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Read: John 1:1-14

Let’s talk about the Bible. The word “Bible” means “books or library”. Our Bible is a collection of books, 66 of them, compiled in a collection over the centuries by people of faith. The final decision about what books belonged in the Bible and which ones were rejected was made by a committee, after considerable debate, prayer, and a contested vote, hundred of years after Jesus died on the cross and rose to new life. Among the books of the Bible there is a great diversity of literature. There is poetry, collections of wise sayings, parables, genealogies, history, laws, personal letters, recorded visions, prophecies, testimonies, etc.. Each type of literature brings a unique contribution helping to grow and strengthening the faith of God’s people. The Bible is a historical book, but it is not a history book.

We often refer to the Bible as “the word of God”, please note the small “w” in “word”. In John’s Gospel, chapter 1, Jesus is referred to as the CAPITAL “W” Word of God.

The Bible is “the word of God” because it testifies, points us accurately, to the truth that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, embodied (incarnate). Jesus had and used that authority to correct misunderstandings, challenge false assumptions, interpret the scriptures (Old Testament, of course), and reveal or add to God’s message.

Is the Bible “perfect”? A good question. The Bible perfectly fulfills its role of pointing us to the CAPITAL W – Word of God. But, we don’t need a “perfect” book to point us to the perfect Savior. The Bible doesn’t claim to be inerrant or infallible; I believe it makes that claim about Jesus Christ. He is the One on Whom our faith is based.

Here are more distinctions that may help: the great Christian leader Martin Luther said, “The Bible is the word of God, not the words of God.” Others have made the distinction that the Bible contains the word of God. It’s an acknowledgment that some books or passages of the Bible have greater truth and value as revelation of God’s word than other books or passages; I think that’s obvious, and wise.

The Bible is central to our faith formation. Historically, it tells us 99.9% of everything we know about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It tells us everything we need to know for faith and salvation; but it doesn’t tell us everything we would like to know.

Shalom,
Pastor Rob Nystrom