My church background has taught me that the Bible is the eternal word of God. I have learned, to read the Bible with respect and attentiveness. Every word is important. But like most careful Bible readers, I have been stumbling over passages. I have encountered seeming contradictions, I have wondered about unnecessary repetitions and I have asked myself: Is the Bible still the infallible word of God, even if it explains the origin of man so different from our scientists? Can the Bible be truly the word of God, if it does not explain the earth as a globe? If it seems to contradict itself within the first two chapters? If it is speaking of talking snakes? Or will it lose its authority from my life, if I allow those questions to bother me?
The lectures of The Bible Project, have taught me a greater depth and a great excitement for the Bible without numbing these questions.
The Bible was designed and written by people who had a firm belief: there is only one God. He is the creator of all life but he is also personal like a father. The world he created, with all that is in it, has meaning and purpose. Humans are his representatives on earth, inspite of all their failure. For God‘s power and faithfulness can and will overcome evil.
Ravi Zacharias wrote: the treasure of the Bible:”Old texts with truth as new to hearts today as it was for the writers so long ago.”
To understand the Bible, I need to be ready, to let go of my personal expectations and opinions. The writers of the Bible, the ancients, have a very different way of seeing the world and communicating their perspective on it. What is important for them and how they communicate the meaning of life, may have a different perspective, but it remains truth.
“What does the writer want to communicate?” This old rule for interpretatio n is also true for the Bible. I very much enjoyed the picture, one participant came up with: the reality behind a window does not change. But how I see it would definitely change, whether I look through a modern window or a bullseye pane.
I am very grateful. The question about the authenticity of the Bible doesn’t hang on the question if Genesis 1 explains to us in a scientific way how the world was created. For that wasn’t their intention. The question if the Bible is truth, will reveal itself much more in the experience of the revelation of God to which the Bible writers invite us. Does the purpose of life and how the Bible explains it, makes life meaningful
today? If it does, it is truth.
I am deeply surprised, with how much care and genius the Bible has been collected and written.
My respect for God and his word has never been greater.