In Berea, some people examined the Scriptures to see if what they were being taught by the Apostle Paul was in fact true. What a great example for Christians to follow when they encounter "new" teachings.
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
The Jews in Berea received Good News from Paul and Silas: the Messiah who was promised in their Scriptures (what Christians know as the Old Testament) had appeared! Instead of reacting with jealousy like those in Thessalonica, they looked into the Scriptures eagerly to see if what Paul and Silas told them was true.
Thanks be to God that it is true! And Christians do well to "be Berean" in their approach, especially when hearing something that's proposed to be new about the Bible. Instead of simply accepting anything and everything, they should test what they hear against the Scriptures.
John echoes the same teaching in his first Epistle:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
1 John 4:1-3
I'm working on a series that will encourage us to follow the examples of the Berean Jews, to search the Scriptures to see if a given teaching agrees with them. I'll be posting regularly under that tag of "Being Berean", examining teachings against the Old and New Testaments.
If you have something you'd like me to help examine with you, please let me know. Comment below, or get in touch through the contact page.
The concept is great - as long as the laity have a sufficiently deep knowledge of the Word to be able to discern what is being said by the speaker and Scriptures so they are not led astray.
Yes, for sure. That's the aim of the series: to present a given teaching, and to examine it here on the site, so that I can help deepen people's (and my own) knowledge of the Word.