What is Biblical Humility?


by Mike Ratliff

3 μηδεν κατ εριθειαν μηδε κατα κενοδοξιαν αλλα τη ταπεινοφροσυνη αλληλουσ ηγουμενοι υπερεχοντασ εαυτων (Phlippians 2:3 NA28)

3 Do nothing according to rivalry nor empty conceit, but in humility esteem others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

One of the main contentions of the Emergents is that it is an arrogant thing to teach from the Bible as if it is absolute truth. They say that the truly humble are those who confess to know nothing precisely, but only in a nebulous sort of way. This is primarily an attempt to appear humble to the world by seeking common ground with everyone, which is only possible if truth is held loosely so there is room for compromise. In the world’s eyes this does appear to be humble, but is this biblical humility? Carefully read the following passage (John 8:30-32) and pay special attention to v32, which I have put in bold.

30 ταυτα αυτου λαλουντοσ πολλοι επιστευσαν εισ αυτον. 31 ελεγεν ουν ο ιησουσ προσ τουσ πεπιστευκοτασ αυτω ιουδαιουσ· εαν υμεισ μεινητε εν τω λογω τω εμω, αληθωσ μαθηται μου εστε 32 και γνωσεσθε την αληθειαν, και η αληθεια ελευθερωσει υμασ. (John 8:30-32 NA28)

30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him. 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will free you.” (John 8:30-32 translated from the NA28 Greek text) Continue reading