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    by Rebecca Livermore

Knowlege Puffs Up
Date Posted: September 26, 2007

Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know ( 1 Corinthians 8:2 NKJV ).

I’m a big advocate of Bible study. I’d wonder about a church that didn’t provide people opportunities to study the Word. And I’m concerned about churches with very little in-depth teaching. Bible study is something we all need! Unfortunately, a possible danger of doing Bible study is that we can become proud by the knowledge we accumulate. Because of that, it is important to check our motives in the study we do. For instance, a person might want to learn New Testament Greek. That’s a worthy goal, since it can help one to understand the Bible better. Sadly, it can also be an opportunity for pride to develop since few Christians know even the basics of New Testament Greek and even fewer know it well.

It is possible to attend a Bible study not only to learn, but to show off the knowledge you already have. Have you ever noticed that in Bible studies some people monopolize the discussion and few others are able to participate? Even worse, there are some who are quick to step in and correct the “errors” others make in their interpretation and application of the Scriptures. Both types of people, but especially the latter are examples of people who are “puffed up” by their knowledge. The phrase, “puffs up” in 1 Corinthians 8:2 means that it makes one arrogant. In contrast, the word “edifies” means to build up. Think about how you participate in Bible studies. Does your behavior display your arrogance, or does it rather indicate a heart that seeks to build up and encourage others?

I hope that you do study the Bible regularly, and that you do share what you learn with others. But if you feel that you know the Bible well, it would be good to remember the words of Paul, “if anyone thinks he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.” This verse makes it clear that we should always be humble in our pursuit of knowledge, with the realization that regardless of how much we learn, the treasures found in Scripture are so vast, that we will never be able to do more than scratch the surface of the unfathomable riches of the Word of God.

Father, we pray that You will help us to seek to know You and Your Word better, but help us always to do it with a spirit of humility. Help us to guard our hearts against the pride that so easily comes with knowledge. And help us to always seek to edify others in the body of Christ. Amen.

Thought: Think about the different Bible studies you've been involved in. Have you ever been guilty of trying to impress people with your biblical knowledge? Grapple with this issue in your journal. (Note: If you don't like to journal, spend some time in prayer on this topic.)

To read more of Rebecca's articles, visit her website

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Biography Information:
Rebecca Livermore is a speaker and freelance writer from Denver, Colorado. Her passion is helping people grow spiritually. To learn more about her ministry, and to read her articles on spiritual disciplines, visit
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