People from all over the Earth have the same groanings about the Bible.
I’d like to address just one of them today:
The idea that the Bible, because translated (several times over) by humans, is somehow altered/tainted/ineffective/inapplicable/less than/powerless/sometimes appropriate.
Now, if you don’t believe that the Bible was ever even inspired by the King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega, “the big guy,” then this blog isn’t for you. You need to read a different blog.
This is for the people (lots of them) (1) who believe in God (to some degree) and (2) believe that the Bible says basically “good things,” but cannot make the leap to believe it is in inherently and perfectly (in every way) the word of God, applicable to all people in all situations from beginning to end: a beloved letter of grace and compassion to His people (all of us).
(Everyone wave goodbye to some of my social media friends).
This understanding of the Bible is just not Biblical.
Now, this is where my former collegiate debate Kaitlin jumps out and screams, “GOT YA!”
You can’t define something by the words itself. You’re done. Get out of here.
But isn’t that exactly what we’re talking about?
If we believe that there is a God, and that he created the universe (to some degree), doesn’t He get to define the Bible (along with every.single.other iota of the universe)?
Isn’t the Bible what the Bible says it is?
If not, again, we have other issues.
If God can be the perfect example of Grace, but also oppositely perform perfect justice to the wicked…
Then surely, the book that he wrote (inspired, whatever), can do just that as well.
If God can be the perfect comfort to a mother grieving loss of a child, and also oppositely stand strong and powerful accuse and punish Satan for all eternity…
Then surely, the Bible can mean many perfect things to many different people.
Whenever people look at the Bible and think those who follow it are simpletons (that sounds harsh, but really it’s a pretty euphemistic translation) I feel the laughter in my eyes.
Let’s look at just ONE VERSE that, I believe, beautifully illustrates this point:
Genesis 6:6 “So the Lord was sorry He ever made them and put them on Earth.”
(This is the first book in the Bible, so pretty "soon" after people came on the planet, and people were extremely wicked, and right before Noah builds that big boat.)
The word “sorry” is translated to several different things in several different Bibles (I looked at a few).
The ironic part is that “sorry” is my LEAST favorite. It implies that God made a mistake (which obviously reading the Bible in its entirety is impossible).
My favorite translation is combining TWO translations of the Hebrew word (which I’m no Hebrew scholar but I can find my way around Google) actually means TWO DIFFERENT THINGS at the same time (see where I’m going here?): “regret” and “relent.”
My biggest problem with using the word “regret” is more of the American translation which implies a time table. Like God is in the present, looking to His past, and feeling something about that. This makes no sense to me because God is not temporal. He’s just not. People like to think of eternity as one direction (maybe because people like to think about Heaven). But this is just not true (both true and True). Eternity and infinity goes BOTH WAYS.
Looking at the word itself though, it actually was compared to the pains of childbirth. That makes me laugh because I picture the televised version of the wife mid-labor cursing her husband for “doing that to her” and that maybe “ancient Bible times” weren't so different.
Then I like to compare and contrast it with the translation “relent” or, “to lessen a harsh punishment.”
I see this as God being SO upset with us that he wants to just punch us all in the face (His justice side), but he lessens our punishment (by providing Christ and showing His loving side).
See, this is God being two things at once (Grace and Justice) which is totes possible for this guy.
So, why do we hold His word to different standards?
Just because your Bible sits next to and shares the same physical qualities of the other books right next to it…it’s something (much) more.
Don’t even get me started on “The Bible as Literature” classes you can find in practically every campus in America.
In conclusion, don’t let Satan produce a tower of Babble in your mind (remember Satan read the Bible too).
When Satan cannot defeat you, he will distract you.
Don’t let him. You have a problem with the Bible?
Tell the Bible, tell God, seek, and search, and talk to people about it, and yell at God about it if you must.
It could be that the Bible means nothing. That it won’t benefit you.
Or, it could be a simple ploy of the enemy to keep the most powerful weapon on Earth and in Heaven out of your hands.
Are you going to listen?