All of God's word is holy
February 20, 2019
Our 4-year-old grandson and another little boy were talking together at a church potluck recently. I’m not sure what sparked our grandson’s question, but he eventually said, “I have a Bible. It’s a real one. Do you have a real Bible?”
I don’t know if the other little boy answered, but our somewhat older grandson interjected, “I have three Bibles: A story Bible, a Holy Bible and an NIV (New International Version) that I read all the time.”
Hmm? I understand a child’s reasoning a Bible story book isn’t the whole thing, and I suspect the 4-year-old had the same impression of the difference the older grandson had. But I was a little thrown by the difference our older grandson made between a “Holy Bible” and the “NIV.”
I keep my Bible in a cover, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the outside of it. To me, the contents are what matter. So I took the outside cover off and saw it says, “NIV Study Bible” on the cover, title page and copyright page. Nowhere does it say, “Holy Bible.” Our older grandson’s “non-Holy” Bible is an NIV Adventure Bible, again with no external indication about it being “Holy.” Our King James Versions (KJV) have “Holy Bible” prominently displayed on the outside and inside. On the title and copyright pages, “Holy Bible” is preceded by “The,” the article that specifies uniqueness. So I can see why some people consider the KJV as the only inspired version.
Actually, it was the biblical writers who were inspired to write what God said and the word of the Lord is what stands forever (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 1 Peter 1:24-25). Even the apostles who were eyewitnesses only wrote what God told them to write through his Spirit (1 John 1:1-4; John 14:25-26; 16:12-15; 20:30-31; 21:24-25).
The translations only have their inspiration when they’re true to the original documents, and none of them is perfect. For that reason, though I use the NIV most, I often compare it with the newer KJV and standard versions. The standard versions generally are the most literal translations, and you cannot go wrong with that. Across versions, though, there are very few differences in the meaning, and if the Bible is studied as a whole, it interprets itself, even when the translators didn’t get a specific word right.
All of God’s word is holy and to be respected because of what it does for us (Psalm 19:7-11; Romans 1:1-5). While the New Testament is where we learn about salvation, the Old Testament is still of great value (2 Corinthians 10:1-10). The best thing we can do is study the whole Bible and follow it to show our love for God (2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 5:8-10; Psalm 119:9-16; John 15:9-10; 14:15-21).
Do you study your Bible daily to learn how to please God in the way that leads to eternal life? That’s the only way it can become real to you!
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]