My Bible, My Idol?


The other day I was reading a pastor’s blog post about turning the Bible into an idol, specifically with regard to the Conservative Bible Project (while you won’t find the comments section all that helpful, the post itself raises a few good points).

Every once in a while I’ll see the accusation of “bibliolatry” thrown out in a book or a blog—often as a shot at those who would hold to an Evangelical understanding of Scripture (that it is the word of God, authoritative & free of error in all that it teaches). My pastor was once accused of bibliolatry, for example, simply because he preaches the text and believes we should obey the commands of God (cf 1 John 2:1-6).

Funny thing, that.

Anyway, as I’ve been thinking about bibliolatry, I’ve been wondering if what people who could be accused of this are not making an idol of the Bible, but rather making an idol out of a preference or position?

For example, the “KJV-Only” crowd. A lot of those folks are brothers and sisters in the faith; but golly, it’s dicey to say that only one translation of the Bible is acceptable for use; in fact, some go so far as to say that the KJV is more authoritative than the original Greek and Hebrew. It would be very easy to accuse them of making an idol out of the Bible. But I don’t know that they have. I wonder if they haven’t made an idol out of someone’s preference?

Then there’s the gang over at the Conservative Bible Project. They’re not turning the Bible into an idol—they’re trying to impose their own agenda on the Bible.

Whether it’s a pet issue, theological position, political view, or translation preference, all of these can easily become idols when we try to give them authority over the Bible, rather than the Bible having authority over them.

But I don’t know if the same can be said about the Bible itself.

Truthfully, I don’t know that it’s possible for someone who truly believes what the Bible says to worship it. The Bible doesn’t allow for that, because it continually points us to the only one who is worthy of our worship: Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

But who knows? Maybe I’m out to lunch.

It’s something to think about anyway.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.

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2 Replies to “My Bible, My Idol?”

  1. Jesus said, ” Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17) The key words in this verse are “Abolish” and “Fulfill”. If one will do a study of these two words they will discover that Jesus was saying, ‘I have come to interpret the Law and Prophets correctly.”
    One of the purposes of having the twelve original disciples follow Jesus throughout His ministry was to have them observe His life-everything He said and did.
    What did they observe?:
    They observed Jesus-the Word in physical form (John 1:14) They observed the Word of God lived out correctly.
    They observed everything Jesus said and did in public and in private.
    They observed the Word of God correctly interpreted in the Words and actions of Christ.
    They observed not only the letter of the Word but also the spirit of the Word-the original intent of the author of the Word which is God.
    Jesus is the only perfect example for all the world to see.
    The life Christ lived is our only perfect example.
    The life Christ lived is our perfect, correct and pure interpretation of God’s Holy Word.
    In order for us fallible humans beings to understand God’s infallible Word, we must observe very closely the infallible Christ lived out in the Gospels.

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