In my first post, I covered the misuse of John 5:39,40. By misuse, I mean using the scriptures against themselves. You can see that post HERE. In the second part of this series, I’d like to consider John 14:26 –
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in my name, he will teach you all things
and bring to your remembrance all that I have
said to you.”
This text has been used to infer that:
- We don’t need the Bible because the Spirit will teach us everything we need to know.
- The Bible is a lower form of revelation and not as authoritative as the higher and more direct personal revelation from God.
- There are many who have an unhealthy reliance on a book.
- Objective, propositional, written, and absolute truth are invalid concepts
- Immature or ignorant Christian are separating the scriptures from the Spirit.
Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but each of these inferences, insinuations, or accusations have been laid at the feet of those who rightly claim that the bible is the Word of God. And yes, I capitalized my “W” again. Let’s take a look at this verse in context.
Jesus is comforting and talking directly to His disciples. In the midst of that conversation, Thomas, Philip, and Judas asks a questions: Judas asked, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
To which Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my word (λόγοs). These words (λόγους) you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Of particular interest here is the incarnate logos (Jesus) speaking logos (words) that “belong” to the Father. This note for those who might say that the logos is only Jesus in the flesh.
Regardless, this message was given to the disciples and not to us. I am not saying that the Spirit is not our counselor, teacher, comforter or anything of that sort. We can understand the Spirit’s role in our lives via scripture that is written to a wider audience of which we are a part. But, in this case it is clear that John 14:26 was for the disciples. The Spirit may teach us today, but He doesn’t “remind” us of everything that Jesus said. Why? Because we never heard it first hand to begin with. “Reminding” us requires that we were participants in the original proclamation of Jesus’ words. More on that later…
The purpose of this verse was not to drive us from the scripture to a higher learning. In fact, I intend to show in later posts that the purpose was the exact opposite. Jesus’ statement was a call to the disciples and to future generations to accept the authority of the written logos. For now, a few questions:
If the scriptures are God-Breathed, is it possible to separate the scriptures from Spirit of God?
Is it possible to question the authority of the scriptures without assuming the authority of the scriptures?
For those who would say that the Bible is not the Word of God, to what good end does that claim serve?