Only Study the Bible?
Some Christians believe that serious devotion to Scripture requires that a Christian only study the Bible. The thinking goes, “Well, if the Bible is the Word of God, why would I waste my time studying the words of men? I don’t need the words of men!” Such a sentiment has face-value appeal. Maybe you’ve thought this way. Surely, such thinking is correct, right? I don’t believe so. Here’s why: the Bible itself advocates that we study what others have said about the Bible.
Paul states in Eph 4:11–12 states that Christ gave the church “shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Should we seek benefit from these “pastors and teachers” that Christ has given to the church? Yes. How so? By listening to what they have to say or reading what they’ve written. In other words, we should study what these “shepherds and teachers” say about the Word of God. The Bible directs our attention to their teaching.
The Bible does not say, “Study the Bible and only the Bible.” In fact, the Bible instructs us to consider the heavens (Ps 19:1), the ant (Prov 6:6), and teachers in the church (Eph 4:11). Thus, we honor Scripture by studying what others have said about Scripture.