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Today I am going to do something totally different- I am going to have a short and to-the-point message.
That message is this: the Bible is a book, written by human beings that were divinely inspired by God’s spirit. The entire book is not dictated by God, and although there are many parts that do state exactly what God said (for example, the 10 Commandments Moses wrote down) the majority of the Bible is what people remembered about a certain event.
Certainly you know that if 5 people see the exact same thing, when you ask them to recall it later you will get 5 different versions. Some parts will be exactly the same, some will be a little different, and some parts will be so outlandishly different you will have to ask yourself, “What was that person looking at?”
The Gospels were written by those who were eyewitnesses to the events. We have many parts that are exactly the same, some parts that are unique to that Gospel, and some parts that retell the same event but differently. Does this mean that the bible contradicts itself, therefore we cannot believe any of it?
Of course not. That is the argument that Atheists and people against the bible use to try to discount everything in the bible.
It is simple: people aren’t perfect, their memory isn’t perfect, and therefore the bible isn’t perfect. I know there are many of you who are defensively thinking you want to strangle me for my blasphemy, but the truth is the bible is the Word of God that was divinely given to imperfect human beings, who wrote using their imperfect understanding and imperfect memory.
But that doesn’t change anything! The bible is valid as a book which tells us what God wants us to know. If there are imperfections within it, due to the imperfections of those that compiled it, we still can trust the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, to give us the understanding that God wants us to have.
The bible is about God and what he wants us to know; it is not God, Himself. It is a book- a darn good book, yes, but in the end it is just a book. A book written by people who received their inspiration from God to write these things down. Some of it is divine dictation, but the vast majority of it is divine inspiration filtered through human recollection.
If you are all up in arms right now, thinking the bible is God’s word and therefore God, you are wrong. Sorry, but that’s how it is: God is not restrained to pages of writing. The bible is the ultimate User’s Manual for gaining understanding, wisdom, and salvation. It isn’t perfect, but God is perfectly able to make each and every one of us understand what he wanted the writers of the bible to convey to us.
So, nu? What do you do now? You read the bible, and before you start reading ask God to show you what he has in there…for YOU!
Just like 5 people looking at the same event will recall 5 different versions, the bible will have different messages for different people who are reading the same exact passage. And that’s okay- God has different plans for each and every one of us, so the bible has to be flexible enough so that we can can decipher what it is that God wants us to know.
When you read the bible do not trust in what people have written down, but trust instead in the spirit of God to teach you what he wants you to know.