Friday, October 30, 2015
Search for Biblical Meaning
If you take Biblical information as “inspired direct truth”, you're going to be disappointed. Why? Those men and women dedicated to assembling the Word of God from scrolls and ancient tales included information intended not only as literal instructions, uncontestable facts, and God's marching orders, they were driven to inspire understanding.
Understanding can come to you in lots of ways. There is meaning in instructive fiction. There are lessons in children's stories. There are realities about your past and in the histories of your ancestors that you can discover through documentary accounts. When I read how vestiges of cultural questions came about through (Jewish) tribal traditions, and how searching for a hopeful future was inspired by New Testament Apostles, I realized that the Bible is about useful meaning.
Did the Biblical scholars exaggerate Noah's story? Did Jonah tell about his big fish experience during an evening around a “braggers” campfire? Were the scholars aware of the power of their metaphors? How many Old Testament stories became “fill in the blank” accounts in order to make puzzle pieces fit into a popular jigsaw?