Not Written To Us

This may surprise you, but it’s true. The Bible was not written to us. Most of the Old Testament was written to the Jews, God’s chosen people. Some was written to other nations, like Nahum and Obadiah. Much of the New Testament was written to churches that existed in the first century, like the church in Corinth or Colossae. Some was written to pastors, like Timothy and Titus. The Bible was not written to us.

It would be helpful for all of us to understand this. It’s so tempting to take a verse of Scripture and seek to apply it directly to your life. Many times it feels right, because you are a part of a church after the time of Christ, just like much of the New Testament. It’s also easy to apply much of the Old Testament, as you are one of God’s people through faith. But, it’s not right merely to take a verse of Scripture and apply it to your life, without first thinking that the Bible was not written to us. It was to those of the Biblical world.

Now, the redeeming word in all of this is that the Bible was written for us. We can learn much through God’s interactions with Abraham, Moses, and David. We can learn much about the trials of life through Job’s afflictions. We can learn much about church life through the words written to churches. We can learn about the evils of idolatry through those who forsook the Lord. As Paul said, “These things happened as examples for us” (1 Corinthians 10:6).

This means that we can take the words of Scripture and apply them to our lives. It’s just that we need to be careful to understand that application to our lives is always secondary to the original hearers.

The Bible was not written to us, but the Bible was written for us.

 

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