I doubt the Bible was inspired by God in ways we typically understand inspiration. I Samuel 15:3 says God told Israel: “Now go, attack the Amalekites… put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” There are hundreds of passages like this in the Old Testament. God inspiring the Bible suggests a good God authorized or endorsed genocide when war was necessary. This renders goodness nonsensical and unknowable!
The Bible cannot be proved to be inspired is the point.
Many wouldn’t accept the Quran being inspired though it claims to be. It is circular logic to claim the Bible is inspired because biblical writers claim inspiration. Even if possible to prove infallibility, God’s freedom-giving nature doesn’t support God performing a lobotomy on OT writers. Besides, the Bible can’t be the definitive guide what God is like because literature requires interpretations which aren’t infallible. We can’t always know what the writer didn’t say. I once wrote telling my kids to never lie, but if lying saves a life by all means lie through your teeth.
The most used bible verse to claim inspiration is 2 Tim. 3:16: “All Scriptures is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” God-breathe is subject to wide interpretation, thus not clarifying God’s role with the Bible. God-breathe doesn’t necessarily mean God controlled biblical writings. It could mean God uses writings to touch our heart without necessarily declaring such writings are infallible or perfect views of God.
Certainty in God isn’t always a good thing.
Insisting the Bible is inspired can lead to threatening or forcing supposed certainty on others. After all, the Supreme Being’s way is surely the path to follow! Believing such a Book exists has led to condemning gays in God’s name, though those who accept Scriptures as authoritative don’t agree the Bible disapproves of homosexuality. Certainty rather than uncertainty can lead to justifying verbal or physical violence in the name of God or morality. But, even a perfect, certain God doesn’t force beliefs which doesn’t lead to lasting changes.
What could be God’s role with the Bible?
The Bible is recorded experiences of beginnings with God and Israel culminating with the life of Jesus that we don’t possess in any other documents. It seems the more we read and talk about God the more God can influence doing good and shunning evil. God surely approved of recordings so we might keep reflecting what God is really like.
Many authors who question if the Bible is infallible or admit God accommodated less than perfect understandings of God insist the Bible is God’s inspired or authoritative word. Why would God approve of such false understandings? I know pastors and professors have more skin the game than I do. I did the same when in the mental health profession. But, to say things like “events are not authoritative; the interpretation of the narrator is” keeps the focus on worshipping a Book than God and leads to dogmatic, possible false representations of God.
We can still know God though God didn’t inspire all of the Bible.
The possibility of an infallible or inspired Book has led to forcing “supposed” truths onto others of what God is really like. A fallible Book can’t hide behind infallible interpretations. Moral laws that violate the rights of others are obvious. The majority of people born in the world have never read a Bible but have an inborn knowledge of right and wrong. A universal desire to treat others like we want to be treated hints a Creator communicates to all what is good, thus what God is like.
A fallible Bible doesn’t mean the Bible isn’t worth reading.
The Bible was written to find God not specific solutions to problems. Jesus didn’t always answer directly because the issue is our heart in solving problems. Imagine a world where all looked out for the interests of others and not just themselves when facing difficulties! God never intended for us to check our moral conscience at the door in considering what a loving God is truly like. Read the Bible with an open-mind motivated by love. Different opinions can stand side by side as we continually evaluate the most loving approach in circumstances we face. Reading the Bible reflectively with a questioning spirit rather than blind obedience can continue to influence millions to live a more selfless life.
****I originally name this Post God Did Not Inspire The Bible! I was intentionally being provocative, as I wanted to communicate doubts that the Bible was inspired by God in ways we typically understand inspiration. I think the retitle I have given the Post better captures what I wish to communicate – Did God Really Inspire All Of The Bible? I have no doubts that God sought to influence the writers of the Bible, but it is not God’s nature to control others. The biblical writers at times could have misunderstood God and God was patient in them growing in their knowledge of what God is really like.
**** For additional Posts on rethinking the Bible go here: https://what-god-may-really-be-like.com/rethinking-the-bible/
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