I don’t believe that the collection of documents put together in the fourth century by Emperor Constantine’s council which is known today as the Bible was one hundred percent dictated by God. Because I believe there is a human element to it some say that I surely must therefore deem it all worthless.
No! No! No!
I really tire of saying this but I must repeatedly explain to them that that is absolutely not the case!
I am unlike most of the inquisitors on this topic in that I am not an all-or-nothing person. I am instead like the most people in that I believe that almost everything, theology included, is shades of grey.
- Yes, I recognize that many of the documents that made it into the final version of the Bible were ancient texts probably go back the 400 years to Christ’s times on earth.
- Yes, the four Gospels are valuable resources in learning the messages of Jesus as understood by his immediate followers.
- Yes, I believe that the authors were inspired by God to wrote down their accounts. I believe this is particularly true of the twelve apostles. Even though almost all of them were illiterate they managed to get their messages into written form. Some through Mark and Luke in particular
- No, I don’t believe that every word, letter, punctuation mark was directly dictated by God.
- No, I don’t believe that just because of the above that I must therefore throw out the Bible as worthless. To me that is the epitome of irrational thinking.
- No, I don’t believe that God quit giving us messages once these authors had completed their works. He told us that he was giving us the Holy Spirit to eventually learn things we were not ready to learn during those biblical times. I believe he continues to do that through others and from scientific knowledge of his kingdom on earth. He told us to believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Some have chosen to substitute the “Bible” in place of the “Spirit”. I am certainly not one of those.
- No I don’t believe that the Bible is the word of God, that title is reserved solely for Jesus. But I do believe that the Bible contains many inspired words from God.
- No I DO NOT believe that the Bible is full of errors! The vast majority of what I read in the Bible I will take as truth. What I do believe is that some people’s interpretations of the Biblical messages are full of errors. They take fables which are only meant to teach us lessons and turn them into literal events. They then wrongly take that literal interpretation and use it as a corner post for their stands on institutional purity. This same group would have very likely turned Jesus’ parables into literal events if Jesus had not directly told them that they were just stories to relay his message. Too bad the other stories were not as clearly labeled.
So, do I think the Bible is a useful document? I can give you an emphatic YES to that query. In fact it is a totally awesome collection of works! It would have been wonderful beyond belief to have been one of those who actually sat at Jesus’ feet for the three years of his public ministry. The closest we can come to that now is to read the words of those who did. And many of those words are recorded in the Bible. Maybe someday some more Dead Sea type Scrolls will show up giving us more insight into those early accounts. But, until that time the Gospel text are the best we have. They are in my study on a weekly if not daily basis.