Is "Doctrine" Biblical?
Sometimes I hear people say, "I think we should just follow the Bible, not any one doctrine or theology." I always cringe just a little bit, though I think I know what they mean.
Dr. R. Scott Clark answers in this month's issue of TableTalk magazine:
"Our English word doctrine is derived from a Latin word, doctrina, which means, 'that which is taught.'" In the old Latin Bible (before the English Bible in 1382), the word doctrine occurs more than one hundred times. "The King James Version (1611) used the word about half as often, and contemporary translations use it more sparingly. Nevertheless, the idea is present throughout Scripture."
As we see, doctrine is the teaching or instruction of the Bible. Where we get off track is when we teach things that are not in the Bible. So, should we teach the Bible or should we teach doctrine? The two questions have the same answer because they are the same question. We should teach what the Bible teaches, and hold to it firmly, as we have been instructed to. This is God's Word, and we must know and believe what it says in its entirety if we are to live and enjoy life as God intends. The teaching of doctrine is essential to a healthy church.