The Bible: Literature’s Gold Standard

The Bible is inspired, inerrant, sufficient, necessary, and authoritative, just to name a few of its divine qualities. It is also different than every other book ever written. Not just by degrees, either. It is categorically different.

In his insightful book about reading, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading BooksTony Reinke makes that case. In one category are the myriads of books written by human authors, and in the other category—with only one book checking in—is the Bible.

Concluding his chapter on the Bible’s uniqueness, he cites the ‘Prince of Preachers,’ Charles H. Spurgeon, who said of the Bible,

All other books might be heaped together in one pile and burned with less loss to the world than would be occasioned by the obliteration of a single page of the sacred volume [Scripture]. At their best, all other books are but as gold leaf, requiring acres to find one ounce of the precious metal. But the Bible is solid gold. It contains blocks of gold, mines, and whole caverns of priceless treasure. In the mental wealth of the wisest men there are no jewels like the truths of revelation. The thoughts of men are vanity, low, and groveling at their best. But he who has given us this book has said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). Let it be to you and to me a settled matter that the word of the Lord shall be honored in our minds and enshrined in our hearts. Let others speak as they may. We could sooner part with all that is sublime and beautiful, or cheering and profitable, in human literature than lose a single syllable from the mouth of God (1881; repr., Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 27 [Pasadena, TX: Pilgrims, 1984], 124; citation from Reinke, Lit!, 27-28).

Amen!

As we read, may we remember that Scripture is in a class by itself. May that reality press us to put it at the top of our reading list, and to judge all other books by the gold standard of God’s Word.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

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