Friday, February 15, 2008

The Bible - Narrative or Formulaic?

I believe it is a little of both. I do not believe that the Bible is a Big Book of Answers, a code-book, a text-book, a Book of Rules/Laws, etc. Certainly, there are parts of the Bible which are codified and legalistic, but I do not believe that the Bible, as a whole, is meant to take on this purpose for which it is so often used. (Like those who pull verses out as proof-text for any given means necessary.)

I believe that the Bible, on the whole, is a God-given collection of historical stories about God interacting with people - though these stories do take on a number of literary styles. The principle and primary character of the Bible is Jesus. Every story in the Bible points to Jesus either directly or indirectly.

If people saw the Bible for what it really was, I think that they would spend more time reading it, and more importantly, enjoying it.


revolutionareze said...

The problem with people reading it for me is not the fact of seeing it for what it is. But the fact that people have seen and heard about other's experience with reading the word of God. People are scared that they may fall under the control of God's power or they might read it and find out that us CHRISTIANS are not so bad after all.

Legalism and the laws that people feel the Bible places on their lives is only the fact that they knowingly are being immoral. They need to face the facts that they are doing things that are wrong in their head. And as far as I am concerned I haven't had to live under any laws by becoming a christian that weren't a requirement of being a good person outside of the faith.

revolution said...

I find it interesting that you would take that tack. So you would take issue with the way that a non-believer would view the Bible?

Funny, but I usually find that non-believers either don't comprehend the Bible at all or they are hungry for whatever it might contain. I can appreciate both of those views, which is why I have a passion for discussing the Bible with those who don't quite believe.

For the most part, it is Christians that I find abusing the Bible on a regular occasion. They have a tendency to take it way too literally and way too seriously.

revolutionareze said...

First let me go back and say that I believe as much as you do that the bible is definitely a historical gathering of documents. I think that if given the chance anyone can be touched by God while reading his word, especially if it is the path that God is setting forth for that person. I think that I would only take issue if someone was viewing the bible for what it is not.

Legalism is a scary thing especially to anyone outside and new to the faith to handle.

michelle said...

but do you believe it to be 100% truth? inspired by God? inerrant?

revolution said...

I do believe that the original manuscripts were inspired by God and, therefore, inerrant.

But I also believe that those are the wrong questions to begin with. At least, as a starting point.

Believing that the Bible is, as you said, "100% truth, inspired, and irrent" doesn't solve the problem.

Most of the people I know, who use and abuse the scriptures inappropriately believe these three 'non-negotiables' and yet, their abuse is strengthened all the more by their own false sense of confidence in their "rightness".

Funny, but my next post pretty much plays right into this discussion about truth. You'll see more of my skepticism there too.

michelle said...

you said, "For the most part, it is Christians that I find abusing the Bible on a regular occasion. They have a tendency to take it way too literally and way too seriously.

but if we are to know God, His word should be taken seriously and even literally where it is obviously literal... i don't think i can take the Bible too seriously or too literally because it is how the Lord speaks to me...

revolution said...

speaking from experience, the Bible CAN be taken too literally, and it CAN be taken too seriously.

I am not trying to cause offense, I am just trying urge caution.

There are too many nutjobs out there.

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