Q: #299. Are Jesus' words in the Bible the most important?
By: Steve Shirley
A: I have addressed this topic in two other places on this site: Who wrote the Bible? and What is a Red Letter Bible? so I suggest checking out both of these studies. However, in short, it is important to understand that while Jesus is unquestionably the greatest man who ever walked on Earth, His words should NOT be given more weight than other words in the Bible. Let me explain why.
ALL of the Bible was written by God. He used man (over 40 men) to write the words contained within its pages, but the words that were written were given by God Himself. God sovereignly provided these words to them through the Holy Spirit. There are three key verses in the Bible that best explain this:
(2 Tim 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(2 Pet 1:20-21) knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Interestingly, the word "inspiration" in 2nd Timothy, (which comes from the Greek word "theopneustos") is not used anywhere else in the whole Bible. This word is a combination of two different Greek words: "theos" (God) and "pneuo" (to breathe). In other words, all scripture is "God-breathed." God breathed out what He wanted the authors of the Bible to write and they wrote the words down. This means that no place in the Bible is any more or less inspired than another. God told the Gospel writers what words of Jesus to record, just as He told Paul, Moses, or any of the other Bible authors what to say. Each word is equally important.
There is a movement today to reject the divine inspiration of the Bible (that it is ALL God's words). Those who reject "God-breathed" authorship have decided instead to place Jesus' words above all other scripture. As of this writing, this movement now has been given a name: Red-Letter Christians ("Red-Letter" because some Bibles now have the spoken words of Jesus in red). These "Christians" (if indeed they are Christians) are generally very liberal, running contrary to conservative values. For example, they believe that since Jesus did not address such issues as homosexuality or abortion, they are not important, or may even be acceptable. Since Jesus said to forgive, we should not carry out capital punishment. They also tend to be anti-gun, anti-war, pro-illegal immigration, and more.
In doing this, they are rejecting many other places in the Bible which contradict their beliefs. They do so to their own peril, for, as has been stated above, they are rejecting God's own words. (Also see: Rom 3:1-2, Mk 7:13, Heb 4:12)