The Bible

The word Bible is derived from the Greek Biblia or "the books." The word scripture is derived from the Latin. The Bible is the sacred book of Christians and Jews. It stands at the center of that community in which we find our life as Christians.

It must always be remembered that Christianity did not spring from the New Testament but the New Testament from Christianity. Christianity should not be equated solely with the Bible. Long before it had a written literature, Christian faith had shown itself a triumphant and transforming power. Christianity is therefore greater than its documents.

The 1611 version of the Bible was translated under the patronage of King James. The Douay Version (1609-10) was the first Roman Catholic Bible in English. The King James Version was the culmination of earlier translations and revisions. "Seek out of the book of the Lord and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it has commanded, and his spirit has gathered them."

Some people need to listen more and speak less. There are subtle inferences in the Bible concerning profound truths that are taken out of context and mistakenly allowed to stand on their own. The Bible will interpret itself if allowed to be read with an open mind to the whole truth and not to the narrow interpretations of others. It is still the best rule of interpretation to let the Holy Spirit do the teaching but prideful people believe that their own spirit is the Holy Spirit. Those who pretend to know when confronted with a group who knows better, will many times entrench themselves in whatever delusions that drives them to bring forth error and shout even louder. In that respect, they become the truth and the way, take upon themselves the forms of deity and become false christs. Many of them will be easy to spot because in the long run, division, hatefulness and pride will show up to expose them. If you lack wisdom pray for it, if you think that you are wiser than we are, then what are your intentions here?

The Bible has been misinterpreted throughout history and there are those that still use them to bring forth misconceptions, misunderstandings and a dissection of the true word of God. Because these traditions are taught from the pulpit and teaching ministries by people that do not know any better, it is not entirely their fault. We all need to grow into maturity. Unity is established through the spirit and revelation is progressive and as such, the Lord will bring many of us in agreement on scripture in the fullness of time.

To be true to scripture, many times we must go to the original texts and understand historical context before we can understand and teach others. Far too many Christians do not take the words of Paul to heart when he asked Timothy to "2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." We must humble ourselves to be taught new things because it challenges our former ways of thinking and is a test of whether we can put away our pride enough to accept God's truth without resenting the source.

A.W. Tozer is quoted as writing, "the sacred page is not meant to be the end, but only the means toward the end, which is knowing God himself."

The Bible contains the Words of God but not with scripture only, like the sola scriptura doctrine teaches but through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible contains the truth necessary to guard against false teaching and we do not deny that truth by allowing the Holy Spirit a chance to interpret it for us. The Bible speaks of God resisting the proud and giving grace to the humble so we may automatically reject anyone with wild pretentious claims of equating their own teaching to the level of scripture. There are those that truly speak with the authority of the Holy Spirit and there are those that speak from their own understanding, it is the spirit that gives the true believers the discernment to recognize the difference. The final authority resides in the witness of the spirit in the TRUE prophets of the Lord who do in fact speak with that true authority. This is the plain teaching of scripture for those who understand full gospel teaching.

Doing away with the sola scriptura doctrine and allowing God and His prophetic witness to share in that final authority as well as scripture does not in any way malign the scriptures themselves. The Bible is inspired and teaches its own inspiration. No matter what is said to defend sola scriptura, the truth of the doctrine is the generalizing statement that it is "scripture alone," this is what it means and what it must be judged by. To allow other spiritual influences beside it in defense of the doctrine would negate the term itself. It is true that the Bible is living and active but without the Holy Spirit to teach us, it is a dead letter. To say that sola scriptura is true because scripture thoroughly furnishes the man of God unto all good works is still incomplete by itself. I may need paper to be complete and thoroughly furnished to write a letter but that is not "all" I need, a pen is needed also, not to mention the hand that writes it.

The issue of Rhema and Logos come into the discussion as to what the Word is and we must appeal to the Greek meanings here as well as historical context. First of all, the Logos "Word" did not become the Bible, the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us. This is the Logos reason of God that has existed from the beginning and collected in the Bible as a record. The Bible is not God, it is the Word of God. The Rhema is the spoken word of God and is best understood as the prophetic word. The Bible is the "Word" of God but also as inspired is any true prophet from God who can have a "word" from the Lord. This is the sword of the spirit.

I have talked with many that are committed believers with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. One thing I find in common is the reverence for scripture. We believe in the inspiration and what I have found in those that do not is an absence of the fullness of the spirit. That is not a statement of criticism or a judgmental remark, just an observance. Faith in God according to the fullness will reveal His word as true and He is powerful enough to protect it from corruption.

The real thing that overcomes any doubts we have in the Bible is love. I mean the type of love that accepts others no matter how we feel about the Bible. I have worked with many that have a real concern for the poor and know nothing about the Bible. Would I rather work with them than one who uses the Bible as a club to condemn our brothers and sisters according to the letter? Of course. It is much better to live out the scriptures and know nothing than to know it all and do nothing but spout scripture and dogma. This is one of many paths that can lead to the true path. The paths that i do not want to be on are the ones that have these road signs as the one true path and follow me to the right path and don't go there, go here.

God inspires us regardless of biblical inspiration and certainly no differently than He inspired the biblical writers. God has spoken through His prophets throughout history whether it is recorded in a canonical book or not. Much of the Bible is the recorded history of God's dealing with humanity, including the apocrypha. Progressive revelation has not ceased in the hearts of His people except in those that do not have the faith to believe it.
[51, 77, 339, 351, 300, 374, Isaiah; Sola Scriptura and the Rhema were items of the latter rain discussion list]

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