Think of the Scriptures as the loftiest and noblest of holy things, as the richest of mines which can never be sufficiently explored, in order that you may find that divine wisdom which God here lays before you in such simple guise as to quench all pride. Here you will find the swaddling cloths and the manger in which Christ lies, and to which the angel points the shepherds [Luke 2:12]. Simple and lowly are these swaddling cloths, but dear is the treasure, Christ, who lies in them. (Luther’s Works 35:236)
Martin Luther was a man immersed in Holy Scripture. In his various roles—as a theologian, preacher, teacher, biblical commentator, biblical translator, and all else—Luther was absorbed and deeply occupied with the study of the Bible.
Luther dealt with the Bible on a number of levels. He was concerned with the words of the biblical text as he translated the Old and New Testaments. He desired to hear what the writers of Scripture meant when they wrote. He wanted to understand the theological teachings of Scripture And he was passionate to proclaim the message of Scripture.
In it all, Luther believed the Bible presented God’s divine wisdom, given through ordinary writers. Supremely, the Bible presents Jesus Christ. As the shepherds were pointed to the manger by the angels at Jesus’ birth, so we are pointed by the Scriptures as the “swaddling cloths” and manger that hold the treasure of God’s Son.
The Scriptures center in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. As we study and seek to understand the Bible, we keep Christ in front of us. We thank God for the Scriptures as the manger in which Christ lies.