Red-Letter Bibles!

There are a good number of publishers that produce Bibles in which the word of Christ, that is, the words spoken by Christ while he was on this earth, are placed in red. Altogether apart from the issue of what in the gospel accounts are actually words spoken by Christ, the red-letter editions of the Bible bring into question the complete reliability of Scripture. The red-letter Bibles leave the distinct impression that the words of Jesus are the really important words in the Bible. The words of Jesus in some way carry more authority and are to be viewed as having special weight in comparison to the other words that are found in Holy Scripture. The impression is left that Jesus’ teaching on marriage in Matthew 19:1-12 is more important than Paul’s teaching on marriage in 1Corinthians 7. In the case of homosexuality, Jesus did not directly address this issue, but Paul does in Romans 1, 1Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1Timothy 1:9-10. Since these are the words of Paul and not directly the word of Jesus, it is possible that they are time-bound and culturally conditioned, not necessarily inspired and authoritative. They applied in Paul’s day, but do not necessarily apply in our day. This sort of distinction between the red-letters of Jesus and the words of the human writers of Scripture tends to undermine the truth that the Bible is completely trustworthy. We are not to add to or take away from Scripture, which is the warning of Revelation 22:19. It would seem that placing some of Scripture in red amounts practically both to adding unto and taking away from Scripture, both of which are forbidden.

From, The Standard Bearer Feb 1 2019, Vol 95, No 9.
By Prof Ronald Cammenga.

(James R Hamilton, February 2019)
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