the Bible is a living book

Can you guess who said this? The author has long gone on to his reward. I think he shows great insight in this quote. Just one rule: No Googling!

The Bible is a living Book; and if you will come to the Bible merely to argue with it, it will not talk to you. You will find the Bible will be like the Incarnate Word. They asked Jesus certain questions, and He answered them not a word, because He knew the motive that lay behind the questions. And the Bible will not speak to the man who comes merely to prove his own case: it will not yield its secrets to him.



  1. My friend Brian couldn’t access the comments for some reason, but offered this guess:

    Dear Bro. Don,
    Well, halfway around the world from you I will take a stab at your quote; D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I cannot open your comment from India for some reason so I thought I would send my thoughts via e-mail.
    Bro. Brian
    Now I will google it

    To which I have to say, “No, but he once met/corresponded with Lloyd-Jones”.

  2. OK, I’m guessing G. C. Morgan.

    BTW, have you seen what your new format looks like in IE? For me it looks fine in Chrome and Firefox but IE 9 is a disaster.

    • Hi Andy, no, not Morgan.

      Which version of IE are you running, Andy? It looks fine for me in IE 8 & 9.

      It’s an upgrade of my original theme, built on the Genesis framework, put out by StudioPress. Very powerful format.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  3. IE 9. Interesting…. after you said it worked fine for you I wondered if it could have been a browser setting.I clicked on the compatability view toogle and that fixed it right up. I do like the new format, especially now that it works for me.

    • Thanks, it was time for a change. This change isn’t too radical. I’ve been working on another project lately that has consumed a lot of time. I didn’t want a lot of new issues while changing oxgoad too!

      I’ll give out the answer to my quote probably tomorrow evening if no one guesses it by then. The name is obscure in some ways, but in his day was a well known fundamentalist. There is a mention of him in L-J’s biography.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  4. I guess it’s time to reveal the source of my quote. We haven’t been overwhelmed with guesses!

    The source of the quote is Christ in the Old Testament by T. T. Shields. You can find the quote on p. 3. I found the book among my dad’s things last week and asked mom if I could claim it. The book was published in 1972 by The Gospel Witness, a paper founded by Shields, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. It is a collection of sermons preached by Shields in 1923 (part 1 of the book) and some additional sermons preached later.

    The quote comes from a message entitled “The Importance of Motive in Bible Study”.

    I have just started the book, it looks quite promising. Perhaps it will provide food for thought for some future blogging.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  5. I googled the quote after your revelation, and it doesn’t seem it would have helped. Not a treasure trove of TT Shields online. Here’s a link though:

  6. Confession: I Googled it. The only place I could find it was on the blog of some guy out in Western Canada, and he wasn’t telling who said it until yesterday.

    Question: Is this what it means when we are told the Bible is a living Book? Or is he really talking about the need for the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit?

    Or, since the Bible is truly God’s words, and God’s words, unlike ours, are completely true to His nature because He Himself is true, is it even right to try to draw fine distinctions between the living nature of His Word and the illuminating work of the Spirit? Are they so closely intertwined that we can’t really draw those distinctions? I recently preached on illumination and am in the process of writing on it, so I’m thinking about this a lot these days and doing my best to get in deeper than my feeble mind can handle….

  7. I missed guessing, but I wouldn’t have gotten that one, anyway.

    I like the format. It looks nice with Chrome.

    Glad to have you back.


  8. Hi all, thanks for the comments.

    Jon, I think the way Shields means to emphasize the attitude one must have when coming to the Scriptures. I don’t think he is really thinking much about the influence of the Spirit, although you could apply it that way to be sure. What he is after is humility in Bible study, seeking to be taught, not seeking to prove a point. His chapter is entitled “The Importance of Motive in Bible Study” and that is exactly what he is after.

    As for the “no googling” rule, that was mostly for a certain son of mine, just in case he forgot the rules. I didn’t google it myself, so had no idea how prevalent Shields was online.

    I think he is often ridiculed by the anti-fundamentalist crowd, but the fact is he had a remarkable ministry for all his faults.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  9. Don, are you suggesting that application is more important than obscure theological questions that have no clearly defined answer in the Scripture?

    • Well… Shields is, anyway! It is interesting to read him. These are transcribed sermons, so you can really get a sense of the rhetorical flourish. I can see why he was influential.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3