In the beginning was the the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God. The Bible was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through the Bible, and apart from the Bible nothing came into being that has come into being. In the Bible was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Of course, this sounds ridiculous but it is what many really believe, most don’t even realize this is what they belive. I know this because I used to, until I realized I had made the Bible an Idol and essentially the 4th member of the Trinity.
The modern concept of biblical inerrancy has attributed to this and placed the Bible into a place that even Jesus, in scriptures, rejected.
“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me ! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.
Also In the Bible…
Jesus said “See me, see the Father”
Paul said Jesus is the “exact image of the invisible God and the radiance of His glory”
So according to scripture, Jesus is perfect theology and reveals God perfectly.
To systematically try to construct God from any revelation outside of Jesus including Old Testament readings that reveal God as anything but Christlike is to make a Frankenstein God. As theologian and scholar Michael Hardin says a “Janus Faced God”(it means 2 faced so you don’t have to look it up). When we read the Bible as a flat inerrant text instead a trajectory that is taking us somewhere we don’t get a God like Jesus but one that is just as small, emotional and fickle as my 4 year old. Jesus came to fully reveal the Father. When we idolize the Bible we will miss out on the beauty of the journey it takes us on. My view of the Bible is very high, I study it, read it, pray from it daily. But my view of Christ is even higher.
This doesn’t mean the Hebrew Bible (OT scriptures) are “wrong” or can’t be trusted or are to be thrown out. They, as Jesus himself says, point to and are all about Him. (Luke 24, John 5) They are filled with stories of the loving kindness, mercy and steadfast love of God. They are sacred and valuable and through progressive revelation of man’s view of the Divine and the many types and shadows of Jesus, we see man’s journey and thoughts about God finally come to a head in the full revelation of who God really is, without a veil, in the Gospel accounts and the epistles.
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son… The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God,….
The Bible points is to the Word of God, which of course is Jesus. When we put the scriptures on the same pedestal as Christ, we do it a complete disservice and miss the entire point. Its like pointing to the moon and instead of looking at the moon, the onlookers focus on the finger instead. In the same way, the Bible points to Jesus. It points to all of humanity being loved and cherished by the Divine. It points to a God that is willing to be killed by its own creation, suffer loss and become a victim to show how forgiving and merciful God is. It points to a lot of things but it doesn’t point to these letters, poems, songs and stories being Divine, divinely inspired and sacred , but not the word of God. That’s a title given to Christ.
I started this piece with an edited version of John 1 to show the absurdity of how much of the modern church teaches us to view the Bible. The Bible is better likened to the role of John the Baptist than the Word of God.
“There came a book inspired by God, whose name was Bible. The Bible came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. The Bible was not the Light, but it came to testify about the Light.”
John 1:6-8 (REDUX) inspired by pastor Brian Zahnd
The Bible is inerrant in that it points to a God that is Just like Jesus. I call it Christocentric inerrancy. However The Bible is idle if an Idol.