Special revelation


Special revelation

Special revelation is a theological term that states a belief that knowledge of God and of spiritual matters can be discovered through supernatural means, such as miracles or the scriptures, a disclosure of God's truth through means other than through man's reason.

Theologians use the term "special revelation" to describe God's intervention to make God's will and knowledge available that would not otherwise be available through general revelation. Disclosure of this "special revelation" is at specific times to specific persons, and believed by Christian Theologians, to have been generally given through scripture, miracles, and through the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Other means by which God gave special revelation were by "divine voice or writing", "angels", "prophets", "visions" "dreams", "divine dictation", "inspiration" and "Spirit's guidance or guidance from the Holy Ghost". When reviewing these examples, one can see that they refer to Direct Revelation, which is now the third type of revelation. It is to note, that special revelation by way of "self-disclosure through the Bible", is not to be confused with personal communication from God.Givens, Terrly L., "The Book of Mormon and Dialogic", Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol 10, Num 2, (2001), pp.18]

Special revelation is a contrast to general revelation, which refers to the knowledge of God and spiritual matters which can be discovered through natural means, such as observation of nature, philosophy and reasoning, conscience or providence.

The purpose of Special Revelation is to impart the knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ, salvation and the atonement. Essentially it is knowledge and understanding, "that is requisite to salvation, that is, an explicit knowledge of Christ and his gospel."Paulsen, David L. and Alvord, Brent (article), "Joseph Smith and the Problem of the Unevangelized", FARMS Review 17/1 (2005), pp.184.]

The forms of special revelation as considered by Orthodox Christianity are
# Personal Experience
# Miracles
# Prophecy
# The Earthly Life of Jesus Christ
# The Scriptures (as a source of special revelation). "In divine affairs, we are saved by the grace of Christ from our sins and guilt before God [if we obey the special revelation] (Those Who Have Never Heard, p. 92) Gaynezz."."

Footnotes

References

*Paulsen, David L. and Alvord, Brent (article), "Joseph Smith and the Problem of the Unevangelized", FARMS Review 17/1 (2005).
*Givens, Terrly L., "The Book of Mormon and Dialogic", Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol 10, Num 2, (2001).
*Foutz, Scott David Foutz, "Systematic Theology Study Helps: Bibliology", TheologyWebsite.com 1998 - 2005, [http://www.theologywebsite.com/systheo/bibliology2.shtml Bibliology-Special Revelation]


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