Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey. — Psalm 119:105
The Bible, in the words of the Confession of 1967, is “not a witness (to Jesus Christ) among others, but the witness without parallel.” More fully, that 1967 confession, in harmony with other statements of faith in our Book of Confessions, says this:
The Bible is to be interpreted in the light of its witness to God’s work of reconciliation in Christ. The Scriptures, given under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are nevertheless words of human beings, conditioned by the language, thought forms, and literary fashions of the places and times at which they were written. They reflect views of life, history, and the cosmos which were then current. The church, therefore, has an obligation to approach the Scriptures with literary and historical understanding. As God has spoken the divine word in diverse cultural situations, the church is confident that God will continue to speak through the Scriptures in a changing world and in every form of human culture.
That language is a reminder that the Bible doesn’t interpret itself. That’s the job of Christians, and over the years there have been many disagreements about how to interpret the Scriptures. Those disagreements remind us not always to assume that our interpretation is the correct and final one.
For a guide to the many available English translations of the Bible, click here.
And for other Bible resources from the American Bible Society, click here.
Second Church offers many opportunities for Bible study. If you don’t find what you’re looking for listed in our various publications or online, ask congregants or staff members.