What Is a “Red Letter” Edition of the Bible?

by on

While up in Canada on Monday, I saw a TV program where a book (written about “red letter” editions of the Bible) was being advertised that dealt with what was called the specific “words of Jesus” in the Bible. Many of you will be familiar with the “red letter” editions of the Bible, which are advertised to have the words of Jesus in red. I actually heard a person promoting this book saying the words that are red in the Bible are the words of Jesus; therefore, they need to be taken more seriously or with more emphasis than the other words in the Bible. I groaned when I heard this.

I really believe many people may have the wrong understanding of God’s Word if they think only those words in red in these editions are the words of Jesus.

For instance, consider the following passage:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1–5)
Jesus is the Word. We must understand that every word in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the word of God—the words of Jesus.

Sometimes I think because many people in the church consider the “red letter” words in the New Testament to be more important than any other words in the Bible, and that’s why many of them don’t think it matters much if the words of Genesis are reinterpreted to fit in millions of years and evolution.

We need to remember the following passage:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16–17)
“All Scripture” means Genesis to Revelation.

A true “red letter” edition of the Bible would have every word from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 in red!

When we have a correct understanding of God’s Word and that every word in the Bible is really the word of Jesus, it reminds us of how important it is to never compromise or change in any way the Word of God to fit in man’s fallible ideas.

Jesus is not just New Testament.  Jesus is the Creator; He is God. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

One way to help remind people of this truth is to ask the question, “What is the first recorded miracle of Jesus in the Bible?” Many will answer that it was when Jesus turned the water into wine. However, the first recorded miracle of Jesus is in Genesis 1:1—the creation!

I once heard a Christian leader on television being asked, “'Does Jesus make any specific statements against ‘gay’ marriage?” The Christian leader said that he didn't! However, when Jesus as the God-man in Matthew 19 was asked about marriage, He quoted from Genesis to teach that marriage was a man and female. Moreover, we should also understand that the words in Romans 1—where there is specific teaching about homosexual behavior—are the words of Jesus. The words in the Book of Leviticus are the words of Jesus.

I pray that everyone understands that every word in the Bible is the word of Jesus! His words may be giving details of a historic event, quoting an evil person, or teaching a specific doctrine, but they are all the words of Jesus.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,


Ken Ham’s Daily Email

Email me with Ken’s daily email:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390