NCW 25, November 1995
Q. Why do you quote so little scripture in your publications? I would like to see more citations from God's Word.
Actually, if you read our writings carefully, you will discover that we are paraphrasing all the time. If you read Paul you will see that he did the same thing too. And he never cited scripture references! Why? Because (a) the Old Testament wasn't versified until a few hundred years ago, and (b) the essence of scripture is not the words but the concepts behind them.
The apostles' listeners didn't have Bibles they could look up when Paul or Peter preached. They remembered what they had been taught. Paul actually quoted scripture quite badly and often mixed up several scriptures in a single sentence! The point is, his readers and listeners obtained the testimony of the Holy Spirit that what he said was true. The Spirit burned within them!
Actually, sometimes we cite an awful lot of scriptures. It depends what the purpose of a sermon or an article is. Our Sabbath School materials are bursting with scripture references because people need to check up the scriptures for themselves. But we feel no obligation to quote from scriptures all the time. As a Church of living revelation, we are to preach and teach by the power of God's Spirit. And that we aim to do. If what we say does not harmonise with the Bible, then we will correct it -- instantly.
God's Word is not limited by the Bible. Whatever the Spirit causes to be said or written is His Word. The Word is infinite. One could never cite all of it.
This page was created on 2 May 1998
Last updated on 2 May 1998
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