I found this quote from Jewel's Treatise (pp. 50-1) to be relevant to the discussion: Many think the Apostle's speech is hardly true of the whole Scripture, that all and every part of the Scripture is profitable. Much is spoken of genealogies, and pedigrees, of lepers, of sacrificing goats and oxen, &c. these seem to have little profit in them, but to be vain and idle. If they shew vain in thine eyes, yet hath not the Lord set them down in vain. “The words of the Lord are pure words, as the silver tried in a furnace of earth fined seven times'.” There is no sentence, no clause, no word, no syllable, no letter, but it is written for thy instruction; there is not one jot, but it is sealed and signed with the blood of the Lamb. Our imaginations are idle, our thoughts are vain; there is noidleness, no vanity in the word of God. Those oxen and goats which were sacrificed, teach thee to kill and sacrifice the uncleanness and filthiness of thy heart: they teach thee, that thou art guilty of death, when thy life must be re deemed by the death of some beast: they lead thee to believe the forgiveness of sins, by a more perfect sacrifice, because “it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” That leprosy teacheth thee to know the uncleanness and leprosy of thy soul. Those genealogies and pedigrees lead us to the birth of our Saviour Christ. So that the whole word of God is pure and holy: no word, no letter, no syllable, no point or prick thereof, but is written and preserved for thy sake. This gives us some idea of how Christians regarded the word of God in those days. I don't think they were the least bit inclined to think that some bit here or some passage there didn't belong in Scripture. They thought all of it was "the word of God" (p. 6) which "the Lord hath spoken." Nothing written by any church father could come close to the level of authority inherent in the word of God.