Bibliolatry is the worship of the Bible or any other text. The word is a portmanteau of the Greek words "biblion" (book) and "latria" (worship), and though it may also refer to an extreme devotion to books in general, it is more often used as a derogatory reference to the elevation of a holy book to a divine level.

The term itself most frequently used as a pejorative term to negatively label theological opponents, typically appearing in exchanges between different Christian sects or different wings of a Christian sect or church. There are very few who claim to worship a book itself, but those who believe in biblical inerrancy are sometimes considered to be bibliolaters by those who take a different view of the Bible. Many Christians (particularly Protestants of a fundamentalist or evangelical background) believe that God is revealed in a unique, authoritative and unambiguous way through the Bible, while others hold that such a belief is essentially worship of the Bible itself and that God is also significantly revealed through the study of nature, reason (Logos), traditional practice, and individual experience (see, for example, the "Wesleyan Quadrilateral"), all of which must be taken into account when deciding how to truly follow God and how to properly interpret any scripture. Some denominations, such as Latter-day Saints and Roman Catholics, assert the role of continuing divine revelation or interpretation through authoritative or inspired leaders or prophets.

Jaroslav Pelikan writes of "Unitatis Redintegratio" 21, "the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church of 1962-1965 could speak with a mixture of genuine admiration and ever-so-gentle reproof about a 'love and reverence, almost a cult, for Holy Scripture' among the 'separated Protestant brethren'." [Jaroslav Pelikan, "Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages" ISBN 0-670-03385-5.] Southern Baptist William Merrell published a brief survey of Southern Baptist responses to the charge of bibliolatry in 2000. [ [ "Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation",] William Merrell, SBC Life, October, 2000.]

Though most often used in a Christian context, the charge of bibliolatry is also sometimes levelled against Islamic fundamentalists and other religionists deemed excessively devoted to their holy texts. [ [ "The Unseen Face of Islam"] , Bill A. Musk, p.192, Kregel Publications, Missions to Muslims, 1989, ISBN 0825460549]


ee also

*Bibliomancy is the use of holy books (the Bible for Jews and Christian) for divination.
*The Guru Granth Sahib is the holy book of Sikhism. The last of the Sikh Gurus left it as his successor. It is treated as a revered person.
*"Prima scriptura"
*"Sola scriptura"
*Qur'an alone

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  • Bibliolatry — Bib li*ol a*try (b[i^]b l[i^]*[o^]l [.a]*tr[y^]), n. [Gr. bibli on book + latrei a service, worship, latrey ein to serve.] Book worship, esp. of the Bible; applied by Roman Catholic divines to the exaltation of the authority of the Bible over… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bibliolatry — 1763, worship of books, from BIBLIO (Cf. biblio ) + LATRY (Cf. latry). Meaning worship of the Bible is from 1847 …   Etymology dictionary

  • bibliolatry — [bib΄lē äl′ə trē] n. [ BIBLIO + LATRY] 1. excessive adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible 2. excessive veneration of books bibliolater n. bibliolatrous adj …   English World dictionary

  • bibliolatry — noun see bibliolater …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bibliolatry — bibliolater, bibliolatrist, n. bibliolatrous, adj. /bib lee ol euh tree/, n. 1. excessive reverence for the Bible as literally interpreted. 2. extravagant devotion to or dependence upon books. [1755 65; BIBLIO + LATRY] * * * …   Universalium

  • bibliolatry — noun a) fundamentalism, the belief in the literal truth of the Bible b) excessive reverence of the Bible, Quran, or other book …   Wiktionary

  • Bibliolatry — Чрезмерное увлечение книгами …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • bibliolatry — Synonyms and related words: Sabbatarianism, bibliomania, bigotry, bluestockingism, book learning, book madness, bookiness, bookishness, booklore, charismatic gift, charismatic movement, charismatic renewal, classical scholarship, classicism,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • bibliolatry — worship of the Bible or other books Forms of Worship …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • bibliolatry — n. excessive faithfulness to the literal interpretation of the Bible; excessive devotion to books …   English contemporary dictionary

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