What Does the Bible Say About Quoting Scripture

What Does the Bible Say About Quoting Scripture

Published: Feb 9, 2024 by BibleQuiz.com Admin

The Bible is one of the world’s most revered religious texts, the words of which have inspired a multitude of generations and a variety of cultures and people-groups throughout time. Within its pages lies wisdom, moral guidance, and profound spiritual insights which have had an enormous influence upon Western culture and history. Christians understand its authority as the living and active Word of God, which has been given to humanity as a revelation of who God is and His plan for how He will provide salvation for all who believe in Him. Many turn to its pages for instruction, advice, and motivation, while many more cite verses when giving speeches or sermons. People also frequently quote Bible verses to support their arguments or opinions; Yet, what does the Bible really state about quoting Scripture? This article will delve into this subject matter, exploring key passages from the Bible as a means of providing insight into how this ancient text can be utilized in everyday life and throughout one’s faith journey.

The Bible provides ample examples of Scripture being quoted by God, angels, and humans alike – both in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus himself quotes Scripture when he is tempted by Satan during his 40-day fast in the wilderness before He started his earthly ministry. Matthew 4:1-4 states:

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

The Scripture that Jesus quotes here is from Deuteronomy 8:3. Clearly, Jesus uses Scripture as a powerful weapon against temptation, and Scripture is intended to be used in the same way today. In the Old Testament, the Israelites also quoted Scripture, as described in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

In this passage, we see that the Israelites were instructed to quote Scripture in their everyday lives as a reminder of their relationship with the God who saved them from slavery in Egypt. This constant meditation on the Word can also be useful for people today, as quoting Scripture daily can act as a reminder of what challenges God has brought them through.

Paul also quoted Old Testament passages often when expounding on Christian doctrine to new churches and believers in his epistles, showing how Scripture can illuminates divine truth. Paul accentuates the significance of Scripture by asserting in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that,

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

By emphasizing its divine origin and its utility in spiritual growth, Paul teaches Timothy that quoting and meditating on Scripture is necessary for believers of all maturity levels, regardless of where they are on their Christian journey.

When it comes to utilizing Scripture in speeches, sermons, and teachings, Jesus shows us in Matthew 22 that this is also incredibly valuable. In this chapter, Jesus is teaching parables in the Jewish temple when the chief priests, teachers of the law, and the Sadducees decide to come to Him with questions designed to trip Him up. After being asked one of these trick questions, Jesus responds in verse 29:

“Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.’”

Jesus understood the value of Scripture when teaching; He often used verses from Old Testament passages to illustrate His message. Here, He stresses that knowing Scripture leads to an increased understanding of challenging spiritual questions.

Furthermore, Scripture certainly endorses quoting verses from its texts to support arguments or to make points; However, believers need to recognize certain caveats when engaging with this practice. One caveat is context when engaging with Scripture, as many passages exist within a larger narrative or argument and must be read within their entire framework to be properly understood. When Scripture is quoted out of context, it can often result in inaccurate interpretations that fail to uphold God’s Word and its integrity.

Another key consideration when citing Scripture is being mindful and gracious when engaging with others, particularly when engaging on contentious doctrinal or moral topics. Paul provides clear instruction in this regard, encouraging believers to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and refrain from engaging in divisive speech. Paul instructs Timothy not to entertain foolish and stupid arguments because these can easily turn into quarrels; According to 2 Timothy 2:24, those entrusted with representing Christ shouldn’t become involved with any such arguments but should instead,

“…be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”

Paul continues in verse 25, saying that opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. Evidently, this passage emphasizes the necessity of approaching scriptural discussions with gentleness and humility.

Lastly, Paul teaches in Romans 10:17 how the quoting of Scripture can lead to increased faith in Christ:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.”

When Scripture is quoted, all those who hear it, including the one who is quoting it, have their faith increased. How beautiful it is to know that one’s faith in God can be deepened simply by quoting His Word often! This truth is proven by ministries such as Teen Bible Quiz, or TBQ, which gives teenagers the opportunity to memorize and quote Scripture throughout their middle and high school years. Those involved in TBQ memorize entire books of the Bible to compete against other students across the nation in a jeopardy-style competition. As they prepare to compete, students are encouraged to quote what they have memorized daily.

In speaking with a group of Bible Quizzers who attend GT Church in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, the power of quoting Scripture becomes increasingly obvious. Alliyah, one of these students, states about her time in TBQ:

“It was so gratifying to be able to quote a whole chapter… That satisfaction motivated me to get exposed to more Scripture, which helped me to understand God better.”

Another student, Corey, says:

“Memorizing and quoting the Word helps me to analyze what it means, which builds a deeper understanding and connection with God and how He thinks and acts.”

Briana agrees and adds:

“After spending so much time quoting, the Scripture gets stuck in your head, and you begin to understand it. The more I understand His Word, the more I learn about Him and fall in love with Him.”

In conclusion, the quoting of Scripture is not only encouraged by the Bible, but it is crucial for believers of all ages and maturity levels to deepen their faith in God. Getting involved in a ministry such as Teen Bible Quiz is an incredibly practical way to incorporate the quoting of Scripture in everyday life. As described above, quoting Scripture is also helpful in a large variety of situations and on many occasions, such as teaching, motivating, and defending an opinion. The Bible places great significance in accurately and appropriately quoting Scripture in context and serves as a powerful resource for correcting and training others in righteousness. Christians are called upon to spread God’s message of love through quoting Scripture, just as Jesus did, and this truth is found countless times throughout Scripture. By embracing this necessary aspect of Christianity, one receives guidance and wisdom in their life and in their interactions with others.