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The Bible – Part 1

Some believe that it’s likely that the collection of writings we call the Bible – weren’t intended to be published and made available to the masses.  Paul’s letters to the churches, for example, were meant to be just that.  I’m inclined to agree, to some extent.

However, I’m not sure there would be a Christian religion, not as we know it at least, if it wasn’t for these writings.  We need those prophecies during Old Covenant times, to know about the law, and the curse of the law, that we are set free from.  We need the writings of the disciples to tell us about Jesus’ earthly ministry and His sacrificial death on the cross.  Lastly, and most importantly, we need the revelation of the Gospel found in Paul’s Epistles.  No-one else on this planet received a revelation of the Gospel, the New and better Covenant, like Paul did.  So I’m more inclined to say the Bible is essential.  I sometimes wonder if all of the books of the Bible are essential, such as Lamentations or Song of Solomon.  I’m certain that most Christians would be shocked to hear such as statement.  But it does make me wonder.

Most Bible verses cannot be taken literally and they need to be interpreted, filtered and processed.  Unfortunately, it’s this stage when the mind of imperfect man, when it can all go wrong.  So much of our understanding is geared towards justifying the role of the institutional church.  So a verse such as “bring the tithe into the storehouse” is read as meaning, “Bring ten percent of your income in money to the church you attend regularly.”  The original verse, I believe, referred to livestock brought to a local storehouse.  I seriously doubt the relevance of this verse, Malachi 3:10, in today’s society.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”.  This was a message from Paul to a particular church, a group of people, advising them to get together from time to time.  But we’ve now taken that verse and made a rule out of it: Christians must meet together every Sunday in a building designated for that purpose.  Curiously, that’s the only verse in scripture which appears to support the notion of the modern church building and organisation.

Where would we be without the Bible?  I suppose the Gospel would have been conveyed by word of mouth.  After all, the printing press had not yet been invented in Biblical times – scripture would have been written on one or a limited number of scrolls.  Would it have been better or worse if the Bible was not published to the masses?  With or without the Bible – the Gospel still needs to be communicated to others by word of mouth.  I’m not absolutely sure if it would have been better or worse.  But without many of the key revelations we see in the Bible – I don’t think it would be good.

There seems to be a need to safeguard against anyone coming along and claiming they’ve heard from God and writing about it – when they haven’t.  Take the Apocrypha for example – is any of that true?  Again, I’m not sure and have not studied it much.  Apparently, there’s a “Book of Judas” now in print – can we really trust what’s written in that?


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