Guideline # 1 from Reading the Bible in the 21st Century:
1. The written word points to the Living Word. Christ IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We have reverence for the scriptures because they point us to Christ, but we should not become so obsessed with the letter, that we miss out on the Spirit:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).
“It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63).
As such, we should take care not to mistake the map for the territory; nor the word “water” for the substance that quenches our thirst. The primary value of the written word is its capacity to point us to the Living Word.