Written by David Francis: Director of Sunday School for Lifeway Groups Ministry
3 Things the Bible Isn’t
There are probably more than three things the Bible is not. To non-Christians, it is not a lot of things! Just do a search. Be ready to get angry! But there are at least three things even Bible-believing Christ-followers should remember that the Bible is not.
- An encyclopedia: Every student and teacher of the Bible should have a good Bible encyclopedia. The Bible covers a lot of subjects, but it does not cover every subject, nor does it cover subjects with comprehensive depth. Where it does cover what it does cover, it is absolutely true. It simply does not cover everything about everything! It does not say anything about some things and should not be expected to.
- A self-help guide: There is not a self on this earth that would not be helped by a steady, daily diet of consuming the words of the Bible, but it is not a self-help book. That is, it is not God’s advice column. Its purpose is not self-improvement. That is, it is not a do-it-yourself guide. Actually, it is a book that everywhere compels the reader to admit “I cannot help myself, fix myself, re-do myself by myself.”
- A fortune cookie: Some people like to let the Bible fall open, point to a verse, and let it be their “thought for the day.” That’s like taking the slip of paper out of a fortune cookie, or reading a horoscope. The slip in the fortune cookie sometimes has the definition of a Chinese word, or some lottery numbers. You have probably heard the story of the guy who decided to go a second round after his finger first pointed to “Judas hanged himself.” His second attempt? “Go and do likewise.” That’s a dangerous way to use the Bible.
This post is partly in jest, but whether you are a student or teacher of the Bible, it will hopefully come to mind if you begin to drift toward using the Bible in any of these three ways. So, can you suggest 3 things the Bible is? Sure! Stay tuned.