When I was in Bible College 25 years ago a professor asked this question:
"Does the bible contain the word of God?"
I'm sure that most of us answered yes. The teacher's response was:
"The bible does not contain the word of God, it is the word of God!"
An interesting and somewhat fundamentalist delineation. How would you have answered? I think that I would still answer yes :)

I came across a new word reading an old post at the Internet Monk's blog. The word is bibliolatry and one definition of the word is a "worship of the Bible". Here are a few excerpts that I agree with from Monk's blog:

What I heard as a young man was Bibliolatry. It’s a word that conservatives hate to hear, but we must hear it. The Bible is ours for dozens of good, God-inspired, Christ-exalting reasons. But we can exalt the Bible in the wrong way. We can go too far.

The more we feel the need to elevate and exalt something as “true” or “from God” or “God’s Will,” the more likely that we will become excessive, and often uncareful in what we say and do, and the more likely we are to wind up teaching error as a result.

It is the nature of religious language and religious dogma to make authoritative claims based upon revelation. It is the nature of human beings to extrapolate, connect and exaggerate. Put these two tendencies together, and there is a great need for us to be cautious in our claims for ultimate truth and ultimate authority.

My “turning point” helped me to find the Bible as the Word that presents the Living Word, God’s mediator, given for us and for our salvation: Jesus Christ. I learned to listen for the difference between Jesus Christ and Holy Scripture, and to not equate God and His written word in ways that abuse both God and those who love scripture.

Interesting comments about the bible and how people can misuse it. Coming from a Charismatic Fundamentalist background I found his statements consistent with some of my experiences. I think that he presents a challenging and healthy point of view.

My internet buddy Danny Sims puts it this way "The Point Of The Bible Is Not To Know The Bible" ... the point of the bible is to know God. I think that we can get to a place where we place the bible as the fourth member of the Trinity ... we can know it but not know God ... worship it and not worship God.


  1. Yep, I last came up against this yesterday in Sunday School. I bit my tongue, because there was no way to communicate this without confusing most of the people in the room. :-(

    The divinely inspired words in that book are spiritual and eternal, but they are not Christ.

  2. Excellent post, KB. So true. Thank you.

  3. CODEPOKE!!!! GREAT TO SEE YOU!!! I hope all is well.

    We just finished teaching a few classes about the Bible here in NH. There were three lessons and I got to teach the one on descrepancies. It happens that the descrpancies class was the one another brother (my best friend) wanted to teach, rather than the one he was chosen to teach about the reliability of the Bible. His connvictions regarding the reliability of the Bible are not mainstream Christainity. (He's got his PhD from MIT. It's safe to say that he does nothing half-heartedly!) He decided to teach his class according to his convictions. Hoo-boy!!!

    He taught that The Bible is definately from God. No one had a problem with that. But then he taught that the Bible actually never claims to be perfect. (He did not say that it was not perfect...only that it doesn't make the claim. (I stumped him on the Q & A portion of the class. But I won't go into that here.) ;-)

    He also began teaching that the Bible may not only contain the Words of God, but also a few words of men. He never discredited the Bible. He simply said that, from his study SO FAR, this was the way he was leaning. He knew the chance he was taking when he got up there.

    Let's just say that not everyone was listening with an unbiased ear. It seems that when a fellow takes a stab at thinking outside the box regardding the Bible, folks get so passionate about it that emotions take over and brains can sometimes get shut off. There was some great (mostly) godly debate that night. My friend held his own ground and was a lot more humble than I would have been during the Q & A session. I even found myself getting defensive for him. (why do I do stupid stuff like that?)

    Anyway, the lesson was great. We learned to try see things in the Bible, and the Bible itself, differently than is traditonal. Everyone still believed it was the Word of God and was to be used as the standard of our lives.

    And all were unified at the end of the night. It was quite fun!

  4. It seems that when a fellow takes a stab at thinking outside the box regardding the Bible, folks get so passionate about it that emotions take over and brains can sometimes get shut off.

    Nah, that never happens here!

    I'm with you, KB. "Fourth member of the Trinity"--a perfect description.

  5. That never happens here.

    LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Patchouli.

    By the way, can you fix my spelling error the next time you happen to quote me? That way I don't have to see my dippy ways twice. ;-)

  6. The last organized church I attended used John 1:1-4 as its basis for teaching that the Word is Jesus. Any thoughts?

    And yes, DK, I will edit misspellings from now on--sometimes the spacebar on this keyboard doesn't work, and it is soembarrassingtosee in thecomments.

  7. funny, i thought everyone knew this already that the bible is the word of god. i mean they were passed from him to prophets right?

    the issue i have is the way it is projected. a communicator of the word (pastor) must not let personal emotion and influence determine how he speaks of certain passages. manipulation of scripture for personal influence is rather disturbing to me. it happens, and what are you going to do.

    i think we are all smart enough to take it for what its worth.


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