Martin Luther (1483–1546) on the richness of Scripture


“I have many times essayed thoroughly to investigate the ten commandments, but at the very outset, ‘I am the Lord thy God,’ I stuck fast; that very one word, I, put me to a non plus [no more]. He that has but one word of God before him, and out of that word cannot make a sermon, can never be a preacher. I am well content that I know, however little, of what God’s word is, and take good heed not to murmur at my small knowledge.”

– Martin Luther (1483–1546), Table Talk, Of God’s Word, 10

I remember a couple of years ago when I was listening to a sermon by Paul Washer on (an excellent resource by the way, if you’re not familiar with it) and he made a similar point to the one above. He said that we often nonchalantly read over the passages of Scripture we know relatively well. He took Psalm 23 and asked (paraphrasing from memory), “The LORD is my shepherd. How long can you spend on this one passage? Well, you start with the word ‘the’. Not ‘a’ Lord, but ‘the’ LORD. You see, in that one three-letter word is found volumes…”. [While strictly speaking there is no definite article “the” in the Hebrew (instead, the Hebrew says “Yahweh is my shepherd”), the point he is trying to make is nonetheless clear.]

The Scriptures are extremely rich. A last thought from Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892). Unfortunately I do not have the citation for this one:

“Many books in my library are now behind and beneath me. They were good in their way once, and so were the clothes I wore when I was ten years old; but I have outgrown them. Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”