The Anti-Scripture Scriptures – Part IV

In this series of posts I’m addressing scripture verses which are commonly used against the Bible to say it isn’t the “Word of God.”  And yes, I capitalized my “W.”

In the first part of this series I covered John 5:39, 40 when Jesus he said, – “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”  You can see that post HERE.

In the second part of the series, I covered John 14:26  where Jesus says – “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.”  You can see that post HERE.

In this, he third part of the series I covered:

John 21:25 – ”Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

and it’s related passage:

John 20:30 – “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book.”  You can see that post HERE

In this post, I want to cover another commonly used scripture verse to “prove” that the Bible is not the Word of God.  That verse is 2 Corinthians 3:6 where Paul the apostle states – “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

The common conclusions  from this verse are that:

  • It’s possible to cleave the Spirit from His words
  • That the scriptures are not effectual until the Spirit makes them so
  • That it’s possible for the Word to return void  Isaiah 55:11
  • We don’t need the Bible because the Spirit will teach us everything we need to know.
  • Spiritually Born again saints are not relying on the Spirit.
  • The written words of scripture are not as authoritative as Christianity Claims.
  • The revelation from the Spirit stands above the Bible
To be sure there are more.  In a recent comment I said “If the scriptures are God-breathed, then they are Him. We can not separate the Spirit from His words.”  To which I was promptly accused of “bordering on blasphemy.”  While I understand that the statement might be edgy and still needs flushing out, I’m not the first to suggest it.  In fact here’s what one has said regarding this idea:

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life.”  

The person who said that happens to be Jesus. (John 6:63)  Emphasis mine.  To repeat, “the words” ARE “Spirit.”  My intention here is not to create some new theology but to simply say that the Spirit and His words are one.  The Father and His words are one.  Jesus and His words are one.  We can not separate, in good theological fashion the Words of God from God Himself.  The scriptures are God-Breathed 2 Timothy 3:16  Again, I am still flushing this out, so if you think I’m wrong, please tell me why and substantiate your claim by the scripture.  

2 Corinthians 3:6 is making no statement about the scriptures themselves for it does not use the words graphas (γραφάς) scriptures, or logos (λόγος), but uses the words diathēkēs (διαθήκης) “covenant,” and grammatos (γράμματος) “of letter.”  This verse simply can not be used to suggest that the Bible is not the Word of God.
Yes, the letter, (γράμματος) kills, but it’s the letter of the old covenant.  It’s the application of God’s word apart from His Spirited intent that kills.  Not the scriptures themselves.   “It is not as though God’s word had failed.”  Romans 9:6
A few questions:

Have you seen the use of this verse, 2 Corinthians 3:6, used to say the Bible isn’t the Word of God?

Do you think it’s justifiable?

What other scripture verses have you used or have used to prove that the Bible is not the Word of God?

 

 

 

0 thoughts on “The Anti-Scripture Scriptures – Part IV

  1. It has always been on the heart of God that His Word would be made flesh. That’s Jesus, right there. And now it falls on us, as a mantle of sonship.
    ———-

    When Paul stated his famous ‘all Scripture is God-breathed’, he was referring to The Torah, since The Bible obviously had not yet been fully written.
    However, he could very well have been speaking prophetically, to us here in 2012, and telling us that the collected volume of Scriptures we now hold in our hands is indeed God-breathed. I can see it both ways, as neither diminishes His power.
    ———-

    Like you, I fully believe and acknowledge that Jesus is The Word made flesh. Take my Bible away, burn it, spread its ashes to the four winds, and you have not damaged my relationship with Jesus one iota, for it is true He has indeed written Himself onto our hearts. Take my Bible, my eyes, my tongue, and my hands and nothing changes between me and Him.

    We don’t HAVE to read The Scriptures, we GET to read The Scriptures. It’s a joy, not a burden.

    • Miguel says:

      TUP,

      Jesus refers to the entirety of “scripture” when he says, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” btw – “my Words” is the plural of logos or logoi in that passage.

