Is the Bible More Than Just a Book?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20

In Jesus’ day everybody knew that the scribes and Pharisees took the scripture more seriously than anyone else. The problem was that many of them saw the Bible as just a book. They didn’t know it was the Living Word of God. And Jesus is the Living Word made flesh.

When this Word becomes flesh, it exhausts superlatives of human description. You might say that the Bible is a person. Inspired by God, ordinary women and men wrote poetry, history, prophecy, parable, psalm, eschatology, and their writing somehow lashed together the first and last days of history.

This Bible is living and active (Heb. 4:12). It is a lamp to our feet. It is a light to our path (Ps. 119:105). It is God’s breath on us and in us. It teaches, it corrects, it reproves, and it trains. It makes us proficient, and it equips us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God’s Word is alive in Jesus, the Word made flesh (John 1:14).

The Bible is the most printed, published, marketed, retailed, and gifted book of all time. We give it to our children when they begin to read and to our young adults when they depart for college. We send it with our soldiers into combat, with our loved ones into surgery, with our brides and grooms into marriage, with our pastors into ministry. Kings and queens, presidents and governors, judges and witnesses lay hands on it and bind themselves to the truth.

God’s Book of Books enflames passions and, at the same time, quiets the maddened mind. It launches into battle and brings about peace that passes understanding. It propels explorers on distant journeys and brings home the lost and lonely. It raises our hearts and minds to unequalled heights and keeps our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Every element of human life is transformed for the better by the Bible—if we will but read it! But will we read the Bible? We intend to. We make our vows; we turn pages on the calendar and say “Tomorrow is the day I begin.” And then life interrupts.

If you want to hear Jesus’ voice, experience his presence, witness his miracles, know his love, and take part in his life-transforming life and ministry, open the Bible—and begin to read.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you read the Bible, which parts of it make you most uncomfortable? Why? Does it help you to think of the Bible as the Living Word made flesh in Jesus—and not just a book of history, poetry, and laws? If you could take one step further into your relationship with the Bible, what would that step be? What’s holding you back?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, come to life for me when I read the Bible. Let the words of the Bible speak; let them breathe on me. Touch me with your Word as with a warm hand. Let the words of the Bible correct me like a parent’s warning cry. Let the words of the Bible go before me like a living being, showing me the way. Let me see the Bible come alive in Jesus my Lord.


Dave Peterson is an ordained pastor who is the Director of Community Outreach for The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and Scholarly Advisor for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation. He is the author of Receiving and Giving, Unleashing the Bless Challenge in Your Life. Dave and his wife, Terri, have four adult children and four grandchildren. Send a note to Dave.

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Featured image by Cindee Snider Re. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.