And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
You will observe that the historical order — which is the order of time — is inverted, and the "apostles" are placed before the "prophets." And for this reason: because, in the sentence, we are descending the "foundation." The "apostles" are laid on the "prophets," and the "prophets" are laid on "Christ." This is the way that our faith touches God. The Bible rests on God — we rest on the Bible: so we reach God. It will not be out of place if I take occasion to say here to you what I often say to those whom I have under instruction — what are the four great proofs of inspiration?
1. The presumptive proof, of which I have been speaking — that we should expect that, when God has made such a creature as man, He would give to that creature some revelation of Himself.
2. The internal evidence. The authorship of the books of the Bible spreads over a period of nearly sixteen hundred years. There is one pervading current of thought. How could that agreement be, unless it had been dictated by some one Master-mind? And what could that Master-mind be, but God?
3. The external evidence. This book — from beginning to end — is full of prophecy. Could any human mind, unassisted, have done that? Could any but God do that? Then God wrote the Bible.
4. The experimental evidence. The book exactly fits the heart. I feel it when I read it; whoever made my heart made that book. The two must have one origin, and that origin must have been God. Thus, then, I arrive at the firm conviction that "the apostles and prophets" are a "sure foundation" on which to build our creed and our salvation, being themselves built on "the chief cornerstone." We get, then, at the "foundation" of "truth," "truth" in its two-fold strength — "prophetic truth," "apostolic truth"; "prophetic truth" representing the Old Testament, — "apostolic truth" representing the blew Testament — and both on Christ. What is "prophetic truth"? Taken in its broad outline, it is this: the affairs, the destinies of this world all under the one watchful eye, and the one superintending hand, of Almighty God. To Him, all time is one unbroken now. And "apostolic truth" is this. This world has been the scene of a great mission. Christ, the Son of God, has been here, and He hath been careful to extend and perpetuate the knowledge of His mission, and all its benefits by missionaries, whom He hath sent to all the world.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;