Shakespeare and the Bible


You probably think this post is going somewhere else from it’s title, but I’ve recently been thinking about this statement I’ve heard often from many different preachers:

“The Bible is not Shakespeare.”

They go on to make the point that our inspired Word stands on a level unique from any other literature in the world.

This is absolutely true.  But many of those same preachers then don’t practice what they preach.  They find some good topic to speak on and go to the Bible and Shakespeare and poetry books and hymnals and illustration books and statistical files to make the point of THEIR message.  I’m not saying that all those other things can’t be helpful, but as I listen to some messages, I get the impression that the speaker has something to say and went wherever he could (including the Bible of course) to find support for HIS message.  Preachers should be preaching the WORD, not their message.  They should say, “Thus saith the Lord.”  And then tell us what God has said.

Young preacherboy, The Bible is not Shakespeare.

Preach It, Don’t use it.

Don’t use it as a source file. Don’t use it like a hymnal. Don’t use it like a book of poetry. Don’t use it like an illustration book. Don’t USE it at all. Preach it!

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3 Comments

  1. Yup – there is a world of difference between preaching God’s Word and bringing out what He has placed on your heart (and maybe quoting another author on that theme or who refers to that passage), and just using the Bible as another quotebook to back up what you want to say. I have seen some preachers do the second and it has been empty of value spiritually. But when we preach God’s Word and perhaps use other resources He places in our paths to reinforce what He has said, He blesses it and uses it as He intended. It does not go forth void.

  2. AMEN!!! It always grieves me to hear someone who would staunchly defend the inspiration and preservation of God’s Word fail to preach it! The doctrines of inspiration and preservation practically demand that we preach expository messages.

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