      Peter refers to Paul’s writing as “scripture,” and Paul refers to Luke’s writing as scripture. It is likely, therefore, that Paul was including much more than the Torah when he mentions “scripture” in 2 Timothy.

      I think we’re on the same page mostly. However, one can only “give up” the Bible after having taken and eaten. Only when you’ve come to know this Jesus with and through the scriptures does one have the option to discard it.

      The scriptures by nature like God himself are manifold. Unless you’ve completely unfolded the Bible, then to discard it make no sense.

      • “Only when you’ve come to know this Jesus with and through the scriptures does one have the option to discard it.”

        That doesn’t hold water. The Scriptures are given to strengthen, not save. But our strength can never be found in a mere book, bound by men. I did not come to know Jesus through The Scriptures, Miguel. And while I enjoy them greatly, and delight myself in reading them, my covenant with my Father that brought His Salvation is relational, and is in no way attached or contingent or dependent on The Bible. God my Father is too wise to put all His ducks in one basket, so to speak.

        I get to read The Scriptures. I am allowed to read The Scriptures. But were you (generically said use of the word ‘you’) to take my personal Bible from me that I have had since 1990, (with all my notes and what-not in their pages), you have not taken away from me at all. His words are already written on our hearts, are they not? 😉 Will God my Father only bring you or I to full completion as long as we are reading The Bible, or is He a bit bigger than that?

        Did you read me mentioning this in my former comments, or did you focus on me saying ‘Take my Bible away’ solely, out of context?

        • Miguel says:

          TUP,

          I love this exchange! Unfortunately I must strongly object to several points here:

          1. “The Scriptures are given to strengthen, not save.” The Scriptures are a God appointed way of communicating things to man. The purpose of scripture is well beyond strengthening. It “s useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16

          For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might “have hope.” Romans 15:4 We “have hope.” It’s something we rightly possess through the scriptures. Our hope is Christ.

          Of course we are not saved “by” the scriptures. We are saved by Jesus. But faith in Jesus comes through the scriptures Romans 10:17

          2. The scriptures are not a mere book bound by men. They are a God-Breathed and ordained manner which God chose to manifest himself to mankind.

          3. You would not even know that there was a Father, Son, and Spirit were it not for that book. Your entire faith would be based on conjecture and your own private revelation. 2 Peter 1:20 You would not know of salvation or how to relate to God were it not for the scriptures. As I challenge folks with similar thoughts, I always ask two questions:

          What’s one thing you know about God that’s not revealed in the scripture?

          Can you verify that one thing without the scriptures?

          No one has ever answered those questions sufficiently.

          4. God has not put all his ducks in one basket. I agree. There are other ways in which God reveals himself. But ultimately any conclusions drawn from those revelations are verified by scripture. If not scripture, then what else?

          Please do not take any of these counterpoints as an offense, it is not my intention. In fact, I hope you continue to engage me and others on this blog.

          “But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!” 1 Corinthians 11:19

          • Miguel,

            Glad you are not offended nor intimidated. That is refreshing to me. So let’s dig in, shall we? (I will be using the tried and true copy/paste method to respond)

            You said:
            1. “The Scriptures are given to strengthen, not save.” The Scriptures are a God appointed way of communicating things to man. The purpose of scripture is well beyond strengthening. It “s useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16

            –Indeed. And at what point is teaching not strengthening? At what point is rebuking not strengthening? etc. The Scriptures strengthen us through myriad avenues of character-building. They strengthen the family, they strengthen the sons, they strengthen ekklesia.

            1A. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might “have hope.” Romans 15:4 We “have hope.” It’s something we rightly possess through the scriptures. Our hope is Christ.

            –Return with me to the First Century, long before The Scriptures (as you and I know them today) were made manifest. Did these First Century sons of God not have hope since they did not have the benefit and privilege of The Scriptures? So why then is it implausible we cannot also have that same hope, given by The Spirit (the very same Spirit), and not necessarily derived through the written words of God?

