Bibliolatry is what is known as worshiping the Bible as a form of idolatry. Now, I don’t know of anyone who actually worships the Bible even bowing down, singing, and praying to it. I haven’t heard of any temples or gold Bibles that people worship. “Bibliolatry” is actually used to refer to the act of worshiping God’s law rather than God or slander against Christians who follow Jesus’s example relying upon “all the Scriptures” for teaching.
“Bibliolatry” is usually used as a slanderous label for those who believe the Scriptures to be the word-for-word inspired and all-sufficient collection of writings for all Christian doctrines and practices (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The use of this label comes from those who do not accept the Scriptures as God-inspired and, or as complete revelation. If a “Bible worshiper” or a “bibliolater” is just someone who believes in the inspiration of Scriptures, then this label would be referring to the Lord, His apostles, His prophets, and the church who believe and teach the inspiration of the Bible.
Worship the Christ
Christians must worship the Word in the flesh (John 1:14), but they must not worship paper, letters of a language, or books, even leather-bound books. Truly, the faithful must not worship the Law of Christ but worship Christ trusting in the law of His grace. The Bible is the collection of inerrant inspired writings revealing the Word, so Christians, therefore, respect the Scriptures and spend a lot of time reading them for the Spirit’s revelation is there. This is not worshiping the Scriptures.
Strangely, those using the label of “bibliolatry” for slander are either missing the importance of the Word, are willingly ignorant, or more likely lack the faith to accept the Word of God as it is written. Many elaborate scenarios asserted upon a little history to assert that the Bible was collected by men, polluted by men, and inspired by the imaginations of men. The Scriptures stand because Christ stands. The Scriptures are inerrant because Christ is inerrant. As Peter preached in Acts, the predictive prophecies of Christ, Jesus’s empty tomb, and various witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection prove Jesus is the Son of God. Because Jesus is the Christ, His words given to the apostles and prophets are revealed in the Scriptures.
The Written Word
The reason to respect the saving Word is that the Word is alive and active with no need of revival or any new life to be blown into it (Hebrews 4:12). The Word gives life (John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 15:1–2). One must be born of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of Heaven, and Christians are born of the Spirit by the Word of God (1 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Peter 1:23). The Word sanctifies Christians (John 17:17). The Word comforts (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Furthermore, the Spirit guided the apostles unto all truth for the writing of the Word of God (John 16:13). The Word presents the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22; James 1:18). God’s Word also produces love (Romans 5:5; 1 John 2:5). The written Word of the Scriptures is not just another religious text or guidebook for life.
The Word and Words
The wonder of the Word does not stop here. The “words” of the “Word” of Christ will judge the world (John 12:47–48). In John 3:34, John the Baptist affirmed that Jesus has the Spirit and the words of God. Jesus stated that the words He spoke are spirit and life (John 6:63). Jesus also said that His words would never pass away (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33).
Jesus revealed that He is ashamed of those who are ashamed of His words (Luke 9:26). Those who do not hear the words of God are not of God (John 8:47). Then Jesus stated that He had many more things to say that He would speak all things by the Holy Spirit to the apostles (John 16:12–13). The apostle Paul wrote that the apostles’ words were not by man’s wisdom but from the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:13). The Spirit teaches through Jude that Christians are to remember the words of the apostles (Jude 17). First Timothy 6:3–4 teaches that man’s godliness is dependent upon whether he or she follows the words of God.
Should we read these words? Yes. Where are these words? You should know. Where does everyone go to find the words of Christ? Even those who believe the Bible to be man-made come back to the Bible for the words of Christ.
Loving Christ and His Words
Christ’s words are not just symbols written on paper. His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). Can anyone else say the same thing about their words? Upon these words, the faithful must live. By these words, Christians know Christ to worship and love Him. We may have a general love for strangers lost and saved, but to really love someone, one has to know that person. No one can love Christ without knowing Him and the more we know Him, then the more we’ll love Him. The sole verbal source to get to know Christ is the written Word and all other sources learn from the Bible. I wonder how many people who label Bible followers as “bibliolaters” are themselves biblically illiterate, worshiping their own imaginations of God, their own lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, or their own life’s pride. Most don’t know the Scriptures and just rely on their own philosophy and the traditions of men.
No one should be accused of the horrible sin of idolatry because they submit to Christ’s words presented in the Scriptures. The Bible is not just laws, but it is also not just a love letter. The Bible is so much more than what people can summarize. We must love the principles and ideals that Christ presents for the church, which He has built and bought with His own blood. My heart aches to know that so many are changing to their own version of Christianity because they think of the Scriptures as cold pages disconnected from knowing and loving God and His Son. However, the faithful love God by obeying Jesus’s commands (1 John 5:3; 2 John 9). Where are Christ’s promises and commands written? His promises and commands are in the book for which some would like to think is an idol of worship.