Is every verse in the Bible the Word of God?
Is the Bible the inerrant, infallible Word of God? For years I used to believe that every verse in the Bible was the 'Word of God'. As I studied the Bible and grew spiritually I every once in a while came across 'problems' in the Bible. Things that I found difficult to believe was the will of God. The problems became more and bigger and it got to the point where I had to take a hard and brutally honest look at the Bible.
From childhood we are taught that the Bible is the Word of God in such a way that we never dare to question it - but it it really the truth?
This topic needs a book not a single article - so in this article I will just give a summary but I will cover each point in more detail in other articles (see the links given below as well).
- Jesus did not believe every verse in the Bible is the Word of God. The time Jesus walked the earth they did not have the Bible as we have it today - but they did have the Old Testament. Jesus did not believe every scripture in the Old Testament was the Word of God (click here to read the details).
- The Bible does not refer to itself as 'The Word of God' but refers to Jesus as the 'Word of God' (John 1).
- The books in the Bible were chosen 200-300 years after Jesus lived on earth. This happened during a period when Constantine turned Christianity into a state religion (for political reasons) and many high level officials in the early 'church' converted to Christianity not because of what they believed but because they had no choice. It is possible that many of the leaders of the early church were not true believers. They chose books that helped their case (creating a religion that can control the people) and rejected (and destroyed) others. It was during this period that the books of the Bible were chosen and that it was also decided that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible 'Word of God'.
- The Bible is not inerrant or infallible. There are many 'discrepancies' in the Bible, many contradictions. Even people in the Bible didn't always agree. Read 'The second donkey and why it matters.
- Having a written 'Word of God' is not biblical - there are prophesies in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:33-34) and things that Jesus said (John 14:26, John 16:12-13) that shows us the time of written laws have passed and we are now lead, each one individually, by the Holy Spirit.
- Nothing that Jesus said and nothing in the Old Testament should give us the idea that we should take letters that Paul wrote (and other New Testament books) and give every letter the status of 'Word of God'.
How we should understand and read the Bible
All scripture is important and should be studied, but it is only through the Holy Spirit that God's Word can be revealed to us (John 14:26). It is through personal revelation of the Holy Spirit that God 'opens' His Word to us.
We can't go around telling other people what to do as we don't have God's Word written down in a neat little book. There is no way our awesome God can be defined, described and explained in a single book (or the 66 books contained in the bible in one neat publication). It is not that simple.
When I first made this discovery it was very disconcerting. Suddenly nothing was sure anymore. I didn't know what to believe, what to read and what to ignore. However, once I broke loose of the traditional idea of what the Bible is, once I started to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me, my faith became so much more - so much better.
Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. - Gospel of Thomas, Saying 2
Not everything in the Bible is the 'Word of God' and the 'Word of God' is not limited to the Bible.
Also read the following about the Bible:
Also read the following about the Bible:
- 'Knowledge of God beyond the Bible'
- The second donkey and why it matters
- Jesus did not believe the Old Testament was the Word of God
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