Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Red Letter Bibles/Christians

I suppose following my blog conversation with Peter, see my earlier post, the whole idea of red letter bibles/Christians has been in my mind.

At our Holy Week service last night, led by Eric Boyle from Kirkcowan and Wigtown, we were reading in John 12. The bible I was following the reading in is a red letter edition and I noticed the following passage:

John 12:27-28 27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (ESV)

Now I understand the thinking behind highlighting the words of the Lord Jesus in red. But what about the words I've underlined? Whose words are these? Are they not the words of God? In what sense is it appropriate to highlight the words of the Lord Jesus but not to highlight the words of God?

By extension, since I believe the words of the bible to be breathed out by God, 2 Tim 3:16, I generally have a problem with red letter bibles. A passage like this one merely brings the point into sharp focus.

By using the term red letter Christians I wonder what someone using this designation would make of such a passage? Are they saying they are more committed to the words printed in red, giving them priority over the words printed in black? But what happens when the words printed in black are the words of God?

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