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Monday, May 17, 2010

The nature of the bible

Although the bible claims that scripture is God-breathed and that men spoke as they were given "utterance" by the Holy Spirit, nonetheless the bible nowhere claims to NOT be the product of human authors through whom God breathed and moved.

Consequently our expectations, interpretations and such are a dishonest distortion of the actual text when we treat it as if it is the pure unmitigated Word of God that fully transcends its anthropological dynamics. THAT idea is NOT taught in the bible. In fact, most places where the bible makes reference to "THE WORD OF GOD" it is a reference to His promises, not to scripture. We begin to ascribe qualities to the text that it does not claim for itself. We force upon ourselves a belief that it secures an understanding we neither need nor can lay claim to.

If our understanding of WHAT the bible actually is sustains a balanced view of its textual reality, we can simply let the bible be what it is. And a huge part of WHAT it is cannot be estranged from its human involvement that has had an unknown impact on the results. It therefore must be read with an awareness that it will not be the "Word of God" as we might want it to be or expect it to be, rather it will be the "Word of God" in ways we had not expected.

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