5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 8-9
2 Corinthians 2
Ezekiel 16
Psalms 58-59

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Corinthians 2:4 (CSB): “For I wrote to you with many tears out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart—not to cause you pain, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In yesterday’s post, I pointed out just one instance in which the Bible weaves stories, and plots, and connections throughout all 66 books. When we consider that about 40 men wrote over a period of about 1,400 years, the fact that the Bible is so complex and so consistent in its teaching makes it clear that human origin cannot account for it. The only logical conclusion would be to accept the fact that God was the Ultimate Author working through all 40 of those writers (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

So, how did Christians settle on which books should be included in the Bible? A few months ago, I tried to briefly answer that question in an article that I titled: When Was a Writing Considered to be Scripture?

But, in the verse that I have chosen for today, we need to realize that there were letters that the Apostle Paul wrote (and some other Bible writers wrote) that didn’t end up in Scripture. Let’s read it again.

2 Corinthians 2:4 (CSB): “For I wrote to you with many tears out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart—not to cause you pain, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you.”

When we read the previous words in 2 Corinthians, we might immediately assume that the Apostle Paul was referring to 1 Corinthians. Yet, if we are familiar with 1 Corinthians, it just doesn’t seem to fit. It doesn’t seem that 1 Corinthians is a letter that Paul “wrote to (them) with many tears” that “cause(d) (them) pain.” It really does seem that the Apostle Paul is referring to a letter that we don’t have.

Yet, when we go back to 1 Corinthians and read the letter, we find another intriguing verse.

1 Corinthians 5:9 (CSB): “I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.”

What?! Paul said in 1 Corinthians that “I wrote to you in a letter.” Clearly, he had already written a letter to them. So, my friend, there are probably two letters that Paul wrote to Corinth that we don’t have. Further, 1 Corinthians may really be 2 Corinthians; and 2 Corinthians may really be 4 Corinthians.

Now, let’s look at an interesting verse in the letter that Paul wrote to the church at Colossae.

Colossians 4:16 (CSB): “After this letter has been read at your gathering, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.”

So, we learn that Paul wrote a letter to the church at Laodicea … but we don’t have that letter. Sure, there’s a letter to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-22 but John wrote that one.

Here’s my point: There are letters that the Bible writers wrote that didn’t end up in Scripture. Why? Because God didn’t see fit to include them. You see, the writers that God used to write Scripture were capable of mistakes. When Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, he wasn’t moved by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture so that letter probably contained errors. But, when Paul wrote the letter to the Colossian church, the Holy Spirit moved him to do so in a completely accurate way so that it contained not one single error.

Are we missing portions of Scripture since there are letters (and possibly books) that we don’t have? Nope. God not only saw fit to enable men to write His Word without so much as a grammatical error, He also enabled the early church to accurately determine which letters and books were Scripture and which ones were not.

God oversaw every little detail so that the Bible that we hold in our hands today can accurately be said to be the entire Book, the Holy Bible, that God desires for His children to read in order to know and grow.

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Lord Jesus, thank You so much for Your written Word to me. My Bible is Your gift to me so that I can know all that I need to know in order to know You and pursue holiness in this life. Thank You! Amen.