            1B. Of course we are not saved “by” the scriptures. We are saved by Jesus. But faith in Jesus comes through the scriptures Romans 10:17

            –The word spoken of in that passage is not to be contained by the written. It was orally passed on. ‘Who has heard our message?’, indeed. Not ‘Who has read our message’? Again, The Scriptures do not save. Jesus saves. Since He is The Word made flesh, and predates The Bible as we know it, I default to the word of Jesus being spoken of and passed on orally. To this day, The Gospel still holds that sway over the hearts of men.

            2. The scriptures are not a mere book bound by men. They are a God-Breathed and ordained manner which God chose to manifest himself to mankind.

            –I say they are a mere book simply because, as I have alluded to, if you were to take all the Bibles away from us as His sons, you haven’t damaged our covenant with Him at all. The Scriptures are wonderful, but they cannot contain His fullness like relationship can. Please don’t misunderstand me here: I quite enjoy my personal Bible, and it has been with me for years and I would be sad if I lost it or if it was destroyed. But it is not my King or Savior. He is The Word made flesh. I prefer that, any day.

            3. You would not even know that there was a Father, Son, and Spirit were it not for that book. Your entire faith would be based on conjecture and your own private revelation. 2 Peter 1:20 You would not know of salvation or how to relate to God were it not for the scriptures. As I challenge folks with similar thoughts, I always ask two questions:

            What’s one thing you know about God that’s not revealed in the scripture?

            Can you verify that one thing without the scriptures?

            No one has ever answered those questions sufficiently.

            –I wouldn’t know God as Father without The Bible? Are you actually prepared to stand by that statement? Was I somehow saved through Bible-reading as an occultist who referred to Jesus as ‘that thorn-headed bastard carpenter from Nazareth’? Surely not. If I believed this, I would say it is impossible to be saved and know Jesus as Lord without The Bible, and that would be weird and quite erroneous. The thief on the other cross might have an issue with that, as well. You say ‘private revelation’ as though it is a bad thing. If I say to you that The Holy Spirit of The Lion from the Tribe of Judah is my teacher, would you question this and doubt me? Would you say, ‘Oh, that’s nice, but you still need The Bible’?

            –There is nothing about God my Father that I know that is not revealed in The Scripture. But that doesn’t mean The Scripture comes before my relationship with God. Quite the opposite, actually. What I know about Him is simply confirmed and affirmed by The Scripture, not the other way around.

            –No one has ever answered these questions sufficiently? By that premise, how then do you speak to atheists or other god-haters who refuse to acknowledge The Scriptures as being valid?

            4. God has not put all his ducks in one basket. I agree. There are other ways in which God reveals himself. But ultimately any conclusions drawn from those revelations are verified by scripture. If not scripture, then what else?

            –There are indeed other ways that our Father reveals Himself. Let us simply stop there. There is no need to pontificate further or theorize further. It has always and shall always come down to Him, and that is it. Again, do The Scriptures verify Him or does He verify The Scriptures?

            I reckon my dialogue here is based on how I think you have said to me, “Salvation and Christianity without The Bible is impossible.” At this I would say, “rubbish”. The Word is Jesus, on this you and I agree. And removing The Bible form your life or mine changes nothing about the reality of His Sovereignty or Fatherhood over us as sons of God through The New Covenant.

            I do quite enjoy my Bible. I do. But it is not the fullness or whole of Christ Jesus, and indeed were it taken away, outlawed, banned, or made illegal upon death, I would still be a prophet of His and I would still be very much saved as a son.

            Miguel, I take no offense nor am put-off by your responses to me. I quite like them, actually. It is few and far between today that one can find sons of God who will take the time to truly sharpen one another without attaching personally critiquing innuendo to it.

            I look forward to your response, indeed.

  2. Peter says:

    I agree with the heart of what you are saying, brother. I think that many who emphasize the Spirit over the Scriptures are really saying that the Spirit is needed to understand the Scriptures. I don’t think that that applies only to the Old Testament. The Scriptures are certainly needed if we are to come to the fullness of Christ. But, I can testify that the Scriptures were worthless to me for years, although I attempted to read and study them. But, when I received the Spirit, the Scriptures were opened up to me in increasing measures. Thanks for working through these things with the saints, brother!

