FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.As a kid, a minister told me that only the King James was genuinely effective in sharing the Good News of Jesus. He even shared with us that no matter what passage you share with others, the only passages to actually effect salvation were these. And then, he handed out a card with a series of King James passages and he made it clear that no other passages and no other version would "work". Later a joke we shared with one another while in graduate school was, "If the King James was good enough for Jesus, then it is good enough for me!" Naturally, the joke was that the King James was not even created until nearly 1600 years after Jesus.
This myth is a serious one of control. We just want to think that we own the only way to Jesus and that is our favorite version of the bible. The damage is twofold: FIRST-This myth can lead you into a position that you might shut the door of the Kingdom to those with whom God is working.
SECOND-This myth puts God in a box and will not allow Him to work in any other way than your particular version of the bible or the bible itself.
To debunk this myth I'd like to offer several examples. FIRST-The only bible or scriptures available at the time of Jesus' ministry was the Hebrew Torah, historical books, the wisdom literature and the prophets. So, how was Jesus revealed?
SECOND-Jesus was revealed through the teachings of the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures. Remember, Jesus, after His resurrection, revealed Himself by sharing with the two disciples walking to Emmaus. He revealed Himself by explaining the portrait of the Messiah throughout the then known Scriptures.
In the 24th chapter of Luke, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples. Let's listen in: He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. I long to revisit the Old Testament Scriptures with this in mind that I might see Jesus more clearly-that my mind by be opened for a fuller understanding.
THIRD-Jesus is revealed by your life of following Him. Jesus says in Matthew 5 that people can see God and respond positively to Him through your good works. He says, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Paul writes to the followers of Jesus in Corinth and challenges them with the same kind of thinking on how Jesus is seen: You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (II Corinthians 3)
FOURTH-Jesus is revealed by fulfilling the Law and traditions. Jesus makes it clear that He has not come to abolish the Law in any way, but to fulfill it. This literally means to make it full or to fill it up. I envision the Law of Moses as an empty container with a certain structure to it and Jesus fills it full. He is the fulfillment of it! I believe Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of every religious structure that is filled with the various laws, values and dreams. Jesus can fill up any empty container in the same way.
I heard this from a friend: All roads don't lead to Jesus, but Jesus leads to all roads. And, He fulfills every desire and longing within the hearts of every culture of the world. In Ecclesiastes 3 it says, He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. God has already set the longing for eternity in the heart of man.
FIFTH-Jesus is revealed by the use of pagan and other religious writings as well as supernatural experiences. In Acts 17 Paul quotes a local poet who wrote for the religious ceremonies of worship for Zeus and Mollech, yet Paul uses it to reveal Jesus to the crowd in Athens. We are finding Jesus revealed in the ancient writings of the Muslim Koran, the Hindu Vedas, and within the early writings of Buddhism and the religious thinking of the Polynesian people regarding their Creator-God. People in some of the remote parts of the world are seeing Jesus in dreams and visions. Hey, I don't even pretend to understand it all, but I know people by the millions are coming into a personal relationship with Jesus and following Him.
SIXTH-Jesus is revealed by the spoken word of God. This is not the logos word of God, but the rhema word of God. In Romans 10:17 it says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the spoken (rhema) word of God. Think about it! When the massive movement of Jesus in China multiplied into the millions without bibles, how was Jesus revealed? He was revealed by the spoken word of God about the Good News of Jesus. Even in the early movement of Jesus, He is primarily revealed by word of mouth-by the personal testimonies of those who had already encountered Him.
SEVENTH-Jesus is revealed by the two natural lights-conscience on the inside and creation on the outside. We see this in Romans 1: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. NOTE people tend to suppress the truth and that truth is known to mankind first by what God made evident within them. This might be called conscience or God-consciousness; these are the moral motions that are already in every person's heart-knowing what is right and wrong. God revealed this to us in our hearts.
God also made it evident to them to know about Him and His plan for them in the creation: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
So, it's a myth that only the bible is the place that Jesus is revealed. The way I see it is that the Creator-God of the universe is relentless and will do whatever He can to reveal Jesus to everyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see. Are you listening and watching?