“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
1. Why do we study the Bible? What does it teach us?
2 Timothy 3:14-17: But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured of, knowing those from whom you have learned them, and that since childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith that is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
1 Peter 2:2-3: As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow, if it is true that you have experienced that the Lord is good.
We study the Bible because it is the inspired Word of God and it teaches us about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Through the study of the Bible, we learn the true doctrine and teaching of God, and we are taught how to walk in His ways.
2. What is unique and special about the Bible?
2 Peter 1:19-21: And we have a more reliable word of prophecy, which you would do well to follow, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of the Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. For no prophecy at any time was produced by the will of man, but holy men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
1 Corinthians 2:13: These things also we proclaim, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
2 Samuel 23:1-2: The oracle of David the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the favorite psalmist of Israel: The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.
The Bible is special and unique because it is God’s Word to man. It was not written by the will of man. God Himself moved men to write and guided and directed them in the thoughts they expressed and in the words they wrote.
3. Does the Bible have mistakes and errors in it?
Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God is pure.
Psalm 119:160: Your word is true from the beginning.
John 17:17: Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
John 10:35: The Scripture cannot be broken.
All that the Bible teaches and says is true because it is inspired by God Himself and is His Word.
4. Has the Word of God been corrupted or lost?
Psalm 119:89: Forever, O Lord, Your word is established in heaven.
Isaiah 40:8: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.
1 Peter 1:24-25: For “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” This is the word that was preached to you.
Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Not only did God give His Word by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He has and continues to preserve His Word as a true and faithful witness to all the people in the world of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
5. What does God say about changing His Word — adding to it or taking away from it?
Deuteronomy 4:2: You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor shall you take anything from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Proverbs 30:6: Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.
Matthew 5:18-19: For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Revelation 22:18-19: I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life and out of the Holy City and out of the things which are written in this book.
Jeremiah 23:28: And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
God forbids us to change His Word — to add to it or to take away from it. We are to speak and teach it faithfully. For this reason, we use great care to teach nothing more and nothing less than what God has revealed to us in the Bible. And we seek to use translations of God’s Word which are fully faithful to those texts which God has preserved and which have been widely used by the churches down through the centuries.
6. What use should we make of God’s Word?
Luke 11:28: Indeed, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
Psalm 119:97: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
We should read and study the Bible, learn its teachings and meditate upon it because it is God’s Word to us and reveals our sinfulness and God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. It also teaches us how we ought to live, as believers, in service to our God and Savior.
Look in the front of your Bible at the listing of books there. You will find our Bible has a total of 66 books — 39 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books. Memorize these books of the Bible in order so that you can easily find them when studying God’s Word. Also, memorize the Bible passages listed above — memorize them all if you can — for they are God’s Word and will help you learn of Him and grow in your faith in Christ Jesus.
We believe that all of the Bible, and each and every word of the Bible (the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament canonical books), were given by inspiration of God and are, therefore, the true and unerring Word of God (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Samuel 23:1-2). We also believe that the Word of God has not been lost or corrupted but has been faithfully preserved by God down through the centuries as a witness to all the nations (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Matthew 24:14,35). We believe that it is still accurately recorded in the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Majority (or Received) Texts and that it can be read and studied in faithful Bible translations, such as Luther’s German Bible, the King James Version, the Modern English Version and the New King James Version of the Bible, and other faithful translations. We discourage the use of texts and translations of the Bible which are unfaithful and thus corrupt the Word of God (Deuteronomy 4:2; Jeremiah 23:28; Matthew 5:18-19; Revelation 22:18-19).
Since all of the Bible is God’s true and unerring Word, we teach that the Bible is to be the source and judge of all Christian teaching. What is not in accord with God’s Word is not to be taught as Christian Doctrine (Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 23:28-32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Acts 17:11). The Bible is also its own interpreter; thus, passage interpretations that are not in agreement with other clear passages of Holy Scripture are to be rejected (2 Peter 1:20-21; Isaiah 8:20). We teach that the Bible is to be diligently studied and heard; for it reveals to mankind the only way of salvation, which is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it guides the Christian in living according to God’s Holy will (John 5:39; 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Psalm 119:105).
[Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]