Stephen Harrell: Bible Verse Arms Race

July 5, 2013

Scot McKnight posted this on his Jesus Creed blog, and it deals with an important matter. If you live in the south, you have probably encountered the people who use the Bible like a billy-club. It might be useful to recall that, when he appeared before the Council of Nicea in 325, Arius brought a thick stack of Bible verses supposedly proving that Jesus is not God. Scripture is easily misused, and more easily used to back up preexisting prejudices. Here is a sample of Stephen Harrell’s essay and the link follows.

This is why the Bible Verse Arms Race is not a very good way to discover Biblical truth. When two people, each with a firmly held “faith,” find as many verses as possible to uphold their belief and dismiss the others, no one leaves convinced of anything except that the other person is stubborn. (Including, I might add, an increasingly post-modern, relativist world that sees these debates as archaic and disingenuous.)

I think Jesus offers a solution in Matthew 7:15-20, when He warns against false prophets. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit … Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

In much of our Christian culture, the evidence of “good faith” is belief in the “right answers” of Christianity, defended by a large collection of Bible Verses. Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 directly challenge this notion, as He proposes good deeds are the tangible effects of good faith.


Bible Verse Arms Race.


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