This confession was written in 1560 by John Knox and five other members of the clergy. The Book of Confessions summarizes this Confession as follows.
The Scots Confession sets forth three marks of the true and faithful church: “the true preaching of the Word of God,” “the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus,” and “ecclesiastical discipline . . . whereby vice is repressed and virtue nourished.”
“Cleave, serve, worship, trust” are key words in this document. As a call to action in a turbulent time, the Scots Confession reflects a spirit of trust and a commitment to the God whose miraculous deliverance the Scots had experienced firsthand.
Following text represents my commentary on the previously quoted passage.
… contained in the written Word of God, that is, the Old and New Testaments, in those books which were originally reckoned canonical.
Here and in the Ordination Vows “The Word of God” is defined to consist of the Old and New Testaments. Note that neither Testament is given any sort of preference, clearly indication equality.
One of the tragedies of post-modern Christianity is the purposeful demotion of the Old Testament. Many contemporary Christians boldly claim that the New Testament is superior to the Old Testament. In fact, some continue on into pseudo-Gnosticism by claiming that the God of the Old Testament is different from that of the New Testament. These beliefs rest on the assumption that Jesus Christ’s ministry represents a break with rather than a continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament. This assumption is utterly false (for example, see Christianity Today here and here).
Jesus Christ taught that the Old Testament is God’s Word and clearly treated it as such. The primitive Christian church converted a pagan world using the Old Testament as God’s Word. The Christian church throughout history has embraced the Old Testament as equally God’s Word with the New Testament. And yet, today, Christians in utter ignorance of these truths treat the Old Testament like something unpleasant and dangerous that needs to be disregarded if not entirely discarded. Make no mistake. The elite movers behind this attitude have an agenda that they are aggressively pushing by encouragement of this falsehood.
We affirm that in these all things necessary to be believed for the salvation of man are sufficiently expressed. The interpretation of Scripture, we confess, does not belong to any private or public person, nor yet to any Kirk [Church] for pre-eminence or precedence, personal or local, which it has above others, but pertains to the Spirit of God by whom the Scriptures were written. When controversy arises about the right understanding of any passage or sentence of Scripture, or for the reformation of any abuse within the Kirk of God, we ought not so much to ask what men have said or done before us, as what the Holy Ghost uniformly speaks within the body of the Scriptures and what Christ Jesus himself did and commanded. For it is agreed by all that the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of unity, cannot contradict himself. So if the interpretation or opinion of any theologian, Kirk, or council, is contrary to the plain Word of God written in any other passage of the Scripture, it is most certain that this is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost, although councils, realms, and nations have approved and received it. We dare not receive or admit any interpretation which is contrary to any principal point of our faith, or to any other plain text of Scripture, or to the rule of love.
What this section teaches is that the Word of God is not flawed or contradictory. Yes, it may indeed be unclear in some areas regarding what it calls us to believe and do. However, the assumption is that this difficulty is due to our limitations in interpretation, not to Scripture’s limitations as God’s Word.
A logical consequence of this understanding is that if an “interpretation or opinion … is contrary to the plain Word of God written in any other passage of the Scripture, it is most certain that this is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost.” Note that the purpose of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is not to validate any opinion about Scripture by a Christian, but rather is to ensure that Scripture itself is noncontradictory and conveys God’s truth. Current PCUSA elites have thus falsified the doctrine of the Holy Spirit to enable their apostasy.
As we believe and confess the Scriptures of God sufficient to instruct and make perfect the man of God, so do we affirm and avow their authority to be from God, and not to depend on men or angels. We affirm, therefore, that those who say the Scriptures have no other authority save that which they have received from the Kirk are blasphemous against God and injurious to the true Kirk, which always hears and obeys the voice of her own Spouse and Pastor, but takes not upon her to be mistress over the same.
You can replace “Kirk” with “Church.” This statement is a direct contradiction to the current PCUSA elite’s practice of saying that Scripture teaches whatever they have decided it should, regardless of what the words of Scripture actually say. Note well the description of this practice: “blasphemous against God and injurious to the true Kirk.”