What happens when you unhook the red and black letter words in the Bible?

Some Bibles have the words of Jesus in the Gospels in red.  So some claim that the ‘words in red’ are more important than the rest of the Bible.  The question is how do we handle the ‘red superior/black inferior’ doctrine?  

# Do Jesus’ words have more authority?

  • In Matthew 19:5 Jesus said, ‘…have you not read that He who made them….’   This is a ‘red letter’ important saying of Jesus.  Yet Jesus quoted a ‘black letter’ saying from Genesis 2:24, written by Moses.  So do we pronounce those specific words also ‘red letter?’ 
  • When Satan confronted Jesus after His forty day fast, all Jesus’ ‘red letter’ words were from Deuteronomy 6 and 8.  Should those black letters then also be red?  Do they carry higher authority? 
  • Jesus uttered another red letter saying in Matthew 9:13.  Yet He quoted Hosea 6:6, a black letter verse. 
  • The same happens when Jesus quotes Micah 7:6 in Matthew 10:36, and Malachi 3:1 in Matthew 11:10 

#  The significance of those examples

  • Jesus’ words were written down by the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Were they more inspired than those of, for instance, Moses, writer of Genesis? 
  • Remember all 66 books were inspired by the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit according to 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Peter 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13

#  Is there a scale of importance in the Bible writings?

  • Is, ‘This is what the Lord says’ (mainly Old Testament); Jesus’ personal words in the four Gospels; or the letters of Paul, Peter, John, James and others, equally important or not? 
  • If somebody claims that Jesus’ words have more authority, then he or she has to prove that the four Gospel writers were more inspired than either Moses, Paul or the others.  
  • We cannot do that, since it is clear from the examples that there is no inspirational difference between what Moses, or Matthew or Paul wrote.  There is no evidence at all that one writer was more inspired than the others.  One Holy Spirit was at work in all the writers.

Conclusion

Scripture comes from God.  There is no order of ‘importance.’  Do not be misled by those who claim that the ‘red letters’ are of more value than the ‘black letters.’

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