What the Bible Is Not

(from Lesson 2 of God's Plan for Man)

1. The Bible is not an amulet, a charm, a fetish, or a thing that will work wonders by its very presence without any voluntary agency. The Bible does not claim to be any such thing. It does claim that if one will study and practice it, it will work wonders in the life now and hereafter. It will not benefit a man by its presence any more than a spring of cool water to a thirsty man in the desert will benefit him if he refuses to drink.

2 The Bible is not a book of chronological events or one unbroken series of divine utterances. It was given piecemeal, here a little and there a little, to many men through eighteen or more centuries (Isa. 28:9-11). In spite of this it forms a perfect unity, as we shall see.

3. The Bible is not a book of heavenly utterances in supernatural language. It is God's revelation in the most simple human language possible.

4. The Bible is not a book of mysteries. It explains its so-called mysteries and it is self-interpreting, so that no mystery remains in it.

5. The Bible is not a book that says one thing and means another. It has generally only one simple meaning. If a few passages have a double meaning, that is quite clear from the passage itself or from parallel passages. One cannot, as is commonly believed, get a thousand different meanings from any one passage.

6. The Bible is not a specimen of God's skill as a writer or logician. It is a book written by men whom God used to record His revelation. God used the men by giving them freedom of expression to use their own language and ways of expressing truth. The writers were God's penmen, and not God's pens. All that inspiration guarantees is unity of thought, not the sameness of words and expressions.

7. The Bible is not a book of systematic discourses on any one subject, but it does give divine information on practically every subject. One must collect together here and there all God's information through various writers in order to get the whole truth. When this is done, there is perfect harmony, and everything about the subject that man really needs to know, is clear.

8. The Bible is not a book that conforms to the tastes, customs, or habits of any one nation or people, or for any one age or period of time. It is a book to which all people in all ages can conform, and yet retain their own peculiar customs and habits that are not sinful and contrary to the will of God.