The Spiritual Checks & Balances of Proper Bible Study

John 17:17; John 10:35
       Thy Word is truth.
       The Scripture cannot be broken.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The Scripture “cannot be broken,” or be made null and void; whatever that says, it is true.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): Nothing which is written therein can be censured or rejected.

JOHN GILL: There is no contradicting it, or objecting to it. It is a Jewish way of speaking, much used in the Talmud; when one doctor has produced an argument, or instance, in any point of debate, another says, איכא למיפרך―“it may be broken;” or objected to, in such and such a manner, and be refuted: but the Scripture cannot be broken―that is, it is not to be objected to, and there can be no confutation of that.

ROBERT HALDANE (1764-1842): On what principle but that of verbal inspiration of Scripture, can we explain our Lord’s words “the Scripture cannot be broken”?―By often referring to the “Scriptures,” which He declared “cannot be broken,” the Lord Jesus Christ has given His full attestation to the whole of them as the unadulterated Word of God…He told the Jews that they made “the Word of God of none effect through their traditions,” Mark 7:13. By calling them “the Word of God,” He indicated that these Scriptures proceeded from God Himself.

CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): Christian simplicity will teach us to receive every Divine Truth upon this formal ground―that it is the Word of God.

RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691): You should argue thus: This is God’s Word, therefore it is true.

JOHN WESLEY: Consequently, all Scripture is infallibly true.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): The truths revealed in Scripture are of two sorts: some are plain doctrines, fit for the entertainment of novices, and may be called the porch and entrance; others are deep mysteries, to exercise the wits of the strongest.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): The Bible would not be the Book of God if it had not deep places here and there which man has no line to fathom.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Plain places are for our nourishment, hard places for our exercise; these are to be masticated as meat for men, those to be drunk as milk for babes…Some things in God’s Word are folded up in obscurity, to tame the pride of our natures, and to sharpen the edge of our industry, in searching the Scriptures, and seeking out the sense, by comparing one place with another.

RICHARD ROGERS (1550-1618): It is true indeed, that many things in them are hard to be understood, which the wicked pervert, as Peter saith, to their own destruction, 2 Peter 3:16. But where care is joined with gifts of knowledge, there may be seen a most sweet agreement betwixt them, and no one either to jar with another, or any one to be frivolous, or absurd, as some are bold to affirm, but “seven times tried in the fire, and pure,” and holy, as the Psalmist saith, Psalm 12:6.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Scripture is the best interpreter of itself.

THOMAS MANTON: Nothing is more profitable to dissolve doubts and objections raised from Scripture, than to compare one Scripture with another. For Scripture is not opposite to Scripture. There is a fair agreement and harmony between the truths therein compared; and one place doth not cross another, but clear and explain another.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Scripture is the best expounder of Scripture. The diamond is not to be cut except with a diamond. We shall not understand one passage in the Word without another to explain it. That book has keys in its own self for all its own locks, and keys that fit every ward…A reference Bible is the best commentator in the world; and the most heavenly exposition is the searching out of kindred texts, and comparing their meaning.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” I Corinthians 2:13—one part of revelation with another—In Paul’s epistles there is that which is hard to be understood; but to those who, being well-versed in the Scriptures, know how to compare spiritual things with spiritual, they will be easy and safe.

JOHN ROBINSON (1575-1625): Like as the lamps in the golden candlestick did one help another’s light, so doth one place of holy Scripture, another’s. And though a thing be found in one place, to insist upon it, in a difference, as to neglect others, is the highway to error and to lose the right sense, by breaking the scripture’s golden chain, whose links are all fastened together.

CHARLES BRIDGES: So wisely has God linked together the several parts of His system, that we can receive no portion soundly, except in connection with the whole. The accuracy of any view is more than suspicious, that serves to put a forced construction upon Scripture, to dislocate its connection, or to throw important truths into the shade. Apparently contradictory statements are in fact only balancing truths; each correcting its opposite, and, like the antagonal muscles, contributing to the strength and completeness of the frame. Every heresy probably stands upon some insulated text or some exaggerated truth, pressed beyond “the proportion of faith”—They are mostly based on partial or disjointed statements of truth. Truth separated from truth becomes error.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): There is nothing so dangerous as to exaggerate a part of truth into the whole of truth…Scripture, you see, must be interpreted by Scripture; we must never interpret Scripture in such a manner as to contradict other Scriptures―if our interpretation of any one of these things contradicts the plain and obvious teaching of Scripture at another point, again it is obvious that our interpretation has gone astray. Scripture must be taken and compared with Scripture. There is no contradiction in Biblical teaching.

ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): There is not in the Bible a single essential truth that is not comparatively plain.

JOHN KNOX (1514-1572): The Word of God is plain in itself. If there appear any obscurity in one place, the Holy Ghost, which is never contrarious to Himself, explaineth the same more clearly in other places; so that there can remain no doubt, but unto such as obstinately will remain ignorant.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): There is such a harmony in Divine truth, that a proper view of any one branch of it will lead on to a discovery of others.


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