    • “But, I can testify that the Scriptures were worthless to me for years, although I attempted to read and study them. But, when I received the Spirit, the Scriptures were opened up to me in increasing measures.”

      So would it be appropriate to say you didn’t understand the book until you met the Author and He was able to explain it to you in His own way? 😉

      I read The Bible before I was saved as a covenant son. It was a cheap KJV pew Bible given to me by well-meaning friends. It made no sense to me. Of course, that might be because of the whole King James English, but I also know that the words contained were not written to be solely read through intellect, but required familiarity and Salvation to really “get them”.

      • Peter says:

        Absolutely. Now I read the Scriptures with prayer and even pray the Scriptures. When I read the Scriptures, I turn to the Spirit and ask Him to reveal Christ to me in them and I have learned that Christ is on every page. Through the Scriptures I can enjoy Christ, by His Spirit, for the Father’s pleasure.

    • Jim Puntney says:

      As a former Pharisee I can attest to the study of the Bible and the disconnect in my life. I earnestly devoted time to studying the Bible, it was like what James stated.

      “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”

      I knew what I should do, or be, yet it was all external. Romans 7 was a constant way of life.

      It was not until being born from above that this started to make sense, The Holy Spirit gave me new eyes to see, and the indwelling of Christ enabled me to live in and through Him. This indeed brought the words of the Bible to Life.

      I do think that the “Unapologetic Prophet” said it very well.

      “So would it be appropriate to say you didn’t understand the book until you met the Author and He was able to explain it to you in His own way?”

      Thank you brother for allowing this dialogue to continue, as we all strive together to discover the riches of Jesus Christ, grace and peace to you and yours!

  3. Jon says:

    Miguel,

    I respect your commitment to the label Word of God to describe our Scriptures. However as I have looked at the many passages in Scripture that do mention ‘Word of God’, ‘Word of the Lord’, or simply the ‘Word’, I can’t find any that conclusively use this term to reference our Scriptures.

    http://jonjourney.blogspot.ca/2010/07/word-study-on-word-of-god.html
    http://jonjourney.blogspot.ca/2010/07/word-study-on-word-of-lord.html
    http://jonjourney.blogspot.ca/2010/07/word-study-on-word.html

    From looking at Scripture Miguel, what do you think was the original meaning of these phrases? I’m OK with people adding tradition to our faith as long as it doesn’t distract from the truth. In this regard I fear people often look at some of these passages and get confused because our tradition has changed the meaning of the terms.

    Jon

    • Miguel says:

      “Jesus Himself – calls scripture “the Word of God” (see Matt. 15:1-9, Mark 7:1-13, John 10:31-36). Paul also calls scripture “the Word of God” (Rom. 9:6).

      In addition, the Apostles directly commissioned by Jesus to be His witnesses repeatedly call the teachings and good news proclaimed by Jesus, then taught by them and finally embodied in the New Testament, “the Word of God” in passages too numerous to list.” ~ Jim Wright

      Further, There are well over 600 uses of the word “logos” in the Bible.

      Within those 600+ uses, it can mean, but not limited to:

      word, words, word’s, saying, sayings, speech, account, thing, things, matter, utterance, communication, and communications.

      That 600 doesn’t include the uses of the word “rhema” which is practically synonymous and “graphe” used directly for the word “scripture.”

      What’s interesting in these three words, “logos,” “rhema,” and “graphe,” is when they overlap and sometimes become synonymous. It is in those overlapping situations that I find a more developed understanding of “logos” as “The Word of God.” I am currently writing a piece where I will make my case in a much more developed way.

      I will read and digest the links included in your comment and respond likewise.

