Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture #1

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1. The Sacred Scripture, or Word, Is Divine Truth Itself

Everyone says that the Word comes from God, is Divinely inspired, and so is holy. But even so, no one has known before this wherein the Divinity in it lies. For in its letter the Word appears as though written in the ordinary way, in a foreign style, neither as sublime or nor as lucid as writings of the present age seem to be.

As a result, a person who worships nature as God, or in preference to God, and so thinks prompted by self and his own self-interest, and not prompted by heaven in response to the Lord, may easily fall into error regarding the Word, and into scorning it, and when reading it, saying to himself, “What is this? What is that? Is this Divine? Can God, whose wisdom is infinite, speak so? Where is the holiness in it, and what makes it holy, other than some teaching of religion and so conviction?”

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The Sacred Scripture, or Word, Is Divine Truth Itself 1 Lest people remain in doubt, therefore, that such is the nature of the Word, the Lord has revealed to me the internal meaning of the Word, one that in its essence is spiritual, which is present in the outward, natural meaning, like a soul in its body. 4 1. What the spiritual meaning is. The spiritual meaning is not the sense that shines from the literal one when one is studying the Word and interpreting it in order to confirm some dogma of the church. This sense is the Word’s literal sense. 5 2. The presence of the spiritual meaning in each and every particular of the Word. This can best be seen from illustrations, such as the following. In the book of Revelation, John says: 9 3. The spiritual meaning is what causes the Word to be Divinely inspired and holy in every word. People in the church say that the Word is holy, and this because Jehovah God spoke it. 18 4. The spiritual sense of the Word has been previously unknown. Every single thing found in nature corresponds to something spiritual. So, too, every single thing found in the human body. This is something we showed in the book Heaven and Hell 87-115. 20 5. The Word’s spiritual meaning is granted after this only to someone who possesses genuine truths from the Lord. The reason is this: because no one can see the spiritual meaning unless he is enabled to do so by the Lord alone, and unless he possesses genuine truths from Him. 26 The Word’s Literal Sense Is the Foundation, Containing Vessel and Buttress of Its Spiritual and Celestial Meanings 27 In the Word’s Literal Sense, Divine Truth Is Present in Its Fullness, in Its Holiness, and in Its Power 37 Truths in the Word’s literal sense are meant by the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21. This follows from the fact that the New Jerusalem means a new church in respect to doctrine, as shown in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Lord 62, 63. 43 Truths and goods in the Word’s literal sense are meant by the Urim and Thummim. The Urim and Thummim were placed on the ephod of Aaron, whose priesthood represented the Lord in respect to His Divine goodness and in respect to His work of salvation. 44 Truths in the Word’s literal sense are meant by the precious stones in the Garden of Eden in which the King of Tyre is said in Ezekiel to have been. We read in Ezekiel: 45 The Word’s literal sense is symbolized by the curtains and veils of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle represented heaven and the church. Its form was therefore shown by Jehovah on Mount Sinai. 46 The outer constituents of the Temple in Jerusalem represented the outer constituents of the Word, which are those of its literal sense. That is because the Temple had the same representation as the Tabernacle, namely heaven and the church, and so also the Word. 47 When the Lord was transfigured, He represented the Word in its glory. When the Lord was transfigured before Peter, James and John, we read that “His face shone like the sun, ” that “His garments became as white as the light, ” and that “Moses and Elijah appeared... 48 The Church’s Doctrine Must Be Drawn from the Word’s Literal Sense and Verified by It 50 1. The Word is not understood apart from doctrine. That is because the Word in its literal sense consists of nothing but correspondent forms, in order for spiritual and celestial concepts to be present in it at the same time, and for each word to be a containing vessel and buttress of those 51 2. Doctrine must be drawn from the Word’s literal sense and verified by it. That is because there and nowhere else is the Lord present with a person so as to enlighten him and teach him the church’s truths. 53 3. Genuine truth, of which doctrine ought to consist, is apparent in the Word’s literal sense only to people who are enlightened by the Lord. Enlightenment comes from the Lord alone, and it is found in people who love truths because they are true and apply them to useful life endeavors. 57 The Word’s Literal Sense Makes Possible a Conjunction with the Lord and Affiliation with Angels 62 The Word Exists in All of the Heavens, and Is the Source of the Angels’ Wisdom 70 The Church Is Formed by the Word, and Its Character Is Such as Its Understanding of the Word 76 Every Single Constituent of the Word Contains a Marriage of the Lord and the Church, and So a Marriage of Goodness and Truth 80 Heresies May Be Seized On from the Word’s Literal Sense, But It Is Harmful to Affirm Them 91 The Lord Came into the World to Fulfill Everything in the Word, and to Become as a Consequence Divine Truth, or the Word, Also in Outmost Expressions 98 Before the Current Word in the World Today, There Was a Word That Has Been Lost 101 The Word Is the Means by Which Those Have Light Who Are Outside the Church and Do Not Have the Word 104 Without the Word No One Would Have Any Knowledge of God, of Heaven and Hell, of Life after Death, and Still Less of the Lord 114
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Divine Providence 172

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 76, 114

   Parallel Passages:

True Christian Religion 189

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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.