Thursday, January 26, 2006

What Is More Important - Black Or Red?

My surfing the Web today has taken me on many chases – some important and some not so important. But, in all of them, I have learned a few things. One of them happens to be that we all have our opinions, our preferences, and our interpretations.

I came across the fact that Phil Johnson, of PyroManiac, is no longer a single blogger. But, he has started up a new blog with fellow bloggers – some of whom I read. I did jump over to the old site from Adrian’s blog, and checked out the new one. From there, I read comments on the blog, and followed some of the commentors. Those led me to some very interesting things.

But, back to surfing, I came across an article at Blogcorner Preacher that caught my attention. He discussed which words held the most authority – Christ’s personal words in red, or the rest of the Bible in black. Although he says all words are inspired by God, the words in red held the most significance because he felt there would be less error in words directly from God.

So, back to surfing! I came across a very interesting article by Doug Hoff – The Words of Christ are Red and Black. He talked about the history of the Red Letter Bible, so I found an online explanation of the person given the credit for the first Bible, printing Jesus’ words in red. And, I found that the first Bible with red letters came out around 1899-1900.

So, back to which is more important – the red or the black? Truthfully, I believe the scripture that says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 The entire Bible was ‘inspired by God’ – the contents of the scriptures.

I prefer a Bible with the Lord’s words spoken directly by Him in red, but that doesn’t make me believe less in the words in black. After all, ‘words spoken’ had no color.

Linked at Conservative Cat

, , , , , ,


Carol said...

It took me a minute to get it into focus, but it looked like Blogcorner Preacher's position is that he feels the black letters are less likely to contain errors? Errors? As in mistakes in the Bible?

I'm going to have to run over there and get a closer look.

Barbara said...

I think his position is that the words in red are directly from God and should be held higher than the words in black, since the red words were quoted exactly from Jesus. The words in black were through the prophets. But, to me, they all should be taken as truth, since they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit! God says His Word is truth; and I believe all of it.

Jeremy Pierce said...

Some words in the Bible clearly do have errors. For instance, the guy who found Saul's body lied and said he helped Saul die. Perhaps that's all he meant. But that's not a justification for making only Christ's words red.

I don't like red letters because it just smacks too much of the Jesus Seminar, even though it's an older practice than that. Their goal is to determine which parts of the Bible are more important than others, and that just seems wrong. It also goes way beyond any evidence to determin that Jesus said certain things attributed to him and not others. That sort of thing doesn't come up with the red letter issue, but there is a related problem. We don't really know exactly which words to make red. For instance, most scholars think Jesus' words in John 3 end at verse 15, and verse 16 picks up with John's commentary on Jesus's words to Nicodemus. But others place the division in other places.

dcypl said...


I read the bible from my palm handheld, and have the benefit of several translations and commentaries right there. It has the ability in translations that have been "redded" to do so, but I just don't see the point, I'll highlight the sections that stand out, and sometimes these include red words and sometimes not.

The bible that we read is but a very dim reflection of who Jesus is and who God is. All scripture is useful, not just the red words.

I wonder if anyone has tried to sell a distilled version of the gospels that only had "the red words"?

Barbara said...

dcypl, you are right; the whole Bible is useful. I just like a Bible with Jesus' known words in red, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't read it if they were not in red. I guess it's all in what we get used to reading. All of the words in Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit,making them all very important. If they weren't important, they wouldn't be there. And, some of the things we want to know and are not in the Bible, must have not been that important.