Every preacher I’ve ever heard drilled into my head that it is supremely important to know chapter and verse for any situation in life. The Bible seems to be less concerned. Bible writers, of course, did not write in chapter and verse. And of the multitude of times that scripture itself quotes scripture, I cannot recall one instance where we’re told precisely where that passage comes from. In fact, early in Hebrews we read “…somewhere in the Scriptures it says…” and then scripture is quoted. Didn’t the writer even know that he was quoting a psalm? Or maybe it just wasn’t important.
Imagine a pastor who stood behind the pulpit without a Bible to raise up at just the right moments, and who stated “somewhere in the Scriptures it says ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ ” He’d be run out of town.
So many Christians want their spiritual leaders to know the Bible. (Why so many Christians want spiritual leaders at all is a topic of another conversation.) But infinitely more valuable is knowing God.
Richard Wurmbrand said “Jesus is the Truth. The Bible is the truth about the Truth. Sound doctrine is the truth about the truth about the Truth. Preaching is the truth about the truth about the truth about the Truth. During my 3 years in solitary confinement, I only had the Truth.”
It’s good to study the Scriptures. It’s much better to know God.