Bible Study Guides – Primacy of the Bible

November 17, 2007 – November 23, 2007

Key Text

“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 11 Timothy 3:16, 17.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 15-23; The Great Controversy, 593-602.


“In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.” The Great Controversy, vii.

“I [Ellen White] take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word. I believe its utterances in an entire Bible. . . .

“Brethren, cling to your Bible, as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 17, 18.

1 What claim did Paul make concerning the Holy Scriptures? 11 Timothy 3:15-17.

note: “Let all seek to comprehend, to the full extent of their powers, the meaning of the word of God. A mere superficial reading of the inspired word will be of little advantage; for every statement made in the sacred pages requires thoughtful contemplation. It is true that some passages do not require as earnest concentration as do others; for their meaning is more evident. But the student of the word of God should seek to understand the bearing of one passage upon another until the chain of truth is revealed to his vision. As veins of precious ore are hidden beneath the surface of the earth, so spiritual riches are concealed in the passage of Holy Writ, and it requires mental effort and prayerful attention to discover the hidden meaning of the word of God. Let every student who values the heavenly treasure put to the stretch his mental and spiritual powers, and sink the shaft deep into the mine of truth, that he may obtain the celestial gold,¾ that wisdom which will make him wise unto salvation.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 169, 170.

2 How did Peter describe the workings of divine inspiration? 11 Peter 1:21.

note: “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (11 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.” The Great Controversy, v.

3 Did God communicate to the prophet, in each case, the very words of His message? Ezekiel 40:4; 11:24, 25. Compare Revelation 1:10, 11.

note: “God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth.” The Great Controversy, vi, vii.

4 What term is sometimes applied to the prophets of God? Luke 1:70; 11 Peter 3:2.

note: “We are to take our position in the school of Christ as humble learners. He speaks as one having authority, and he affirms that all that is written in the law and the prophets is the word of the living God. It is the inspiration of One infallible, the divine communication to holy men of old, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Review and Herald, October 3, 1899.

The life record of Ellen G. White, while not free from frailties, was distinguished for its Christlike consistency and integrity.

5 Of whom do the Scriptures testify? John 5:39.

note: “Holy prophets have foretold the manner of Christ’s birth, the events of his life, his mission, and his death and resurrection. In the Old Testament we find the gospel of a coming Saviour. In the New Testament we have the gospel of a Saviour revealed as prophecy had foretold. . . .

“There is no discord between the teachings of Christ in the Old Testament and his teachings in the New. While the Old Testament is constantly pointing forward to the true Offering, the New Testament shows that the Saviour foretold by prophecy, and prefigured by the typical offerings, has come. The dim glory of the Jewish age has been succeeded by the brighter, clearer glory of the Christian age.” Review and Herald, September 14, 1886.

“You should search the Bible; for it tells you of Jesus. As you read the Bible, you will see the matchless charms of Jesus. You will fall in love with the Man of Calvary.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 293.

6 In His earthly life, to what authority did Christ appeal? Luke 4:4, 8, 10; Matthew 26:31. Compare Deuteronomy 8:3; Zechariah 13:7.

note: “Jesus met Satan with the words of Scripture. ‘It is written,’ He said. In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the word of God. Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His divinity. But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage.” The Desire of Ages, 120.

“We are to receive God’s word as supreme authority. We must accept its truths for ourselves. And we can appreciate these truths only as we search them out by personal study.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 402.

7 What is said of the enduring nature of God’s Word? Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; Psalm 119:89.

note: “This Holy Book has withstood the assaults of Satan, who has united with evil men to make everything of divine character shrouded in clouds and darkness. But the Lord has preserved this Holy Book by His own miraculous power in its present shape—a chart or guidebook to the human family to show them the way to heaven.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 15.

“God will not break His covenant, nor alter the thing that has gone out of His lips. His word will stand fast forever as unalterable as His throne. At the judgment this covenant will be brought forth, plainly written with the finger of God, and the world will be arraigned before the bar of Infinite Justice to receive sentence.” Prophets and Kings, 187.

8 What unique power is found in the Word of God? 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2:2; John 17:17.

note: “The truths of the Bible, received, will uplift the mind from its earthliness and debasement. If the word of God were appreciated as it should be, both young and old would possess an inward rectitude, a strength of principle, that would enable them to resist temptation.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 319.

“Let the student take the Bible as his guide and stand like a rock for principle, and he may aspire to any height of attainment. All the philosophies of human nature have led to confusion and shame when God has not been recognized as all in all. But the precious faith inspired of God imparts strength and nobility of character. As His goodness, His mercy, and His love are dwelt upon, clearer and still clearer will be the perception of truth; higher, holier, the desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love.” Ibid., 322.

9 What noble example in Bible study was set by the Bereans? Acts 17:11. Compare Psalm 119:33, 36, 38, 40.

note: “We should exert all the powers of the mind in the study of the Scriptures and should task the understanding to comprehend, as far as mortals can, the deep things of God; yet we must not forget that the docility and submission of a child is the true spirit of the learner. Scriptural difficulties can never be mastered by the same methods that are employed in grappling with philosophical problems. We should not engage in the study of the Bible with that self-reliance with which so many enter the domains of science, but with a prayerful dependence upon God and a sincere desire to learn His will. We must come with a humble and teachable spirit to obtain knowledge from the great I AM. Otherwise, evil angels will so blind our minds and harden our hearts that we shall not be impressed by the truth.” The Great Controversy, 599.

“Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given.” Steps to Christ, 91.

10 What important principle stated with respect to Revelation can be applied to the whole Bible? Revelation 22:18, 19.

note: “When men, compassed with human infirmities, affected in a greater or less degree by surrounding influences, and having hereditary and cultivated tendencies which are far from making them wise or heavenly-minded, undertake to arraign the word of God, and to pass judgment upon what is divine and what is human, they are working without the counsel of God. The Lord will not prosper such a work. The effect will be disastrous, both upon the one engaged in it and upon those who accept it as a work from God. Skepticism has been aroused in many minds by the theories presented as to the nature of inspiration. Finite beings, with their narrow, short-sighted views, feel themselves competent to criticize the Scriptures, saying: ‘This passage is needful, and that passage is not needful, and is not inspired.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 5, 709.

“The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” The Great Controversy, 599.

11 Why cannot the “natural man” understand the Scriptures? 1 Corinthians 2:10-14.

note: “We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the truths in God’s word. The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.

“The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God’s Holy Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 113.

12 What will be the experience of all who live by the truths of the Bible? Psalm 119:99, 103, 104.

note: “When the testing time shall come, those who have made God’s word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged, while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the falsehearted professor may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time is just upon us when the difference will be apparent. Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the halfhearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, than in days of prosperity.” The Great Controversy, 602.