One of the things that brought me back to Christianity was the realisation that the Bible is full of contradictions, overlaps, gaps, and suppositions. If you read it for the first time without the need to believe that it is perfection incarnate, without the belief that it is inerrant, without a preconception of what it is, you realise that at its very core, the Bible is a human text.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bible is an amazing amalgamation of legends, histories, and explanations which flow together over a period of time that truly staggers the imagination. The pure statistics of how well it does fit together despite how much time sits between sections are enough reason to wonder at its creation. However, it is not perfect. As an example, the two creation stories of Genesis. If you go back and read them, you will find that the order of God’s creation from Genesis 1 to 2 are not the same. This discrepancy was enough to begin a legend of its own. The legend of Adam’s two wives.
Adam’s first wife, from chapter 1, was named Lillith, and came to be associated with all manner of nasty things for having been thrown out of Eden. Supposedly she was thrown out because she refused to be ruled, as she was created equally with him at the same time, by Adam. (Feminist anger enters here.) This explained why Eve needed to be created from Adam’s rib so the pecking order could not be challenged.
Now, looking back, doesn’t that sound a lot more like some powerful men trying to justify why women should simply listen to them and accept their place as property? The Bible is full of this type of humanity. People trying to explain their experiences of God and their experiences of the world. Volcanic eruptions, floods, wars, illnesses.
This does NOT mean that the Bible is wrong/can not be trusted/should be thrown away. What it DOES mean is that the Bible should not be worshipped. I plan to, as this blog goes on, read through some scripture with this educated view in mind and explain to you what I see when I read it. The Bible is the beautiful, convoluted, mad records of humanity trying to come to terms with God and His creation.
Think about how this changes things. I often say to the argument that the Bible is God-breathed, that the last thing God breathed into was humanity, and humanity is far from perfect. It is entirely plausible that God inspired humanity to write it’s thoughts and experiences of Him down, but it was still humanity writing them. In volume 2, I will go into further detail as to what the result of this discovery looks like.
For now, think about it. Isn’t it reasonable that rather than God using humanity as his ghost-writing puppets of perfection, humanity itself wanted to write what they had discovered and experienced about God? Isn’t it reasonable that what they thought of God at the time might be a little off the mark? Enough so that God felt the need to correct them?
Think about it.