What Great Thinkers Have Said About the Bible

For your edification, we’ve compiled a short sampling of what some of history’s great thinkers had to say about the Bible.

“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”
Martin Luther

“The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.”
Charles Spurgeon

“The Word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love…Do not ask ‘How shall I pass this on.’  But ‘What does it say to me?’  Then ponder this Word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Read with a holy attention, arising from the consideration of the majesty of God, and the reverence due to him.  This must be done with attention, first, to the words; second, to the sense; and, third, to the divine authority of the Scripture, and the obligation it lays on the conscience for obedience.”
Thomas Boston

“The Bible is a philosophy of freedom.  It’s very difficult from the speculations of the upper-caste philosophers and sages in my country, who taught that who suffered in ignorance, poverty and powerlessness did so because of their poor karma in previous lives. “
Vishal Mangalwadi

“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
St. Jerome

“Meditation is a middle sort of duty between the word and prayer, and hath respect to both.  The word feedeth meditation, and mediation feedeth prayer; we must hear that we be not erroneous, and meditate that we be not barren.  These duties must always go hand in hand; meditation must follow hearing and precede prayer.  To hear and not to meditate is unfruitful.  We may hear and hear, but it is like putting a ting into a bag with holes….It is rashness to pray and not to meditate.  What we take in by the word we digest by meditation and let out by prayer.  These three duties must be so ordered that one may not jostle out the other.  Men are barren, dry, and sapless in their prayer for want of exercising themselves in holy thoughts.”
Thomas Manton

“The Bible is to me the most precious thing in the world just because it tells me the story of Jesus.”
George MacDonald

“The Word of God hidden in the heart is a stubborn voice to suppress.”
Billy Graham

“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
Charles Spurgeon

“My suggestion is simple:  put away study aids, commentaries, group Bible-study materials; get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down what we learn about God in a passage of Scripture.  Just what we learn about the Abba.  We read, we meditate, and we pray.  In time these parts of spiritual reading can become indistinguishable.  When they do become one, we are reading Abba-centrically.  There is no substitute for reading the Bible in order to hear from God.”
Scot McKnight

“The Bible is not given to increase our knowledge.  The Bible is given to change our lives.”
D.L. Moody

“Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“Thus you see in the same Psalm [119] how David constantly boasts that he will talk, meditate, speak, sing, hear, read, by day and night and always, about nothing except God’s Word and commandments.  For God will not give you his Spirit without the external Word; so take your cue from that.  His command to write, preach, read, hear, sing, speak, etc., outwardly was not given in vain.”
Martin Luther 

“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”
Chuck Swindoll

“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization”
Dallas Willard

“The Bible is not a theological textbook, a philosophical treatise or the answer book to life’s questions.  It is a thin place through which the presence of God breaks into this world and bursts with unpredictable consequences into our lives.”
Chris Webb

“I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it….What is the food of the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God; and…not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”
George Müller

“I am a creature of a day. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God. Let me be a man of one book.”
John Wesley 

“Since the Word includes poetry, symbol, parable, exhortation, and so forth, God wants us to take his Word into our heart, to let it work upon us in all the subtle ways in which these forms of language change people.  The Word thus changes our interests, our emotions, our priorities, our perspectives, our preoccupations.  God wants us not only to believe him and obey him, but to be involved with him personally in a wide variety of ways.”
John Frame

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection.  And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others.  Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
A.W. Tozer

“Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.”

“Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.”
R.C. Sproul

“Whilst we are in the body, we need a change even in spiritual things; and this change the Lord has graciously provided in the great variety which is to be found in His word.”
George Mueller

“It is fashionable in some academic circles to exercise scholarly criticism of the Bible. In so doing, scholars place themselves above the Bible and seek to correct it. If indeed the Bible is the Word of God, nothing could be more arrogant. It is God who corrects us; we don’t correct Him. We do not stand over God but under Him.”
R.C. Sproul

The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
A. W. Tozer

“When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, ‘It is talking to me, and about me.’”
Soren Kierkegaard

“It is impossible to estimate full influence of the reading of the Word in a home day after day and year after year. It filters into the hearts of the young. It is absorbed into their souls. It colors all their thoughts. It is wrought into the very fiber of their minds. It imbues them with its own spirit. It’s holy teachings become the principles of their lives, which rule their conduct and shape all their actions.”
J.R. Miller

“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”
John Stott

“The soul can do without everything except the word of God, without which none at all of its wants are provided for.”
Martin Luther