Thursday, November 5, 2009


Literally, bibliolatry is the worship of a book. There a short but interesting Wikipedia article available. It touches on the bits related specifically to Christianity, where one worships the Holy Bible as opposed the the Holy One. I've witnessed the process of Bible study and Bible inerrancy leading to Bibliolatry. (I'll use upper case Bibliolatry to indicate the specific worship of the Christian Bible.) How does this happen? What would Jesus think about it?

So, this is a tricky road to walk. Yes, we want to fall back on the Bible as a guide and blueprint for this earthly life. But, strong the temptation is to quote scripture instead of prayer to consult the one who inspired the scripture. After all, much of the Bible requires interpretation. Putting things in historical context is one great service that trained pastors and teachers can do for the rest of us. Without this background and context, the road to Bibliolatry gets more slippery. This is when we risk quoting things, and potentially modifying our behavior in ways that the scripture was simply never intended. Nothing is worse than thinking you are on the path to salvation when Jesus just watches and shakes his head in sadness.

Can we spend too much time in the Bible? The obvious answer is no, but then to what level do we exclude other Biblically-mandated activities such as prayer and fellowship? Can we not learn as much about God from these activities as we can by academically studying the scripture?

I don't have the answer, but I am frequently frustrated. It is hard to hear very knowledgeable folks - with literal knowledge of Bible contents - quote scripture without even considering the meaning, or the specific application at hand. Even the Truth, when misapplied, does no service to the King.


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