The primary reason for studying the Scriptures should be to draw us closer to Christ. If we're not desiring a deeper love for Jesus and longing to become more like Him it's time to stop and examine our motives. That said, is it possible for Christians to become overcommitted to the Scriptures to the point of worshipping the Bible instead of God as some believe?
Bibliolatry is the notion that Christians are guilty of idolatry when they view the Bible as equal to God, or when studying the Bible supersedes their personal relationship with Him. No one is suggesting a literal bowing down to worship the Bible as a material object. I have heard sermons by evangelicals who teach that Bibliolatry is committed whenever Christians value “head knowledge” above “heart knowledge”. But this makes no sense because one cannot have a transformed heart without first having an informed mind. (Psalm 119:11, Heb. 4:12)
However one might define Bibliolatry, to think the Bible can become an idol that can be sinfully worshipped seems ludicrous. The Scriptures are the infallible, inerrant, sufficient, Word of God that were written under the direction of Christ through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet. 1:20-21, 1 Pet. 1:10-12) Christ is the focal point of all Scripture and He Himself is called the Word of God. (Jn. 1:1; Rev. 19:13). And the written words of Christ are eternal, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Mt.24:35. “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89
The accusation of Bibliolatry is certainly not a new one. In times past this thinking typically came from those who denied the literal interpretation and inerrancy of Scripture. The concept of Bibliolatry was argued against by the Hebrew Presbyterian Adolph Saphir (1831-1891) nearly 150 years ago in his book “Christ and the Scriptures” and again by Frank E. Gaebelein (1899-1983) in the 1950’s.
“[Let us] conclude our discussion of the unity of the Bible by facing the accusation of bibliolatry that is often made against those who hold to the complete reliability of Scripture. Such Biblicism and literalism are, we are told, nothing short of turning the Scriptures into a “paper pope”.
…If the Bible finds its true and vital integration only in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ then there can be no bibliolatry in any form, shape or manner on the part of any of us, no matter how stoutly we adhere to the inerrancy of Scripture.
…According to its own self-witness, it is an instrument of the living God—the sword of the Spirit, the seed incorruptible whereby we are born again, the law of the Lord that converts the soul, the mirror in which we see ourselves in the blazing light of God’s truth, the hammer that crushes our hardness of heart.
…The center of the Bible is the living Christ. Through it’s pages God the Holy Spirit who inspired it bears witness to the Person who unites all the manifold strands of history, prophecy, poetry, symbolism, and doctrine to bear witness to him and his saving work.
Let us therefore rejoice that Christ is the center of the Bible, that in him alone it finds its living unity. Let us reverence the Bible as the only written revelation of God, the only completely truthful book, realizing that we reverence it most fully and honor it most highly when we see within its pages the Lord Jesus Christ and when we make him in whom its unity is centered the center of our own life and service.” 1
More thoughts on the subject:
What is Bibliolatry? Got Questions?.Org
Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation by Dr. A. William Merrell
Is Bibliolatry Possible? Westminster Seminary by S. M. Baugh
1. Frank E. Gaebelein; The Unity of the Bible; Revelation and the Bible Edited by Carl H.F. Henry; Baker Book House; 1958 Pg. 400-401