“We can define the Sufficiency of Scripture as follows: “The sufficiency of Scripture means that Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains all the words of God we need for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly.” (Wayne Grudem)

This is the last issue we have to deal with regarding Scripture. Let me put it in the form of a question for you: “Is the Bible all we really need?” My answer to that is Yes it is and no it is not.

If you allow me to explain, I think you will understand what I mean well enough to know I am not being a hypocrite here. Let me start explaining by saying this: The Bible is all that we need. If the Bible does not say it, then it is not very important for developing your relationship with God.

The problem with this is that we all have certain ways of looking at the world that can cause us to misread and misunderstand God’s message. Let me give you an example of what I mean. I remember hearing once that a person traveled all over America collecting sermons on a Bible passage commonly called The story of the Prodigal Son.

The American sermons all emphasized the irresponsible lifestyle of the main character. In some way, they all implied he should have had better spending habits. The same person who collected these sermons in America also made a trip to Russia and began collecting more sermons on the same passage.

Interestingly enough, the Russian sermons did not care about his spending habits (because under the old Soviet Union no one had any money to spend). The Russian sermons all emphasized the fact that a famine took place and the food supply ran out.

This detail was emphasized in the Russian sermons because many of their ministers lived through the Nazi invasion during World War 2, which crippled their food supply (a problem that the Americans did not have during the same time period).

My point here is there is a context to everything the Bible says. When we are unfamiliar with the Bible’s original context, we tend to add our own context to the information contained in the Bible.

This is where scholarship comes in. We need people to do research on the Bible’s original context, not so we can add things to the Bible, but simply to recognize the importance of details God included that we have (somehow) overlooked because they are foreign and unfamiliar to us.

I hope you understand.

The details that we overlook because they are foreign and unfamiliar can make it harder for us to interact with God. The harder it is for us to interact with God, the more challenges we will have in becoming a part of the community that God is building around the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(to be continued…)