To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Confession – nowadays I seldom sit down and read the Bible as much as I did in past. I usually needed a commentary. God just wants a relationship whether spurred on by reading the Bible or other means. You may talk to God when exercising. You may be inspired by listening to certain music. I would like to suggest ways to make reading the Bible less complicated. The Bible is unique – the Bible remains a best seller year after year, not just the first year published. 

Interpretation challenges

Biblical scholars who respect the authoritative nature of Scriptures don’t interpret the same passage similarly. Ephesians 5 is interpreted to teach wives should be more submissive to husbands than are husbands to wives. Other scholars believe this same chapter teaches mutual submission among married folks. Many may be unaware biblical scholars who respect the Bible believe Scriptures don’t condemn gay monogamous relationships. See here.

Inspiration challenges 

We can’t prove God inspired the writings of the writers to always portray God accurately, but if God did inspire all of the Bible which version or view did God inspired: 

  • Karen Keen in Scripture, Ethics, And Same-Sex Relationships points out that a scribe added sentences to the oldest manuscript we know of on Isaiah 2: 9-11. Our current Bibles read (The italicized words added to the original): “So people will be brought low and everyone humbled— do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lordand the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant will be humble and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (p. 59, 126). Later scribes intensified God’s anger which may or may not best portray God’s true nature.
  • 28:63 says God takes pleasure in destroying. But Ezek. 33:11 says God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. So, which view portrays God most accurately?
  • It seems throughout the OT that animal, blood sacrifices are necessary for God’s forgiveness. But later OT writers begin to write that God doesn’t like animal sacrifices but contrite hearts (Ps. 51:16-17, i.e. Jer. 7:22, Amos 5:21, Micah 6:6). Why wouldn’t writers at least say both animal sacrifice and contrite hearts are necessary? So, did Jesus die to appease God’s wrath and need for sacrifice or to convey God’s love and inspire all to follow Jesus’ example?

So, how can we best decide what God is really like? 

See here: Your Moral Intuitions Best Tell You What To Believe About God!

Reading the Bible 

The Bible is complicated. The Bible came together over hundreds of years. Books are not a single document written by one author but often shorter texts collected together with possible reworking by editors. We don’t have to decide if the David and Goliath story happened as exactly as it did. You can study resources for historical analysis, or enjoy reading the story and contemplating what God may be challenging you in how to love others like you want to be loved. Relax! Not even biblical scholars can claim to have the right interpretation.

We can’t be sure of Jesus’ meaning when reading a parable. Study other resources if your like. Me personally, I am going to read the parable and seek to discern the message God intends for me in loving others. Interpretations about God’s love toward others, that don’t match how you and most know you ought to love your neighbor, may be amiss.

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