Thursday, December 26, 2013

Jesus Is Not the Bible. The Bible Is Not Jesus.

We all know, of course, that Jesus Christ and the bible are not the same thing. Jesus Christ is God the Son, one member of the Trinity. He purchased our salvation. He is worthy of our worship. The bible is none of these things. The bible is the written revelation that God has chosen to give us. It is a great treasure that tells us much about God and his creation. We even learn a lot about ourselves as we read it. Despite this, the scriptures are not worthy of worship because, obviously, they are not God.

We all know these things.

Despite this knowledge, there seems to be much confusion among a great number of American evangelicals about the difference between Christ and the bible. Specifically, they treat knowing the bible as if it is knowing Christ. If you spend any time looking through the Christian blog world you will see this. There is an inordinate emphasis on the importance of knowing the bible. This suggests that those who have the most knowledge of biblical content are also those who know Jesus the best. This is simply false.

A certain mount of basic knowledge is required to know Jesus. However, beyond that point discipleship is more about obedience than about head knowledge. I'm not trying to create some sort of false dichotomy. It is good to both obey Christ and know scripture. However, obedience is far more important.

Additionally, knowing Jesus is about a relationship. There is a moment-by-moment knowing him and walking with him. A deep knowledge of the bible is not required for a deep knowledge of Christ. In my life I've come into contact with Christians who seem to know Jesus better than I do even though I know the bible better than they. On the flip side, I've also met people who know tons of bible but hardly seem to know Jesus at all.

I write this post simply to exhort my brothers and sisters in Christ not to confuse knowing scripture with knowing the bible. Gaining knowledge of the scriptures is not an end; rather, it is a means to an end. That end is knowing Jesus better.

We can come to know Jesus better through reading the bible. But we also grow closer to him through prayer, through mutual edification, through service to others, and through suffering for him.

The bible is wonderful, but it is not Jesus. Jesus is the key to understanding the bible, but he is not the bible.

Let's not confuse the two. Knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus (through scripture) are not the same.

1 comment:

Pastor Seth Moore said...

Well written. Thank you for addressing this topic. You were one of the first results in my search. I have personally come upon this form of idolatry all too often.