  4. Jon says:

    I look forward to your further posts. Those verses you listed could easily be read as “message of God” or communication from God. To assume they are speaking about the same book you call “Word of God” is an assumption that I don’t believe the original audience would have made. When there are so many other verses that use the same terms yet, as you say, get translated as word, words, sayings, speech, communication, etc. How do we know these few verses were using that term to refer to all of the paper and ink on which the message was recorded?

    • David Woods says:

      I’m with Jon on this one. Even your computer translation (when you rest your mouse on the link) translates it as the commandments of God.

      I would agree that this INCLUDES the Scriptures, as they are some of the words that God has spoken throughout history, but correct modern English, I believe would have us calling it “the words” or “the commandments”, or maybe even “the speech” of the Lord rather than the singular “The Word”.

      “The” is a definite article, and as such, excludes all other “Words”. This is the danger–not necessarily in calling the scriptures “The Word”, but in teaching it that way. I’ve heard many teachers in many churches strongly insinuate that the only way we can hear from the Lord is to read the scriptures because that’s how He speaks. If that’s true, then we are left here comfortless and guide-less to figure out for ourselves what the scriptures “mean”. This teaching has led (in large part) to the denominational differences, disunity, and control in the church that we see today. and have seen for centuries. The words in the Bible are the words of God. but the first chapter of John very clearly defines Jesus as “The Word” of God.

      If I may Miguel, I challenge you to find a reference in the Bible that is commonly translated “The Word” that is strictly limited only to Scripture, and is not just a general reference to something God has said. He may have said it in Scripture, but the writer is still just referencing something He said, not the book He said it in.

      I am open to enlightenment here, and am wiling to change my stance on this if I see reason to, but personally, I’ve looked. Maybe not exhaustively, but I’ve looked. I’ve read it, and I haven’t found any references myself to “The Word” meaning “The Book”. It always just references something God said.

  5. Jim Puntney says:

    We are all searching together, walking along side one another, and reflecting the glory of our Lord Jesus as He is revealed in one another. Its truly a matter of our eyes being anointed, our hearts softened, and the Holy Spirit working among us to gain a fuller and deeper understanding of the epicenter of all creation, Jesus the Christ.

    May you be filled with His grace and peace one and all.

  6. Eli says:

    Jesus is just as alive today as he was back in the days of the gospel accounts.
    No doubt whatever Jesus said back then echoes through all time and will not return void.
    That said to point to the actual words written on paper and say they are what is spirit and effectual is to miss Jesus… which is exactly what Jesus criticized in the pharisees. The author of life was in front of them and they missed him.
    The flesh profits nothing similarily the text profits nothing. Misunderstand that and one goes into foolish extreme thinking that one should not eat natural food or read the bible. The point is understanding the correct order of things and not seeking the right things in the wrong places.

    Jesus is the way the truth and the life… not recordings of what he said or did… not some second hand message i heard from an author or ‘leader’.

    I’m all for approaching the scripture with a view to encountering the living God and seeing all things as spiritual… but that gift of seeing and believing comes from god and is sustained by god. I don’t subscribe to pantheism where the rock or the book or the tree is god, though I see and experience him through all those things. Shalom

  7. Steve says:

    Hi Miguel,

    Jesus saying My words are spirit, is literally saying my words are wind (pneuma). Pneuma can mean power, breath, strength, and many other things other than God. Of course sometimes pneuma refers to the Holy Spirit. I do not see clear context for that in this passage. Words coming from God are precious, they are life…..but we need not say they are God anymore than saying a fish given from Jesus to his followers is God. Your conclusion that the scriptures are God seems unprecedented, and yes dangerous.

    Do we have four members of the godhead? Many conservative evangelicals, not just “Beyond” or emergent Christians, would disagree with this statement, including many conservative Seminaries. I disagree with the Beyond leadership on the Great Commission, leadership practices, and their view of humanity. I disagree about the teaching on the tree of life and how scripture is sometimes handled. I disagree with the weight given to personal revelation. But taking this position sets you against much more of the body of Christ than just the beyond crowd. One can believe in the full plenary authority of the Bible as one of God’s greatest gifts while still holding God Himself in higher esteem.

