I love the bible.  No written work has inspired me more.  I am continually fascinated by what, better, Who, I find there.

Placing it in high regard is good and proper.  In fact, I am convinced that it is the single most important and valuable compilation of writing to ever exist.  Its words reveal the living Christ.

What bothers me is what we have done with the bible.  We’ve made it something it wasn’t intended to be.  I will go as far as to say that we’ve made it an idol.  Now, before you send an email asking to be removed from our mailing list, let me explain.

We have mistakenly replaced the Word of God with a book.  No book, no writing can be the Word of God.  And it’s in the bible itself where we find this.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John.

Jesus is the Word.  He is the word made flesh.  No document, no matter how profound, could ever take His place.  Why would we want to replace a living reality with words on a page?

Thanks for asking.  It’s because a living Word is dangerous.  A fixed standard is safe and manageable.  A relationship with Jesus opens the bible up to interpretation.  And we struggle with trusting each person’s unique discovery and experience of the Jesus they meet in its pages..

In reality, our trust issue is really with the Lord.

Another mistake we make about the bible is declaring it inerrant or infallible.  When speaking of the Word – Jesus – I agree.  If referring to the bible, we cannot.

Why?  Because the bible does not claim to be without error.  Do I believe it to be an inspired work of the Holy Spirit?  Yes.  But it is a far-reaching assumption to state it is without error.

To say the bible is the inerrant word of God mandates our duty to follow it word for word.  Are you ready to fulfill the Mosaic law?  Will you cut off your hand if it causes you to sin?  Have you sold all your belongings and given them to the poor?

We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. – the disciple John

Could you imagine if such words were spoken from a pulpit today?  Such a one would be labeled a heretic.  But there is incredible truth found here.  Truth is a spirit.  So is error.

It is HOW, the spirit in which, we read, speak, live that makes something true or false.  We’ve taken something living and spirit and relegated it to a doctrinal belief system.

for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – Paul

Memorized words from a book are not life.  Spirit found in the words causing eternal remembrance is.  I have hidden His word in my heart.  Many scriptures easily come to mind. But not because I sought to memorize them.  It is because of the Spirit in them.

This relationship with God is ALIVE.  And each relationship is as unique as the person themselves.  Are there general ideals we should all attain to?  Sure….

Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.

Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.

Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.

Take up your cross and follow Me.

There is a common theme in these and others – the Person of the Lord.  His Spirit wills and works all things together for our good.  It is His work in us more than our personal diligence to a book that makes us faithful children of God.

Read the bible.  Read it every day.  Like for David, it is a lamp for our feet and a light to our path.  But never forget Who the true lamp and light is.

Jesus.  Search Him out in every word.

In love,