what the Bible says about the Bible

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
John 5:39-40

Those are the words of Jesus, and he is speaking about the Scriptures (what we would refer to now as the Old Testament, and can safely apply to the New Testament as well).ย  According to him, they — the Scriptures — are not the source of eternal life…he is; but he has revealed himself to us in the Scriptures, so that we can come to him and have life.

John 17:3


  1. Thanks John !! Three thoughts :

    1. Thanks for clarifying the well needed excellent point that Jesus ALONE is the “eternal life” and NOT the scriptures. But, by “the Bible” (singular), you mean “The 66 Books” right? ๐Ÿ™‚ And if so, where does the “Bible alone” define itself as “The 66 Books” ? That would be something to demonstrate first before saying what “it” teaches. (and you did only say that it was “safe” to include the NT since Jesus in John 5 was referring ONLY to the Septuagint). And I ask only because if if it was up to Luther, there would only be 65. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. The Orthodox Church (which I align myself with) for its entire 1900 years or so of unbroken history has 49 Septuagint)+ 27 (NT) = 76 books total as the “the Bible.” The “Jewish” Masoretic OT text dates its beginnings around the 10th Century. Both Roman Catholics and Protestants both use the Masoretic text for the OT in their “bibles” today. How do we know what โ€œthe Bibleโ€ is? And why would we want to adopt a 10th century Jewish creation (Masoretic text)(the Masoretes were not sympathetic to Christianity at all) when the Apostles and the Church Fathers used the Septuagint?

    3. Are you stating or asserting in this post that Jesus is simply saying the scriptures (which is the Septuagint in John 5) do bear witness of him, or that the scriptures “alone” bear witness of him? Are you trying to prove “bible only” in this post? I would not think you are arguing “bible only” by citing evidence from the Bible itself – that would be invalid circular reasoning. The Book of Mormon and the Koran make similar claims. I only wonder because of the title of the post.

    Looking forward to reading your new blog.

    • Richard,

      1. Yes, by the Bible I do mean “the 66 books.” I am, after all, a post-reformation protestant through-and-through.

      2. While I don’t agree with including the Apocryphal books (or however you’d like to refer to them as) in the Canon, your point about the Masoretic text is probably valid, from my unstudied perspective.

      3. Hadn’t thought about this passage that way, but that is what he said. ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess my point was to echo what Jesus was saying, that the Scriptures themselves are not the source of eternal life – they point to him, and we must come to him if we will have that life. But the way we come to him and know him is through the Scriptures, making them incredibly important.

      So, no, “bible only” was not the point of this post. Although compared to The Book of Mormon and the Koran, which I would hold to be human constructs, the Bible COULD hold up to that sort of scrutiny, evaluation, etc. It’s not “invalid circular reasoning” when we’re talking about God’s word.