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Scripture Reading:  Romans 8:31-39


Bible Question Box

(October 2005)


Question #1:  I have noticed that the Bible is copy written.  How does this affect us as Christians when it comes to study, and writing quotes from the Bible?


1.  The printing press revolutionized the world:  books were now more easily accessible (and its publication profitable).  Hence, laws to protect & control the rights of authors, inventors & publishers followed.

“…the Congress shall have power…to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”  (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8; 1787)

2.  What is a copyright?

“A copyright is an exclusive right given to an author of an original created work.  It is an asset, a legal interest, protected by law.  Included in the exclusive rights given to the copyright owner is the right to copy the work into any form, including in print, on screen, or on tape.”  (

3.  Purpose of copyright law?

  a.  “The purpose of the copyright law is to promote the use of copyrights and at the same time protect the rights of the copyright owner.”  (Christian Copyright Licensing International,

  b.  A copyright is intended to accomplish several things:

    1)  Protect the integrity of a document (intellectual property).

    2)  Prevent the theft of property.

    3)  Protect the commercial value of the author’s original work.

4.  “Fair Use” doctrine:  Copyrighted material may be quoted, reviewed, etc. in a way that does not substantially change the original material.  (Example:  Songs, class books, etc.)

5.  What about the Bible?

  a.  The Bible has been translated into over 1,200 languages.  The Bible is the best selling book of all time.

  b.  Word of God was spoken, then written & freely distributed to be read, Isa. 55:1-2; Matt. 10:8; 2 Tim. 3:16; Col. 4:16; 1 Ths. 5:27.

  c.  Word of God is the message delivered by God to man, not the book published by man, Jude 3.

6.  The publication of Bibles comes under men’s copyright laws (there are published translations in the “public domain”); the word of God does not: 

  a.  The word of God is not bound by man, 2 Tim. 2:9.

    1)  Not deprived of its authority, Micah 2:7 (1 Cor. 14:37).

    2)  Not deprived of its availability (except to the extent it is not preached to the world), Mk. 16:15; Rev. 1:1-3.

    3)  Not deprived of referencing & teaching it, 1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:2.

  b.  Civil government does not establish divine law, Rom. 13:1 (Jno. 19:10-11).

    1)  We obey men’s laws unless & until they conflict with God’s law, Acts 4:17-20; 5:29.

    2)  When men’s laws restrict the availability of the word of God, we will obey God & continue to teach it & distribute it.


Question #2:  Please explain Matthew 10:28, about fearing God, in light of 1 John 4:18 where it says perfect love casts out fear.


1.  Matt. 10:28:  Context of impending persecution or preaching gospel (10:16-26: “do not fear them,” v. 26).

  a.  Proclaim the gospel, 10:27.

  b.  Do not fear men (10:28, 31); fear displeasing God, 10:28.

  c.  Reverential fear for God:

    1)  God knows you & will accomplish His will through you, 10:29-30.

    2)  Our God is a consuming fire, Heb. 12:28-29:  Serve Him with honor & piety.

    3)  Fearful thing to face God in judgment with sin, Heb. 10:31.

2.  1 Jno. 4:18:  Complete love:

  a.  Boldness in the day of judgment, 4:17 (3:3-4).

  b.  No fear (terror) because there is no torment for the Christian, 4:18:

    1)  In sin:  Spirit of bondage…fear – Rom. 8:15.

    2)  In Christ:  Freedom from slavery of sin & the fear of death, Rom. 8:15 (Heb. 2:14-15).

      a)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Rom. 8:31-39

      b)  We are perfected in love by practicing love:  removes fear, 1 Jno. 4:18-19

      c)  Our redemption is reason for us to love; not be afraid (Jno. 14:1).

3.  2 Tim. 1:7:  We have the spirit (disposition, attitude) of adoption (love, Rom. 8:15); not the spirit of bondage (fear).

4.  We reverence God as we live in the confidence of love.



1.  The “terror of the Lord” awaits those who are lost, 2 Cor. 5:11.

2.  Therefore, like the apostles, we are:

  a.  Persuade men (using the unfettered word of God), 2 Cor. 5:11.

  b.  Compelled by the love of Christ to urge sinners to be saved, 2 Cor. 5:14.

3.  Only the power of the word of God, the gospel, will do so (Rom. 1:16).