According to Luther, they are interdependent: that in the Bible which gives the message of justification is that which deals with Christ, and is that which is authentic. And on the other hand, this doctrine is taken from the Bible and therefore is dependent on it. This was in Luther very free and creative; Bible and justification were inter-dependent, in a living way. But this was not the attitude of Orthodoxy. The two were put beside each other. This meant that the real principle became the Bible, namely the realm of authority.

What was the doctrine of the Bible in Orthodoxy? The Bible is witnessed in a 3-fold way: 1) by external criteria, such as age, miracles, prophecy, martyrs, etc.; 2) by internal criteria, namely, style, sublime ideas, moral sanctity; 3) by the testimony of the Divine Spirit.

This testimony, however, gets another meaning. It is no more the meaning that we are the children of God, as Paul speaks: the Spirit testifies that we are the children of God. — It became the testimony that the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures are true and inspired by the Spirit. This means: instead of the immediacy of the Spirit in relationship of man and God, the Spirit witnesses to the authentia, the authenticity, of the Bible insofar as it is a document of the Divine Spirit. Now you see the difference: if the Spirit tells you are children of God, then this is an immediate experience, and there is no law involved in it at all. If the Spirit testifies that the Bible has true doctrines, then the whole thing is brought out of the person-to- person relationship into an objective legal relationship. And that is exactly what Orthodoxy did.

And if this is true, then something else is true, very interesting discussion: the discussion about the theologia irregenitorum , the theology of those who are not converted.. the unregenerate. If the Bible is the legal law of Protestantism then it is possible that everybody who can read the Bible and interpret it scientifically is able to write a systematic theology even if he does not participate at all; only because he is able to participate in terms of the understanding of the meaning of the sentences and words. I anticipate something when I say that this was absolutely denied by the Pietists, who said there is only a theologia regenitorum, of those who are regenerated. When we look at this discussion in modern terms, we say Orthodoxy believed in a systematic theology which is not existential, while the Pietists believed in an existential theology which alone is able to give a theology.