Sermon quotes on the Bible

William Barclay

It is the simple truth to say that the New Testament books became canonical because no one could stop them doing so.


D.A. Carson

A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text. 


Charles E. Fuller

To know the Word of God, to live the Word of God, to preach the Word, to teach the Word, is the sum of all wisdom, the heart of all Christian service.



Daniel Fuller

I believe that the Holy Spirit is indispensable for an interpreter’s reaching a correct interpretation of the text. The Spirit must work in the interpreter’s heart so that he or she welcomes the biblical message that one’s egotistic, sinful heart otherwise hates with a vengeance.


Bob Goff

I don’t think Bible verses were meant to be thrown like grenades at each other. They were meant for us to use to point each other toward love and grace and invite us into something much bigger.



Soren Kierkegaard

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.



Abraham Kuyper

The “book of nature” must always be read in light of God’s special revelation, the Bible.


Harper Lee

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.


Dwight L. Moody

The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.


John Owen

In the divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade, and deeps where the elephant may swim.


Eugene Peterson

No text can be understood out of its entire context. The most “entire” context is Jesus. Every biblical text must be read in the living presence of Jesus. Every word of the scriptural text is a window or door leading us out of the tarpaper shacks of self into this great outdoors of God’s revelation.


Victoria J. Barnett

As Christians, we must read the Bible not only “for” ourselves, for nourishment and encouragement, but also “against” ourselves at times, to hear what God in Christ is really saying.

Taken from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Volume 2, Fortress Press.

Charles Spurgeon

The Bible is not the light of the world, it is the light of the Church. But the world does not read the Bible, the world reads Christians! “You are the light of the world.

Oscar Wilde

When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it. (for contrast)


C. S. Lewis

I have been reading poems, romances, vision literature, legends, and myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know none of them are like this. Of this [gospel] text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage…or else, some unknown [ancient] writer…without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern novelistic, realistic narrative…

Christian Reflections, Walter Hooper, ed., Eerdmans

Glenn R Paauw

A recent survey of the role of the Bible in American life reports that close to eight out of ten Americans describe the Bible as either inspired by God or as the literal word of God. 

Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well, InterVarsity Press. 

Glenn R Paauw

One of the core reasons for our Bible engagement breakdown is that so many would-be Bible readers have been sold the mistaken notion that the Bible is a look-it-up-and-find-the-answer handy guide to life. 

Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well, InterVarsity Press. 

Glenn R Paauw

The evidence repeatedly shows that for all its sales the Bible remains a foreign book for the vast majority of us. And this is not only a problem in the United States: global mission agencies are now acknowledging an epidemic of biblical illiteracy worldwide. 

Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well, InterVarsity Press. 

Karl Barth

What sort of house is it to which the Bible is a door? What sort of country is spread before our eyes when we throw the Bible open?”

The Word of God and the Word of Man, Peter Smith.

Mike Cosper

We think knowledge of the Bible is all that matters, so we fail to attend to our character, our soul, and our relationships. Our way of living the Christian life leaves all of these things unchanged.

Taken from Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper. Copyright (c) 2017, p.19. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Glen Scrivener

The Bible tells us that we’re not a mistake or even just a pleasant surprise. We are wanted. We are the planned offspring of the God of love and he longs to share his life with us.

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases, Christian Focus Publication

John Ortberg

The story of the Bible isn’t primarily about the desire of people to be with God; it’s the desire of God to be with people.

God Is Closer Than You Think, Zondervan.

J.D. Salinger 

Who [in the Bible] besides Jesus really knew which end was up? Nobody. . . . Jesus realized there is no separation from God.

Charles R. Taber

The very existence of the Bible is incontrovertible evidence of the God who refused to forsake his rebellious creation, who refused to give up, who was and is determined to redeem and restore fallen creation to his original design for it. . . . The very existence of such a collection of writings testifies to a God who breaks through to human beings, who disclosed himself to them, who will not leave them unilluminated in their darkness, . . . who takes the initiative in re-establishing broken relationships with us.

“Missiology and the Bible,” Missiology

Martin Luther

The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.

N.T. Wright and Michael Bird

Jesus did not tell his disciples that all authority is vested in the books that they would write; he insisted that it was vested in his own person. And yet Jesus’ authority operates through the New Testament message, as it testifies about and on behalf of the risen lord.

The New Testament in Its World, Zondervan Academic, 2019, p. 78.

N.T. Wright and Michael Bird

We must allow the text to speak for itself, in its own words, from its own context, on its own terms, so that its theological and missional significance can then be more accurately gauged.

The New Testament in Its World, Zondervan Academic, 2019, p. 79.

Joshua Jipp

New Testament theology is ‘inherently self-involving as it summons the reader to believe, confess, obey, and understand the entirety of one’s existence—both her or his thinking and willing—in light of the God revealed in the text’.

‘The Beginnings of a Theology of Luke-Acts: Divine Activity and Human Response.’ Journal of Theological Interpretation 8: 23–44, 2014.

Jonathan Walton

What many practice and promote in America passes for genuine faith in Christ, but 80 percent of Christians don’t read the Bible daily. Furthermore, only 1 percent of Christians in America believe we are doing discipleship well, as reported by the Barna Group.

Taken from Twelve Lies That Hold America Captive: And the Truth That Sets Us Free by Jonathan Walton Copyright (c) 2019 by Jonathan Walton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Jonathan Grant

Christian leaders tend to use the Bible as their exclusive source for framing Christian speaking and living. Yet only through a kind of “thick description” of our present circumstances, being attentive to both the world and the church, can we deeply understand the hope of the gospel in redefining and reforming the self within our complex times.

Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age, 2015, Brazos Press.

Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) & River Tam (Summer Glau)

Shepherd Book: “River, you don’t . . . fix the Bible.

River: It’s broken. It doesn’t make sense.

Shepherd Book: It’s not about . . . making sense. It’s about believing in something. And letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.’” (Editor’s Note: This quote seems to be half-right, half-wrong, but worthy sermon fodder)


Shane Claiborne

The whole Bible is God’s Word to us, but Jesus is the sniff test through which we understand it all.

Rethinking Life: Embracing the Sacredness of Every Person (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books, 2023)


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