Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Monday, November 6, 2017

WHY is the Bible so important?

Good question. The answer is actually fairly complicated, but a good beginning is in 2Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect (complete), thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

So there are three clauses in this set of verses, and each has its own special value when we are considering how the Bible might be important to us.
First is the source clause. Where did the Bible come from? (I might note that Paul was discussing the Old Testament in this particular passage). The ultimate answer, offered up by Paul, is that the Bible came from God. This is in stark contrast to today's common view that the Bible is a book written by mere men, to explore their religious beliefs (or fantasies, as the case may be). Jesus, in case you're wondering, said the same thing as Paul:

Matthew 5:17-18: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

"The Scriptures must be fulfilled." (Mark 14:49)

"Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17)

There are many people, as John Walvoord once said, who believe that the Bible is full of lies, that it depicts man's search for God through one race (the Jews), instead of God's revelation to man. However, what Paul says goes beyond the ideas of fulfillment, and even of truth:
He said: "All Scripture is given by inspiration from God."  Theologians and scholars have long pointed out that the words "given by inspiration from God" in English is ONE word in the original language, theopneustos, or, "the breath of God," or . "God breathed." So the book that you hold in your hand, Paul asserts, is literally from God, in the most intimate sense. It's what He has to say to mankind, and to you. It is lifegiving (if you listen), it is life-sustaining. It is how you define and understand your relationship to God. It is how God speaks to you. It is the objective measure by which all of God's self-revelation must be understood, and it is alone among human literature in its eternal influence and impact. No other words match it. No other words can be understood to do what the Bible does for the human mind, heart and soul. It stands alone, mighty, invincible as the One who created it, and who "magnified His Word above all His name." (Psalm 138:2). I could go on, but one passage will be sufficient to give you the idea:

Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living, and power-filled, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

In short, you don't judge the Bible. It judges you.