For a long time, those of us who regard Scripture as God’s law (not merely suggestions or guidelines) have been accused of legalism. Now another term has come into vogue: bibliolatry, which means excessive reverence for books. The indictment is that we worship the Bible instead of God; that in effect we make an idol of the Bible, and that is wrong.

One immediately wonders how the critics can say such conduct is wrong if the prohibition of idolatry is only a suggestion, not a law!

Was Moses guilty of bibliolatry when he required Israel to “obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law” (Deuteronomy 30:10)?

Was the prophet Hosea guilty of bibliolatry when he depicted God as saying, “Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law, they are regarded as a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12)?

Was the apostle Paul guilty of bibliolatry when he cautioned us “not to exceed what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6), or when he wrote, “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandments” (1 Corinthians 14:37)?

Was Jesus guilty of bibliolatry when He noted that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35); or when He said, “. . . Not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18); or when He added, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19)?

I know many people who respect the Bible, but I have never seen anyone worship it—pray to it, sing to it, etc. I have seen people ignore it and reject it. Given that it is God’s word, what are they making an idol of?

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