Prioritizing Scripture…

When we read the Holy Scriptures, do we read them as though every single line has huge theological importance?Libra scales

Do we assign the same level of value to each verse because they are all in the Bible, therefore they must all be weighed the same?

Isaiah 37:36    “And the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.”

Romans 10:4   “For Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified.”

Should the two verses above be regarded equally as to their impact on the reader, or hearer?

I certainly don’t think so. And I have a feeling that you don’t either, even if there is some fundamentalist nerve inside you that becomes raw at the thought of viewing scripture in this manner.

I think the verse from Romans has a much greater value for us and I believe that we need to also think this way about the books of the Bible. Some are of greater import than others.

Luther thought that the most important books of the Bible were the Gospel of John, 1st Peter, and Paul’s letters, with Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, coming first.

Conversely, Luther didn’t think too highly of the Book of James.  James didn’t focus so much on Christ and His work for us, but rather put a focus on us, and what we might be doing…therefore Luther called it “the epistle of straw”.

Does this make sense to you, or does something about what I’ve written here make you uneasy, and if so, why?

2 Responses

  1. My first time here Steve: I like it.

    Certain scripture is indeed more valuable to us than others. I’ve read some books of the Bible and wondered why there were included at all, but I don’t want to get that argument started. Long lists of what to do if your goat is stolen (somewhere in the nether regions of Leviticus) do not have the same theological implications as Paul’s teaching to the Romans or writings to Timothy. I happen to like the book of James; too bad Luther doesn’t have a web page.

  2. Clark,

    The book of James certainly does have it’s use. I think it is a good corrective for wayward (lazy) Christians, that they might realize what they (we) are here for.

    I think Luther wasn’t crazy about it because in many ways it puts the onus back on us.

    A web page by Luther…wouldn’t that be something!
    I guess he came close by giving us over 50 volumes of writings for us to check out (in our spare time).

    Thanks very much for checking in Clark. I’m glad you like the site.

    – Steve

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