Friday, May 8, 2009


After last Sunday's sermon I was warned by a thoughtful parishoner to "not worship the Bible." While she was well intentioned, her question betrayed a misunderstanding about a proper reverence for Scripture.

In the following article Dr. S.M. Baugh asks, "Is Bibliolatry Possible?"

He writes:
Let us begin with God. Always. The God of the Book is a jealous God. He makes himself perfectly clear on this point. He is ardently offended when men or angels give worship due to him to anyone or to anything else. But, granted that we do not do obeisance to the folios, is God offended when we ascribe certain attributes of God himself to the ideas, truths, even to the very words of Holy Scripture? (Ideas and truths are best communicated through words, by the way. They are most elusive otherwise.)

For example, ideas like "infallibility" are ascribed to the Bible, because we believe that God himself is infallible. He cannot by his nature make a mistake. To do so would be to deny himself and to be God no more. Therefore, if the Bible does contain mistakes, either the infallible God did not inspire it, or he mistakenly (and cruelly) left us, more than six score thousand who know not their right hand from their left hand, to shift for ourselves in matters of truth. But God does nothing unfinished or unwell. As he puts it, "My word will not return to me void," "Behold, it was very good." So is it vulgar idol chasing to say that the Bible itself by good and necessary inference cannot contain error? Is God affronted by such ascriptions to the Book?

"The Scripture cannot be broken...Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God...It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law...for you have exalted your word over your name...I have treasured your word in my heart...Your testimonies are my delight, my counselors...Scripture locked up all under sin." These statements by Jesus and the biblical writers must suggest bibliolatry to some. So is bibliolatry truly possible?

Read the entire article HERE.


Pete Morris said...

Sometimes, I feel so distant from God's loving kindness. The joy and peace and rest come when I read in His letter to me about His loving kindness interacting with the people of the time when He became a man. Reading and meditating on the history, poetry, prayers, accounts and explanations and encouragements and warnings and of His great love for His children is me getting close to my Father, because He is with me. Thank you Father for your Word. I love the Bible. I physically hold it close to heart-it is the word from my Abba, Father.

Mike said...

"So is bibliolatry truly possible?"...only if there are no human elements to the bible...when you factor it in bibliolatry is possible.