Studying the Bible

And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? Mark 12:24

J.C. Ryle commented on this passage (as relayed in a recent article in Banner of Truth magazine) that “We learn . . . from this passage, how much of religious error may be traced to ignorance of the Bible . . . The truth of the principle here laid down, is proved by facts in almost every age of church history. The reformation in Josiah’s day was closely connected with the discovery of the book of the law. The false doctrines of the Jews in our Lord’s time were the result of neglecting the Scriptures. The dark ages of Christendom were times when the Bible was kept back from the people. The Protestant Reformation was mainly effected by translating and circulating the Bible. The Churches which are most flourishing at this day are churches which honour the Bible. The nations which enjoy most moral light are nations in which the Bible is most known. The parishes in our land where there is most true religion are those in which the Bible is most studied. The godliest families are Bible-reading families. The holiest men and women are Bible-reading people. These are simple facts which cannot be denied.”

(HT: John Currid)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

3 thoughts on “Studying the Bible

  1. While I agree, some negative thoughts are generated when I read statements like this from great teachers such as Ryle. It is more what is not said rather than what is said. Specifically I see no reference to the power of God. These teachers have a written word focus rather than power of God focus. Of course the power of God is implied regarding His transformation of individuals and communities through His written word but that is too limiting.

    I think it is both but the quote above is typical while those referencing power are less frequent.

  2. I agree too. I guess it’s a matter of context/era that determines emphasis. We are so used to thinking of power in terms of ‘charismata’, almost exclusively.
    Hence a bit of corrective/balance. Not such an issue for Ryle. My point is, you don’t hear many of us Charismatics testifying to the power of God transforming our habits/behaviour/attitudes. I’d love to hear of people being ‘released’ into personal holiness or family devotions. Of course, why should we settle for either/or when we can have both/and. “Pursue love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts.”

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