    Lets look at this. Let’s propose that because the Scriptures are pneuma, and pneuma sometimes means spirit, and spirit sometimes refers to the Holy Spirit, we conclude the Scriptures are God. This is faulty logic as demonstrated in an entry level philosophy class. A similar line of logic might be: If morphine is medicine, and taking medicine sometimes means improvement in health, and improvement in health sometimes means being healed, than I will be healed if I take morphine. The problem with this statement is the same problem in your conclusion…your conclusion only works if pneuma only means Holy Spirit in the scriptures, which it clearly does not. Therefore to prove that the Scriptures are God you need logical proof beyond just this verse.

    Before the time of Christ, Jews had levels of Scripture, so even they in recognizing levels did not seem to consider the scriptures God. Jesus did not challenge this or rebuke this. The Law was supreme, followed by the Prophets, history, and wisdom. I think this line of thinking is unnecessary in your criticism of Beyond. I think you are exploring a line of thinking in order to rebuke someone, but in doing so are going further than you need to.

    Respectfully, Steve Scheller, Mdiv, Bethel Seminary

    • Miguel says:

      Thanks for your the manner in which you communicated you concerns. As I has said in the comment section, I am still flushing this out. Concerning logic, to say that by my statement “If the scriptures are God-breathed, then they are Him. We can not separate the Spirit from His words.” logically generates the conclusion that I add another member to the Godhead, then it doesn’t follow logically. At worst it’s a straw man argument. At best it’s an excluded middle.

      I do understand the ramifications and perhaps I over extend myself, but my ultimate end is directed towards those who say “The Word” “Logos” is Jesus only and does not include scripture. My end proposition is not exactly as what i’ve stated earlier concerning the spirit, but that the logos is both, and always, Jesus and His revelation. Written or otherwise. Better stated, If I have a “rebuke,” it’s towards those who say logos if only Jesus and not the scriptures. I think you’re right though… perhaps I’ve overextended my reach. The last post in next post in this series will deal with Hebrews 4:12

      Caveat: I am not going against the “beyond” folks, just trying adjusting the rudder of the thoughts behind “beyond” and many other groups with the same sentiments.

      Side note: It is clear that Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit in the mention of John 6:63. Is it unreasonable to apply the same meaning to the second occurrence? If not, why not?

      Question: If I ma going further than I need to, then how far is far enough? What proposition would be sufficient enough to make the point?

      • Jesus is The Word made flesh.

        Simple.

        I don’t see the controversy here.

        The Bible is, at best, a shadow of Jesus and has no power in and of itself, save for being useful when a person is brought into sonship covenant with Christ through Salvation. Relationship always trumps religion.

  8. Miguel says:

    Unapologetic ~ “The Bible is, at best, a shadow of Jesus and has no power in and of itself?”

    Isn’t the word (the bible) efficacious to various ends? Doesn’t that mean it has a power in itself?

    • Okay, I’ll tell you what, my brother: go and give a Bible to a random non-believer and tell them that they can get saved by it.

      Jesus is The Word. He has enthroned Himself onto our hearts as King and written Himself onto our hearts as well. The Scriptures point to Jesus throughout, but they cannot save. Jesus as The Word saves. The Bible as the written word does not.

      I’ve no desire to chase this dog’s tail any longer, Miguel. I simply think we are not seeing what the other is saying, and to continue in doing so will profit neither of us.

      • Miguel says:

        Unapologetic,

        I’ve actually done that. Here’s what happened. On one of our evangelistic outings we discovered an elderly shut in. She didn’t want to open the door and was reluctant to receive us. During our very brief next encounters, we discovered that she could not read. We wanted to get her “The Word,” and so we gave her an audio New Testament. We explained how to use it, etc., and then didn’t see her for quite some time.

        One day we received a call from one of her neighbors saying that this elderly lady wanted to talk to us. We went and she told us how she listened to her audio bible faithfully, from beginning to end and that it had made her a believer. I had the pleasure of baptizing her not long afterwards.

