Bonhoeffer and the Bible

I have been reading a new book on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  The book is called BonhoefferBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Erick Metaxas.  It has so far been a wonderful read.  If you recognize the author he wrote another wonderful book “Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery ”.  I highly recommend both books. 

If you have never heard of Bonhoeffer, then I suggest you look into his life and writings.  He was killed by the Nazi’s in 1945 just 23 days before the war ended.  He was killed for his resistance to Nazism and possible involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Two of his most famous writings are The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics.

The book covers his entire life, his thoughts and teachings.  Already, within the first three chapters I came across this quote of Bonhoeffer’s which I wanted so much to share with you.  It has to do with how we read the Bible…

First of all I will confess quite simply–I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer. One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. . . . . Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us alone with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible . . . .

What does his words mean to you and I? 

Can you agree with these statements? 

  • I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer.
  • One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it
  • Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us alone with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible

How does what Bonhoeffer say line up with these verses?

2 Timothy 3:16 –17 NIV

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:12 NIV

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Psalm 119:9 – 11 NIV

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
   By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
   do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
   that I might not sin against you.

Isn’t our investment in our journey to read the Bible this year worth it?  Can you see the value?   How are you doing on your journey?

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
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One Response to Bonhoeffer and the Bible

  1. Pingback: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy | 1 Year, 1 Book, Many People

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