Thursday: The Next Generation
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Without doubt, as we have seen, Jesus places a heavy emphasis on the Bible. Never did He question the authority, veracity, or authenticity of a single Bible text. And yet, through the centuries, and even today, many people do just that.GoodSalt.com-wjpas0795

Read Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 1:1-3; Acts 1:16-20; 3:22-24; and Romans 10:10-11. What do these texts tells us about the ways in which the earliest Christians viewed Scripture? What lessons can we take from them for ourselves and how we relate to the Bible?

The earliest Christian writers continued the practice of using Scripture to authenticate the messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. In effect they were saying that Christianity was inextricably connected to God’s self-revelation through the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus Himself had appealed to these sacred writings. Now Christ’s disciples were doing the same. Appeals to personal experience, miracles, and other witnesses for Christ were important and had their place; obviously, nothing, however, supplanted Scripture as the primary witness for Jesus.

Christ’s earliest followers sought guidance from Scripture concerning the church’s mission, its everyday practices, and its spiritual discipline. Human speculation and guesswork were minimized; Scripture became preeminent. Prayerful consideration of God’s revelation was evident in church councils (see Acts 15). Scripture touched every facet of the life of the early church.

How foolish would it be then for us, especially at the end of time, to have any other attitude toward the Bible?

How can we all learn to make the Bible central to our faith and use it to point us to Jesus? What are practical ways in which we can allow the teaching of the Bible to truly impact how we live and how we relate to others?

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Thursday: The Next Generation — 11 Comments

  1. At a time when some modern Bible scholars suggest that scripture cannot be taken as it reads, that certain critical accounts, like creation, are purely allegorical, and that some passages were unduly influenced by the uninformed or mistaken worldview of the authors, faithful Bible students need to be especially vigilant (1 Peter 5:8).

    It is true that some of the prophets did not fully understand some of the truths of which they wrote. Yet it was not an indication they were in error, but rather an Allwise Power was communicating through men whose knowledge was not a limiting factor.

    Whatever our interpretation of scripture, its value is based on the belief that the Holy Spirit originated and supervised its authorship. The Bible does not represent the biased opinion of men. To suggest it is colored by human prejudice or tainted by corrupt culture undermines its inspiration and authenticity and ultimately erodes confidence in it.

    Often when Scripture is presented in a complicated and confusing way it is to get around the straight testimony, which conflicts with a desired philosophy or preferred opinion. The simple mind tuned to the frequency of the Holy Spirit may be led to unearth treasures which scholars stumble over (Luke 10:21).

    Like(11)
    • I understand where you are coming from and agree with you. I would like to add though, that sometimes we have focused so much on a literal interpretation that we have forgotten the truth.

      An Adventist theologian from Europe once gave me a Bible study on Jonah. He started by saying, if we listen to the story of Jonah without concentrating on the whale what do we have left. He then went on to give a beautiful study on God dealing with man, our relationship to the unsaved, and attitudes and expectations that Christians have about God. It was a valuable Bible study and we did not even have to discuss whether the whale was literal or not.

      I am not saying that we should ditch a literal understanding of the Bible - It is just that sometimes in our desire to support a literal interpretation, we miss the point of what the Bible is really trying to say.

      Like(9)
    • As I understand it, the Bible is a divine revelation given through a human medium. God inspired the thoughts and concepts, but not the words and/ or word order itself.

      Inevitably, there is a human element to the Bible and God's revelation comes in the context of human culture. That's why we need to take the context of culture into consideration when we interpret the Bible.

      Those who insist that all things are as precisely applicable today as they were when given to a different culture will, nevertheless, be very selective in what they interpret literally.

      I think we will understand the message of the Bible better when we focus on the overall pattern of God's self-revelation to man and recognize that He revealed Himself to humanity in ways that humans could interpret in the context of their culture. That's why it is helpful to understand the culture of the day.

      Christ was the ultimate self-revelation of God, but God also wants to reveal Himself in His followers. Thus we must take our cue from the Bible, but it is more effective when we live the principles of the Bible than if we just preach them.

      Like(9)
      • Inge,
        So true. Culture and theme are the best ways to get the full picture of what is being said in the Bible. First of all, as I am sure that you know, translation cannot be done literally.

        Like(1)
      • I think your last line is crucial.
        We need to keep in mind that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God's character--particularly as shown on the cross.
        We need to read the Bible with this at the forefront of our minds (along with the other things you said) and I believe that all our interpretation should be guided by this.

        Like(1)
  2. [Moderator's note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    'A sure foundation' indeed! Lord help me rely on your holy Writ in all aspects of my life; give me the discernment to share its precious truths with others in Jesus name.

    Like(2)
  3. As Jackie said, when need to come to the Word in prayer. We need to remember that we are encountering Jesus Himself when we read Its words.

    Not only do we need to spend time with Him in Bible Study and Prayer, but we have a chance to spend time with the Redeemer and Creator when we bow in humble prayer and consider the Words within Its pages.

    Thank you Lord for giving us your Word. Help each of us to spend time with You daily!

    Like(15)
  4. Scripture was given to guide every worshiper to know God Almight,but nowadays it seems some have monopolized it and dictate on how to interpret it just like pharesees/saducees.

    Like(4)
  5. Happy New Year to each and every one, Gods' Blessings to you all. Thank God that we have made it through to another year with his grace and mercies, In our daily worship lets make our daily song to him, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face." And we would see his love, his Mercies and his Grace shine through us daily, and how much we will have to give thanks for, for God is Love that was made flesh for us, what an awesome God we serve. Thank you Jesus. As we read the bible daily lets remember to pray before so that we could get the full understanding of his word, and not to our own understanding. Praise God from all whose blessing flow. Love and Peace to all, and may God, continue to bless us on our Christian walk with him.

    Like(6)
  6. I'd like to say also, that God's word is durable.
    Many times it is easy to be caught up in 'defending' God's word.

    But the authority and authenticity of the Bible does not come from a mere declaration (from on high) that it is so. It comes from the impact of it in the lives of God's followers and on His creation.

    Like(2)

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