mainly in isolated monastic communities.

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