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Vol.  9  No. 12 December 2007  Page 17
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Robert JohnsonAll Scripture Is Inspired

By Robert Johnson

    The Bible is a marvelous work, which stands above any other piece of literature. It is, after all, God’s revelation of Himself, and His will, for humanity. Written by approximately 40 individuals over a 1600-year period, it shows unity and harmony in declaring the theme of salvation to a lost world.

    Questions have arisen, however, as to how we should approach this book. There are those who contend that each book is an individual unit, separate and complete in itself. They argue it was never intended for us to “interpret Scripture by Scripture.” Thus, we shouldn’t consider each book authoritative, and by examining them together, have a complete picture of God’s will. For example, they state Romans was written only for the church at Rome, Philippians for Philippi, and so on. Each letter applies only to those situations to which they were originally written. They were not intended to be examined together, taken together for doctrine and Christian living.

    Such a loose view of Scripture is used to authorize practices foreign to our worship. For example, instrumental music doesn’t matter, as the passages speaking of music were not meant to be applied to the church today. They have authority only to those congregations addressed in those letters. Women leading in worship is not wrong, as Paul’s exclusion in Corinthians applied only to Corinth, and not us (1 Corinthians 14:34). Such examples could be multiplied.

    While this view of Scripture is being emphasized by some in our brotherhood, this is not the view Scripture presents of itself. To Timothy Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). Paul speaks of Scripture as a whole, not individual books or letters that apply only to certain people, under certain circumstances.

    Understandably, Paul’s teachings reflect such a view of Scripture. To the Colossians, Paul exhorted a letter exchange with the Laodiceans, because of the good both could accomplish for each congregation (Colossians 4:16). To the church at Corinth, Paul wrote of sending Timothy, who would remind them of his ways “which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). No matter where Paul labored, or to whom he wrote, he understood it all to be the will of God, and all applying to us as Christians. By reading each of his letters to the various churches, we do learn about the unique situations many of them faced. Not only this, we also have a complete picture of God’s will, and how it applies in every situation.

    The Bible is not a loose collection of books, each applying only to itself, and not to be related to the rest. The 66 books in the Bible are those inspired by God, those that God wanted us to have as His Word. We recognize they were written under various circumstances and times, to various groups and individuals. However, by also considering them together as a unit, as God’s Word for us, we have a complete picture of Him and His will. By examining Scripture this way, we can have a complete understanding of what we must do to be saved, of how we can live the Christian life, of having the promise of eternity. All Scripture is inspired of God, and all Scripture reveals God and His will to us.

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