Shelby G. Floyd
From the beginning of the restoration movement, those who respected God and his word have also respected the silence of the scriptures. It was evident from the beginning of the movement to restore New Testament Christianity, that if one were to obey God, one must respect the silence of God’s word as well as the commandments. This is a Bible principle, for the apostle Peter said, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4: 11). This simply means when the Bible speaks, man is permitted to speak; but when the Bible is silent, man is obligated to remain silent.
The Silence of the Scriptures Must Be Respected
In commenting upon this great principle, one of the restoration historians stated very clearly what this means,
Thus the silence of the Bible was to be respected equally with its revelations, which were by Divine authority declared to be able to ‘make the man of God perfect and thoroughly furnished unto every good work.’ Anything more, then, must be an encumbrance. Anything less then ‘the whole counsel of God’ would be a dangerous deficiency. Simply, reverentially, confidingly, they would speak of Bible things in Bible words, adding nothing thereto and omitting nothing given by inspiration. They had thus a clear and well defined basis of action, and the hearts of all who were truly interested reechoed the resolve: ‘Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent’” (Robert Richardson, Me-moirs of Alexander Campbell, Volume 1, p. 237).