The Lying Pen of the Scribes

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
and the law of the Lord is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.”
–Jeremiah 8:8

Technology has changed the way in which we speak of the writing process. Today we call the one who writes a book an author. Often the author’s tool for creating words is a keyboard on a computer. But in Jeremiah’s day the writers were called scribes, especially those who wrote about God and his ways. Instead of a keyboard they used a pen.

If Jeremiah lived in our day, the last line of this verse might read, “the lying keyboard of the authors has made it into a lie.” And he would be correct in his assessment of some of the books being published today. I have been shaking my head at some of the books and articles I have come across in recent weeks. I’m not speaking of things written by those outside of the Christian community. It is in the world of Christian writing that causes the chagrin.

One author has released a book on the nature of Scripture that fails miserably at the point of biblical authority. Two authors in the “evangelical” world have written turning biblical teaching of sexuality on its head. They actually teach that the Bible teaches exactly the opposite of what it says.

Others have attacked the God of the Old Testament as if he is different from the God of the New Testament. Each of these attempts are characterized by extreme arrogance in their efforts to refute biblical teaching.

Jeremiah confronted the same thing in his day. Writers purported to espouse wisdom based on the law of the Lord. But like these modern writers, they were saying the very opposite of what God was saying. Jeremiah indicated in verse 11 that their message was one of peace. They were saying, “Peace, peace.” But Jeremiah said “There is no peace.”

The problem is that readers were being told the wrong message. And that voice is still echoing today. Just because an author is gets published or holds a teaching position within the Christian community does not mean that he or she speaks truth.

It is interesting that Jeremiah uses the same wording as both the adjective of the pen and the object which the pen produces – a lying pen and made into a lie. He is pulling no punches about these scribes. They are not producing truth.

Be aware of those who would similarly produce lies today. Test the writings against the veracity of the Scriptures.