From the beginning, as Genesis 1 records, God spoke. When was it first written down? And how were the historians biased? People approach the Bible with a ream of questions, and it has been dissected more than any other book. And why not? It makes radical claims of being inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:15-17), predicting historical events hundreds of years ahead (1 Corinthians 15), and then ending with instructions to last until the finale of the world (Revelation). No wonder people look at it funny.
The Bible is written from the middle of different cultures, and different historical contexts that allowed slavery and treated women poorly. Is it accurate? Yes. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide amazing cross-referencing. The Bible has tally after tally of confirmed historical sites, accurate writing, and authentic facts. So then it comes down to what it tells us to do. And that is another thing altogether.
“…you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
It defies imagination that an infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing Being would take the effort to use our language, our communication methods to speak with us, much less join us for conversations on earth in human form. And for God to work through so many people over so many years, using different genres of writing and styles to craft this book that weaves together a story. And, of course, add the ending before we’ve gotten there yet. It leaves me flabbergasted.
Well, what’s the point of all this? Sixty-six books, Old and New Testaments, divine instructions for how to make it through the world alive. It sounds rather like a video-game manual or a hiker’s forest guide. We’re in the middle of a wilderness battlefield and while we have the Holy Spirit helping us, we also have written instructions. And sometimes they are musical and lovely. And sometimes they go against everything we want to do. But there they are. They come as a set. Welcome to the Bible.
God, I know with my mind that the Bible is accurate. But it is so hard to respond with my whole heart. Thank You for who You are, what You are working in my heart, how You tell such a good story. Please help me to see the big picture, and my place in it, and help it to penetrate the mundane of alarm clocks and lunch breaks. I love You. Amen.