It does not matter what translation you are using. It could be NASB, ESV, NKJV, ASV, KJV, or any other English translation. No matter what Bible you have sitting in your lap, all of it is not inspired by God.

I know what you are thinking. “Yeah, but what about II Timothy 3:16- 17?” It is true. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” But the key is, “All SCRIPTURE is inspired by God.”

Did you catch that? All SCRIPTURE. The thing we have to remember is that everything that is in our Bibles is not scripture. You may be thinking, “What do you mean?” Here are some examples of the uninspired parts of your Bible:


A lot of Bibles have them. Maybe you even have the super-ginormous, strongest-of-the-strong concordance that would kill small animals if it fell on them. We sometimes are guilty of using the concordance to do what we accuse our religious friends of doing: proof-texting! We find verses that have the words we are looking for, yank them out of context, and string them together. By doing that, we could prove anything. While these are good tools for helping us find a passage, they are not inspired. They link together English words, but some Greek words are translated into several English words. This means with concordance studying you aren’t necessarily getting the true meaning of what scripture teaches. Another problem is to you must understand every verse in every context of every book to understand that word. Concordances are not inspired by God.


Some of these include background information on the Bible. Sometimes, they provide historical material about people, places, and things. Still, they are not inspired sections. Many contain theories, opinions, and ideas that come from man – not God. Bible Study Helps are not inspired by God.


Some Bibles even have each page split into the top half full of scripture and the bottom half a commentary on the scripture. Again, these commentary sections contain the teachings of man and include different authors’ ideas and opinions. Commentary Sections are not inspired by God.


Sometimes at the end of a verse and sometimes in a center column, these link other places in scripture to the verses on the page you are reading. However, it is a man who has lined these verses up. By connecting two or more verses together that God does not, we can teach a wide variety of things (again, the problem with concordance studying/teaching). Cross References are not inspired by God.

Here is the thing. Do we believe the scriptures God gave us are enough or not? If we are saying we have to have something other than His scriptures to understand, we are saying either God is not smart enough, not powerful enough, or not loving enough to give us what we need in a way we can understand. God’s word claims it can be understood (Eph. 5:17; I Tim. 2:4; II Pet. 3:18). Understand what those extra books or parts of your Bible really are – the thoughts of men.

Pick a book of the Bible. Sit down and read it. Then read it again. Notice the words and themes that are repeated. Begin to look for the natural breaks in there. Start to ask yourself questions. “Why did he say that there?” “Why did he say it after/before that?” “What is the message of this passage?” “How does this section fit into the overall message of this particular book?” You just might surprise yourself. And I believe you will see that when we really start studying God’s Word – not just studying it with “religious tools” – we really can know what God’s will for our life is.

Corey Sawyers
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Corey Sawyers is the preaching minister at the Martin (TN) Church of Christ and an adjunct instructor with Bear Valley Bible Institute. He began preaching at the age of 15, filling in throughout Northwest Tennessee. He has been in full-time ministry since 1998 and has served with congregations in Tennessee and Colorado. He and his wife, Melody, married in 1996, and both are graduates of Bear Valley Bible Institute. They have three sons. Garrett is the youth minister at the Greenfield (TN) Church of Christ and is soon to be married to Bailey Jones. Gordon is the preacher for the Knob Creek Church of Christ in Dukedom, TN, and is soon to be married to Lauren Kelly. Gannon is still at home and wants to go into ministry when he grows up. Corey loves his family, ministry, the Tennessee Vols, the Andy Griffith Show, drinking coffee, and banana pudding.