        Today, she is a person of great influence in her community concerning the Kingdom of God.

        Did the Bible save here? No. Was the Gospel message contained within what she heard the power unto salvation? Yes.

        • And in retort I would respond that many have been saved simply because they interacted with sons of God and saw something different about them, something joyous, something powerful, and wanted it for themselves, without the usage or exposure to and of The Scriptures.

          Methinks we both could easily point to specific situations that would support both of our mindsets, but still come to the same wonderful conclusion.

          Thanks for the dialogue, Miguel. It has been refreshing!

          • Sorry, forgot to add:

            Consider that it has always been on the heart of God that His Word would be made flesh, and it was in Christ Jesus. Now it is passed onto us as covenant sons of God. We are to be His Word made flesh, Miguel. How can we not be, if it is our sole purpose to be like Jesus and follow in His footsteps? It is a supernatural progression.

            This is not me saying you and I can usurp Jesus as Savior or as Son of God, no!! But we can be The Word made flesh, as He was and is, this side of Heaven.

            Our lives, our words, our actions, our relationships are the only Bible some folks might ever read.

            What say you?

  9. Steve says:

    Hi Miguel,

    I am not making the straw argument you describe, only taking issue with the phrase, “If the scriptures are God-breathed, then they are Him.”

    Its OK to say there is a unity between the scripture and God without saying they are God. My comment is only made in the interest of you fleshing this out.

    Jesus is argued to be a member of the godhead on the basis that He said He and His father are one. I am not saying you are claiming the scriptures to be a member of the godhead, but some tend to go here unintentionally.

    Perhaps using the word “against,” was not the best use of language. Brothers and sisters can disagree and still be unified in the body of Christ. Perhaps using “disagreement,” would be a better choice of words.

    Blessings, Steve

    Blessings as you flesh this out.

    • Miguel says:

      Steve,

      How would you feel about the proposition that there in a “unbreakable” unity between the scripture and God?

      • Steve says:

        Intellectual honesty starts with the idea that a hypothesis is tentatively true until proven false, so by that I have no problem with your above hypothesis.

        Jesus in John 6:63 was making a main point other than the nature of the scriptures. His main point may make underlying assumptions about the Scripture. I view this verse more in terms similar to when I say to someone, “My wife and I can’t be there Sunday but we will be with you in spirit.” I believe Jesus purpose, the Spirit’s purpose, and the purpose with which He gave scripture are unified.

        At the same time, the Scriptures do reflect the culture, worldview, and perspective of the writer. If we fail to take this into account, errors to God’s timeless truth are often made. Is there an unbreakable unity between misinterpreted Scripture and God? No. So the nature of the Scriptures is worth taking a solid hermeneutics class to give it a thorough treatment.

  10. Eli says:

    Some of this discussions boils down to perspective and semantics.
    Did the bible or the preacher or god or the message itself save a person? Depending how you look at it, all of the above and each individually saved the hearer.
    Do any of those things or persons guarantee someone will be saved, nope. The gospel accounts are proof enough that Jesus showing up does not automatically translate to salvation or healing or lifelong change.
    So too we can accurately say that all those elements can be effectual and have their own power. ‘power’ as a general concept applies to literally everything because everything has a relationship and influence on everything… from the stone to the bird to the child to the building or computer.
    All that said claiming the bible can never be separated from the spirit is probably only as powerful as saying god can never be separated from the universe he created. Does that then mean his universe can never be misused or abused ‘against’ his will… well that opens a can of worms.

    It almost seems like you are arguing that gods spirit is always at work anytime any word is read or heard from the bible… and by implication there are times when gods spirit is not at work… say when i’m reading a fiction novel or watching tv. If you’re claiming god is equally at work in all situations then not sure what the point of your article is.

  11. Seth Roach says:

    Hi Miguel and others that commented. I would like to add a little bit to this conversation if I may and will make it short to the point if possible.

