Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Huffington Post - The Bible experts
August 10, 2011
Author, 'Making Sense of Scripture'
4 Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally
Posted: 8/6/11 09:06 AM ET
Cards on the table: 1) I read the Bible -- not as much as I should, I'm sure, but still pretty regularly. Moreover, I get paid to talk about the Bible with folks all across the country and have written a
popular book to help people read the Bible with more confidence and enjoyment. So, you could say, I'm a pretty big fan of the good book. 2) I was a little shocked to discover that three in ten Americans read the Bible literally. That is, about a third of the American populace takes everything the Bible says at face value, reading as they would a history or science textbook. 3) I don't read the Bible this way, and can't imagine doing so. Here are four reasons why:
1) Nowhere does the Bible claim to be inerrant.That's right. At no place in its more than 30,000 verses does the Bible claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters (the technical
definition of inerrancy). "Inerrant" itself is not a word found in the Bible or even known to Christian theologians for most of history. Rather, the word was coined in the middle of the 19th century as a defensive counter measure to the increased popularity of reading the Bible as one would other historical documents and the discovery of manifold internal inconsistencies and external inaccuracies.
The signature verse most literalists point to is
2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." But one can confess that Scripture is inspired by God without resorting to claims that it contains no factual errors. We normally use the language of inspiration in just this way, describing a painting, a performance of Chopin, or even a good lecture as inspired. What binds the various and sundry texts found in the Bible together may be precisely that they are all inspired by the authors' experience of the living God. There is no hint that the authors of the Bible imagined that what they were writing was somehow supernaturally guaranteed to be factually accurate. Rather, biblical authors wrote in order to be persuasive, hoping that by reading their witness you would come to believe as they did (see John 20:30-31). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-lose/4-good-reasons-not-to-read-bible-literally_b_919345.html
Hebrews 6: 17 - 18 17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
God gave us the Bible so that you could hear the Truth and not be deceived by Man. It is impossible for God to Lie. Even Jesus read from the Torah (Old Testament) in the synagogues. He knew that every word was the Truth.