For as long as I can remember, I’ve sung the song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”
I sometimes wonder today, though…I hear a lot of people saying “The Bible says…” and then that’s followed by some statement that I have to go “huh??” at.
Here–in no particular order–are some things I believe about the Bible (definitely not a complete list, though):
- It’s not a scientific textbook…it doesn’t give a history of the development of the earth.
- The “biographies” found in it were designed to make a point, not be full of facts and figures, as we would expect of a modern biography.
- It has a variety of writings – poetry, letters, court histories, “biographies” – and to treat them all the same doesn’t honor the various forms.
- It’s full of contradictions…and that’s okay, because it’s a collection of writings by people trying to make sense of their world at various times and ages.
- Both the Hebrew scriptures (what Christians often call the Old Testament) and the New Testament are important to read.
- It would be possible to come up with a list of laws to be kept every day…but you’d have to figure out which of the contradictory ones take precedence.
- We all pick and choose which portions of the Bible speak to (and for) us.
Most importantly for me, the most important thing that the Bible says is that God loves us. Every one of us…each one of us…regardless of where we live, how we worship, what name we call the Divine…every one of us–without us having to do anything to earn that love.
And if you want to ask me what the Bible says, this is my response:
God loves us–completely and fully. All God asks in return is that we love God…and our neighbors.
And if you want to continue the question by asking who our neighbors are…they are anyone and everyone we share this planet with.