“It Is Written” and “You Have Heard”

The title of this blog may sound strange, and I hope it caught your attention. The main point that I want you to think about is that there is a big difference between what is actually written in the Scriptures and what you have heard. This is nothing new, it is actually one of the main arguments between Jesus and the other religious leaders about two thousand years ago. There is always a tendency for each one of us to add our own interpretation to what we read in the Scriptures; the problem is when we try to impose our personal interpretation upon others.

If you do a quick search in the gospels, you will find about twenty-four times, “It is written”. Of course, we can understand that it is always relating to the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, or the Tanakh. The opposite of this is the sentence, “you have heard”, which is referring back to the traditions or interpretations of the different religious leaders about the Scriptures, about what is written.

“He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’ Having no regard for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.” He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up your tradition.” (Mark 7:6–9, NET)

“The sovereign master says, “These people say they are loyal to me; they say wonderful things about me, but they are not really loyal to me. Their worship consists of nothing but man-made ritual” (Isaiah 29:13, NET).

In our Hebrew Roots of the New Testament class we are looking to find the application of the truths that we can find in the Gospels and in the Epistles of the New Testament. In a very real sense, we are facing the same issues that Jesus and His disciples faced, “It Is Written” and “You Have Heard”.

“You must be careful to do everything I am commanding you. Do not add to it or subtract from it!” (Deuteronomy 12:32, NET)

Matthew 4:4-10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24; 26:31
Mark 1:2; 7:6; 9:13; 14:21; 14:27
Luke 2:23; 3:4; 4:4; 4:8; 4:10; 7:27; 19:46; 24:46
John 6:31; 6:45; 12:41
Matthew 5:21; 5:27; 5:33; 5:38; 5:43