I know not a more deplorable mistake, in the studies of divines (both preachers and others), than their diversion from an immediate, direct study of the Scriptures themselves unto the studying of commentators, critics, scholastics, annotators, and the like helps, which God, in His good providence, making use of the abilities and, sometimes, the ambitions and ends of men, hath furnished us withal. Not that I condemn the use and study of them – which I wish more men were diligent in – but desire pardon if I mistake and do only surmise, by the experience of my own folly for many years, that many who seriously study the things of God do yet rather make it their business to inquire after the sense of other men on the Scriptures than to search studiously into them themselves.
It was the word of prophecy that gave the writers of it the reputation and authority of prophets, and their being prophets gave no authority to the word they declared or wrote as a word of prophecy. Hence, an anxious inquiry after the penman of any part of Scripture is not necessary.
The Jews’ frontispiece to their great Bible is that saying of Jacob upon the vision of God that he had at Bethel: “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” So ought we to look upon the Word, with a holy awe and reverence of the presence of God in it. – John Owen (1616-1683)
From: The Banner of Truth, Issue 616 (January, 2015), p. 28.