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ABUSING THE BIBLE

By Curtis Pugh

There are a number of reasons for the disagreements among professing Christians. Traditional teachings are sometimes believed instead of the Bible. Not knowing Bible customs, not knowing the meaning of words both English and in the original Bible languages also contribute to these differences. Not considering all that the Bible has to say on a subject may also contribute. Of course those who somehow claim to be followers of the Lamb but who do not believe the Bible will put forth their own ideas.

There is a warning in the Bible regarding our mistreatment of the Scriptures. It is possible to abuse God's Book. It is possible to twist and torture it so as to make it say what it does not really say. Let us begin in the middle of one of Peter's statements about Paul: “...our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction,” (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Peter admits that Paul wrote some things hard to be understood, but that he had been given the wisdom by which he wrote: given it from God, of course. He also wrote that Paul wrote of such things in all his letters so we conclude they must have been of major importance. Peter also equated Paul's writings with “the other scriptures” meaning Paul's letters were the Word of God just like the Old Testament and other New Testament writings. He also named two kinds of people who abuse all the Scriptures: those who are “unlearned” and those who are “unstable.”

Peter said these people “wrest” the Scriptures “unto their own destruction.” By twisting or torturing the meaning of words and terms it is possible to make the Bible say most anything. But putting Scriptures together that are unrelated it is possible to do the same thing. For instance: the Bible says Judas “went and hanged himself.” And in another place Jesus said, “Go, and do thou likewise.” Of course these two quotations are totally unrelated, but in a ridiculous way they illustrate one way the Bible can be twisted. So also many people take Old Testament promises made to National Israel and claim they are true for Christians or for Christ's congregations today. But National Israel is one thing and Christians and congregations of them are completely different and not to be confused. Old Testament promises made to Israel cannot rightly be claimed by citizens of the United States or any other people except those addressed.

In abusing the Bible there is a danger: a danger of personal “destruction:” a danger of perishing, of ruin, of perdition! Oh how important it is that we study the Scriptures carefully and without prejudice allowing them to say what they say. Do not “wrest” the Bible to your “destruction!”


Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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