This symposium presents the testimonies of seven Christians regarding their personal use of the Bible. What they have written comes out of their commitment to Christ and their use of the book that makes him known. It also illustrates the kind of witness that many thousands of our readers and many millions of other Christians throughout the world would gladly bear, if given a like opportunity.

The uses of the Bible are varied. Ministers go to it for sermons, theologians study its doctrines, textual and historical critics deal with its manuscripts and authorship, and students of literature read it for its beauty of expression. But behind the many uses of the Bible there is one that Christians, regardless of their special interests, neglect at peril of their souls’ health. That is the personal use of Scripture. Because the living God speaks to man in its pages and because Christians need to listen to what their Creator and Redeemer says to them, the day-by-day use of the Bible is as indispensable to the Christian life as prayer.

What makes the Word of God a living force in this as in any age is what the individual does with it. “The Bible,” said Matthew Henry, “is a letter God has sent to us.” And the personal use of the Bible is the opening and reading of that “letter” coupled with the determination by God’s grace to do what it says.

Each of the contributors to this symposium was asked to tell in several hundred words something of what the Bible means to him and how he uses it. The statements are in each case preceded by a brief identification of the writer.

Martin J. Buerger

Professor Buerger, formerly chairman of the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now director of the School for Advanced Studies at the ...

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