The Christian Bible is a curious thing. Most people in Western & Latin cultures have one; that is also true for much of the African continent. Many claim that it is the revealed Word of God, inspired by God, inerrant and infallible. Defending these beliefs about the Bible (short of a circular argument) becomes virtually impossible, historically and rationally, given our current culture’s proclivity for self-creating truth.
At a Christmas party in our home we gave small bibles wrapped with a chocolate bar as party favors. One particular person took the chocolate, but lifted the Bible with two fingers as if it were a dead rat to be disposed of in the trash can. That was almost 30 years ago. Today, I would never consider even offering a Bible as a gift in this postChristian mélange.
Oddly, even giving a Bible to a Christian can be a like pearls before swine. Why? They rarely get used. Read, occasionally, yes; but truly used in contemplation or study? Rarely. Why? Genuine Christians carve out very little time to learn about the Bible. It’s just too much work. Unless it’s a Bible video download to an iPad. Or there’s always the History Channel’s version. “That was easy.”
In the same way that many of us want an easy faith so also do we want an easy Bible. Seriously, what is so difficult about God’s revealed Word, 66 individual treatises (some say more), written by 40 authors, over 1,500 years of written history, spanning 4,000-10,000 of remembered history and then some?!? Then passed down in over 900 English translations alone, across widely diverse cultural perspectives, reinterpreted and oft misapplied by countless of our forefathers over the past 2000 years. I mean, where could there possibly be any difficulty in understanding its message?
No wonder so few of us read it deeply, Christian or otherwise. It just takes so much effort. I want a simple, sound-byte faith: so do you. So don’t concern yourself with the difficulties in understanding the complexities of the Bible. Leave its richness and depths to the scholars. “Just give me Jesus.”
Just give me an intelligent faith that leaves the Bible in its own history, utilizing its history & principles to guide me to God and to live an honorable life before God and men. Selah…, means pause.
Maybe it’s not the Bible that is curious: maybe it is us.
Have a nice week,
One thought on “a curious Bible”
Gary, Your posts always seem to hit me at the right time. I know that part of my rapid growth in the Lord as a new believer was the Campus Crusade motto – no Bible no breakfast. No while I guess that is a little stiff, I find that people who spend time in the Bible seem to have their lives transformed. People seem to want to do anything expect spend time in the Book that is still alive to me. Thank you Campus Crusade, IV and Navigators.