Mondays with MacDonald (on the word of God vs. the Word of God)

Do not suppose that I believe in Jesus because it is said so-and-so in a book. I believe in him because he is himself. The vision of him in that book, and, I trust, his own living power in me, have enabled me to understand him, to look him in the face, as it were, and accept him as my Master and Saviour, in following whom I shall come to the rest of the Father’s peace.

The Bible is to me the most precious thing in the world, because it tells me his story; and what good men thought about him who knew him and accepted him. But the common theory of the inspiration of the words, instead of the breathing of God’s truth into the hearts and souls of those who wrote it, and who then did their best with it, is degrading and evil; and they who hold it are in danger of worshipping the letter instead of living in the Spirit, of being idolaters of the Bible instead of disciples of Jesus.

It is Jesus who is the Revelation of God, not the Bible; that is but a means to a mighty eternal end. The book is indeed sent us by God, but it nowhere claims to be his very word. If it were — and it would be no irreverence to say it — it would have been a good deal better written. Yet even its errors and blunders do not touch the truth, and are the merest trifles — dear as the little spot of earth on the whiteness of the snowdrop. Jesus alone is The Word of God.

Personal letter, 1866.

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