Lloyd-Jones on the Dangers of Approaching Scripture with a Pre-Established Bias

20 Jul

“There is nothing more important in the Christian life that the way in which we approach the Bible, and the way in which we read it.  It is our textbook, it is our only source, it is our only authority…You can easily read [Paul’s] epistles and be no wiser at the end than you were in the beginning because of what you have been reading into what Paul says, wresting them to your own destruction.  Now that is something which we must always bear in mind with regard to the whole Bible.  I can be seated with the Bible in front of me; I can be reading its words and going through its chapters; and yet I may be drawing a conclusion which is quite false to the pages in front of me.  There can be no doubt at all that the commonest cause of all this is our tendency so often to approach the Bible with a theory.  We go to our Bibles with this theory, and everything we read is controlled by it…If you read half a verse and emphasize over-much some other half verse elsewhere, your theory is soon proved.  Now obviously this is something of which we have to be very wary.  There is nothing so dangerous as to come to the Bible with a theory, with preconceived ideas, with some pet idea of our own, because the moment we do so, we shall be tempted to emphasize one aspect and under-emphasize another.”[1]

[1] D. Martin Lloyd Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, pp 6-7.



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