Friday, 3 April 2009
The Bible is not the word of God!
Do you ever get a bit confused, or in my case, annoyed when people talk about the Bible as the Word of God, or even worse quote passages about the Bible from the Bible to back up their claims about the Bible (Anyone feeling dizzy?) Now please don't get me wrong. I am not saying we should throw away the Bible, quite the opposite actually, but rather we need to understand the Bible as we are meant to. I am sure that when we understand what the word of God is then the Bible will come alive to us in a whole new, richer way.
Protestants are a funny lot (of which I am one). They view the Bible extremely high. 'Sola scriptura' they cry but it seems today that the Bible is being seen in the same light as the Muslims see the Qur'an. For the Muslim the Qur'an it the literal word of God. Every dot, every mark is inspired. They hold that Allah himself wrote/dictated each surah. Now that’s the funny thing you see. That is NOT how the Bible came to be. Each book was written by a real person, in a real situation. It as written/revealed not over a short period (as the Qur'an) but rather over thousands of years. That is not to say that the Bible is not special. Christians talked of the Bible being inspired or God-breathed; a book written by around 40 authors over thousands of years, many of which would have never met and yet a perfect cohesion.
So why this post? Muslims place the Qur'an to bed every night, would never put it on the floor, must have it above all over books to show reverence, and say that it is only Qur'an if it is read in Arabic. Christians read their Bible whenever, put it on the floor, let it get dog eared and stained, place it on the most convenient shelf for easy access and can read it in whatever language they like. Why is that? For the Muslim the Qur'an is something of God himself but not for the Christian. Perhaps if you answer these questions it will help you understand what I'm getting at:
Q1) What is the Word of God?
Q2) Who is the Word of God?
I don't think it'd be too dangerous to assume that most people would say "The Bible" for the ‘what’ question and "Jesus" for the ‘who’ question. This is the problem: Jesus was, is and will always be the word of God. If we were to compare to Qur'an to anything in Christianity it would be Jesus, not the Bible. The Bible is not the word of God, why? Because Jesus he. The Bible is the inspired witness to this word. The word that was in the beginning that created all things. When God said "let there be light", his word, Jesus, created that light.
So what does this mean for our Bible reading? Should we bother? Certainly . The Bible has been given to us and inspired so that we can learn more about God. However is means that it id only useful when it is spoken to us by the spirit. When God speaks his word to us through the Bible, then is becomes the word of God. That’s why we can treat the Bible in the way we do. It is just a book: Ordinary paper and Ink. It only comes alive when God himself speaks those words into our hearts.
Keep reading, learning and listening.
Till next time!