    At one point in my journey with the Lord I was discipled by a “man of God” who taught that Jesus and “the Word” (Bible) are one and the same because you cannot separate the two. So I am well accustomed to this line of thinking. It is similar to saying that the person and his name are one and the same. i.e. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved.

    I will not say that the scriptures (the paper and ink) themselves are one with Jesus in the sense that they are the same. But I would like to as we all have share from my perspective and in so doing may add to the other perspectives that will hopefully along with more input from others allow us to see a bigger picture of Christ.

    The word made flesh. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God. This is not a complete description but just a point to add to the conversation. The word which is the expression of the thought and intent of the person is made known when it is spoken. That word which carries the thought and intent of the person is one with the person it cannot be separated from them. So in like manner the expression or the fulness of God the Father was expressed to us in His son Jesus Christ. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. So many times our interpretations of the written scriptures betray the spirit of Christ and the recorded actions of His life. So this is a very important topic. The scriptures are needed and helpful but we must also have the living communion with the indwelling Christ to know His leading and His words.

    Think of Peter who received a vision of the sheet coming out of heaven and the animals. Apparently this was contrary to all he knew, even his understanding of the scriptures but in fact the Lord was bringing him and the church into the fuller thought and revelation of Christ. Likewise through Paul and many other saints. I agree that what is revealed to a saint individually if from God will not contradict the scripture but it most certainly may stretch us out of our current interpretation of that scripture.

    That is another reason why the ecclesia as the living expression of Christ is so needed. Being among other saints will help us to find the mind of the Lord on certain things and it is most helpful if this group of saints is not into group think, led solely by one teacher and are also set free to express Christ and to receive Christ.

    But I will say I have never met a saint who loves the Lord who also doesn’t love the scriptures but not in the same sense. It is more like the scriptures help to foster a greater love for the lord and understanding of his ways.

  12. Nate says:

    To begin with a rabbit trail… Steve, you said, “Intellectual honesty starts with the idea that a hypothesis is tentatively true until proven false…”

    I’m sorry, but a hypothesis is nothing more than speculation until proven true. I hypothesize that there is alien life on Pluto, and since we can not disprove it we must assume it’s true? Intellectual honesty is, in theory, being unbiased in pursuit of truth. The problem is, we are all biased 🙂

    On to my two cents:
    It seems that there is a desire to separate the canon of Scripture from the work of the Holy Spirit. We can not understand God’s Word, in any form, without the Holy Spirit. Scripture says unbelievers are blinded to the light of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the bottom line is without prevenient grace we will not seek God (Luke 24:45, Romans 3:11).

    I appreciate and believe that God can and does communicate in ways that are outside Scripture. But that does not negate the necessity and importance of Scripture. A few reasons:

    1) We must not forget God’s sovereign role in preserving the Scripture we now have. It’s fine and good to point out that there was more Jesus said and did, and that it was equal to scripture, but God didn’t give it to us. If He wanted us to know those things we would.

    2) Since Scripture is His Word, nothing that contradicts it can be accepted as from God. What else can you trust “to test the spirits to see if they are from God.” (1 John 4:1)

    3) The Gospel is not intuitive. We can learn much from the world around us, including the bad news (for a fascinating look into the depravity of human nature I suggest Grimm’s Fairy Tales) but no one will come to understand the Good News of peace, that God came to earth in human form, fully God and fully man, and lived a perfect life and then became your substitutionary atonement on the cross no matter how many sunsets you gaze at or how long you watch me be awesome. Someone has to tell you what can not be known unless it is revealed and God has revealed it in Scripture. “But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)

    I will also preemptively address the straw arguments about what God could theoretically do. He can do what ever He wants (Psalm 115:3) but lets not forget that God determines the time and place were we live so that we might seek Him (Acts 17:26-27) and while there may be times and places where Scripture was/is not available we do not live in that time or place. We are now responsible, and will be held accountable (Luke 12:47-48), to proclaim the Gospel to all people everywhere (Mark 16:15) and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

  13. […] The Anti-Scripture Scriptures – Part IV September 11, 2012 […]

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