A popular mistake made with the Scriptures is found in the question—“Where does the Bible say, ‘Thou shalt not ________’?” Implicit in this question is the premise that the only way the Bible authorizes is through explicit prohibitive commands; this premise is false. Psalm 119 easily demonstrates this fact.
In this exquisite tribute to God and His Word, there are at least ten different words employed to describe the contents of the inspired revelation of God’s will, and, as verse 160 states, “the entirety of Your word is truth.”
Consider the following terms found in Psalm 119:
- Commandment (mitzvah)—an obligation enjoined by God. “I made haste and did not delay to keep Your commandments” (v. 60).
- Law (torah)—instruction from God. “Your law is truth” (v. 142).
- Ordinances/judgments (mishpat)—a judicial verdict made by God. “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right” (v. 75).
- Precept (piqqud)—a mandate given by God. “You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently” (v. 4).
- Statute (choq)—a decree of God cut in stone (i.e. unchanging and unchangeable). “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!” (v. 5).
- Testimony (edah)—a recorded verdict of God. “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (v. 2).
- Way (orach)—a road/way/path for travel or pilgrimage. “I have restrained my feet from every evil way that I may keep Your word” (v. 101)
- Way (derek)—a course of life, a lifestyle approved by God. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!” (v. 1).
- Word (dabar)—a spoken message from which was put in written form. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v. 105).
- Word (imrah)—oral communication from God. “Your word is very pure; therefore, Your servant loves it” (v. 140).
Every component of Scripture—every commandment, judgment, law, ordinance, precept, statute, testimony, way, and word—is truth.
That is why the Scriptures are accurately termed “all-sufficient”.