The Proper Way to Test the Bible
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…

You see a recipe for making bread. What is the way to test that recipe, but to put the materials together according to its direction? If the bread is good, the recipe is good, is it not? If it is good, I do not care where it came from — I do not care if King Pharaoh wrote it; and if it is not good, I would not care any more for it if it came from the angel Gabriel. It is the thing that proves the thing, The effect proves what is the nature of the cause. And if there are prescriptions in God's Word to heal pride, and selfishness, and all forms of sin and diseases, and on trial the prescriptions are found to do what they profess to be able to do, the effect justifies the cause. Now, the Bible does not profess to be a book of theories or philosophies. It professes to be "profitable for doctrine, for reproof" — it is the best book in this world for all sorts of reproof addressed to the weaknesses and wants of human life — "for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Where a man wants to be a good man, where a man wants to be thoroughly furnished, and he goes to the Bible, he will have the best evidence that any man can have that it is a Divine book; for it will furnish him with those things which his experience shows him he needs. Here is a roll of charts of a difficult harbour. They were drawn, it may be, by Robert Small. They are handed by him to Admiral Dupont. The Admiral, the moment he sees them, laughs right out, and says, "Do you call this a chart?" It was made with a burnt stick. Robert Small, you know, was a slave; and he had to get his knowledge as other slaves get theirs. He was a pilot in Charleston harbour, however, and he knows where the shallow places are, where the deep places are, where the obstructions are, and where it is clear sailing; and he makes a rough sketch of the whole vicinity, and puts it into Admiral Dupont's hand; and the Admiral says, "Do you suppose I am going to steer my ships by a chart that a nigger made?" Or he says, "When did you make this? On what kind of a table did you make it? What did you use to make it with?" Does he say this? Under such circumstances what would Admiral Dupont do, who is a sensible man, and who has so much sense that he knows how to employ them, and take the advantage of their aid? He would say to those under him, "Take a cutter, man it, and go out, and sound, and see if the chart is correct"; and they would find the shoals and channels to be just as they were represented to be; and after they had put the chart to proof, and found it to correspond to the fact, they would report to him, and he would say, "That is a good chart, if a black man did make it. It is true, and that is the reason why it is good." Now, the Bible is a chart. It teaches men how to steer where that sandbank of temptation is; where that reck of danger is; where that whirling vortex of passion is. The Bible is a chart of salvation; and if a man only knows his course by this, he will go through life, with all its storms, and come safely into the port of heaven. The way to test the Bible is not to criticise it, and compare its rude marking with the more modern ways of making charts: the way to test the Bible is to put your sounding lines into the channel, and try it, and see if it is not true. But that is the test men do not employ.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

WEB: Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,

The Profitableness of Scripture
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