Red Letter Editions

I have some questions for you: Is what Jesus said or what Paul wrote more important?  Or with regard to the Old Testament, is what God said or what Moses wrote more important?


There’s a sense in which the answer to each is obvious.  Of course what God says is more important than what a man writes.  But when it comes to the Scripture, there is no difference between what God says and what a man has written.  That is precisely what the Scriptures are – God’s word in written form.


The Greek word behind our biblical term “inspiration” in 1 Timothy 3:16 means “God-breathed.”  It is God’s way of saying that the words of the page have their source in God Himself. They are as much from God as my breath is from me.  It comes out from inside me. The biblical teaching is that God breathed out his words through the human authors who used pen and parchment to put them in written form.  What you have is God’s speech written by men.


There is a tendency to think that the spoken words of Jesus are more authoritative than the written words of Peter.  This is perfectly true EXCEPT when you are talking about the words of 1 and 2 Peter.  In both cases, the source of both words are the same: God Himself.


Red-letter editions of the Bible are helpful. I like them personally.  They can help you quickly recognize who is presented as speaking in the narrative, Jesus or somebody else. But a different color ink doesn’t indicate a different source or origin.  Whether Matthew presented what Jesus said or what the Pharisees said, both are a faithful and inerrant record of what was said and when properly interpreted and studied in their respective contexts, they are equally important and authoritative for us.