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Many assumptions are made when one says that God inspired the Bible. The Bible doesn’t define inspiration precisely, so what we understand about God helps to understand God’s inspirational role. Moses speaking for God ordered during war killing boys and non-virgin women but saving for yourselves virgins (Num. 31:18). Such immorality in the name of God has led others to justifying their actions in God’s name or led to many rejecting such a God.

Let me suggest what God’s inspirational role could mean and then suggest rationales for such an understanding based on how I understand God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17, which is subject to wide interpretation, says: “All Scriptures is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking…in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). God obviously did not audibly dictate all of the Bible. It is also unlikely that God somehow magically controlled the minds of the writers, but instead gave the writers the freedom to use their minds and will in understanding God. Misunderstanding God is part of the learning journey for all. God-breathe can mean God desired a recording of coming alongside Israel climaxing in the life of Jesus in getting to know what God is really like.

God is incapable of being a controlling God.  

God’s lack of interference in the world with so many evil decisions made contrary to God’s wishes suggest that God seeks to influence than dictate. God’s nature requires their love to be unselfish and other-empowering, not controlling. God knows what we know. Genuine relationships are only possible if one is truly freedom to choose to not love. Not even God can force true love. If God is all good and all-knowing, there may be plausible moral reasons for God’s role with evil.

God is relational and seeks to be understood.

Why would a Creator even bother to come down to us unless desiring a relationship? The Bible is God’s attempt to be understood. But, God knows genuine relationships don’t involve dictating their beliefs on others. Human parents may know what best for a child, but that doesn’t mean it is best to impose their beliefs. Even God may have accommodated erroneous beliefs such as animal sacrifice in hopes to eventually influence what is truly important about relationships and forgiveness.

God is incapable of showing favoritism.  

It is unlikely God intended the Bible to be any more than a book for reflection in getting to know God better. No Book, since subject to interpretation, can be definitive on what God is really like. Besides, the Bible hasn’t been available to the majority of people born into this world thus leaving definitive information only in the hands of a few. Read the Bible as stories about God’s desire to influence you for your own good.  

Dogmatism, which destroys relationships, often results when one fails to acknowledge they are offering interpretation.

It is implied one’s interpretation is right thus others are wrong. There are many different opinions about what the Bible says about women’s roles, divorce, etc. Few Bible believers suggest Old Testament writers and prophets had the same authority as Jesus. Consider Jesus’ views in best knowing God, but essential truths about God are obvious.  God seeks a non-coercive relationship with all in helping to be the person you deep down desire to be.

 

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