By looking at the Bible as if it were fundamentally about us, we totally miss the Point-like the two on the road to Emmaus. As Luke 24 shows, it's possible to read the Bible, study the Bible, and memorize large portions of the Bible, while missing the whole point of the Bible. It's entirely possible, in other words, to read the stories and miss the Story.
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read the Bible to the children, until they are old enough to read for themselves ... The Bible, not nursery versions of it. There is a Bible in words of one syllable; I am happy to say I have never seen it. Such a monstrosity should be put alongside of the Rhyming Bible, of which, I believe, only one copy is in existence.
Laura E. Richards
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The true Christian was intended by Christ to prove all things by the Word of God: all churches, all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices. These are his marching orders. Prove all by the Word of God; measure all by the measure of the Bible; compare all with the standard of the Bible; weigh all in the balances of the Bible; examine all by the light of the Bible; test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away. This is the flag which he nailed to the mast. May it never be lowered!
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Sad, indeed, would the whole matter be if the Bible had told us everything God meant us to believe. But herein is the Bible greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever-unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save as leading to Him.
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The Christians and the Jews do not believe that the Bible is the verbatim words of God. In fact it is clear that the books of the Bible are written by men - allegedly inspired men - but humans nonetheless. God in the Bible is spoken of in third person. This gives the believer a degree of caution. If the writers of the Bible were humans and humans are fallible, the Bible should not be taken literally. It is possible to interpret it, use one's logic to understand it in the light of science and adapt its teachings to meet the needs of the time.
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If you actually read the Bible, you can see there's a whole lot more information in there than the way we interpret the Bible. Because there are single lines in the Bible where if you just take them at face-value, they don't make any sense whatsoever in the world we see, we know, and we understand.
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I enter a most earnest plea that in our hurried and rather bustling life of today we do not lose the hold that our forefathers had on the Bible. I wish to see the Bible study as much a matter of course in the secular colleges as in the seminary. No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible, and no uneducated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.
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When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don't quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible's cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.
Rachel Held Evans
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[The Bible] has to be interpreted. And if it isn't interpreted, then it can't be put into action. So if we are serious about following God, then we have to interpret the Bible. It is not possible to simply do what the Bible says. We must first make decisions about what it means at this time, in this place, for these people.
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Logically, taking Scripture seriously means being passionately concerned about interpreting it correctly and thus welcoming any evidence that exposes erroneous understandings of the biblical text. Unfortunately, many zealous Bible students and teachers confuse their favorite interpretations of the Bible with the Bible itself.
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A few years ago the Deists denied the inspiration of the Bible on account of its cruelty. At the same time they worshiped what they were pleased to call the God of Nature. Now we are convinced that Nature is as cruel as the Bible; so that, if the God of Nature did not write the Bible, this God at least has caused earthquakes and pestilence and famine, and this God has allowed millions of his children to destroy one another. So that now we have arrived at the question - not as to whether the Bible is inspired and not as to whether Jehovah is the real God, but whether there is a God or not.
Robert G. Ingersoll
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the whole Bible is itself a missional phenomenon. The writings that now comprise our Bible are themselves the product of and witness to the ultimate mission of God. The Bible renders to us the story of God's mission through God's people in their engagement with God's world for the sake of the whole of God's creation. The Bible is the drama of this God of purpose engaged in the mission of achieving that purpose universally, embracing past, present and future, Israel and the nations, "life, the universe and everything, " and with its centre, focus, climax, and completion in Jesus Christ. Mission is not just one of a list of things that the Bible happens to talk about, only a bit more urgently than some. Mission is, in that much-abused phrase, "what it's all about.
Christopher J.H. Wright
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Yes, the Bible should be taught in our schools because it is necessary to understand the Bible if we are to truly understand our own culture and how it came to be. The Bible has influenced every part of western culture from our art, music, and history, to our sense of fairness, charity, and business.
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The third oddity was the surface on which Lawrence was doing his own succussion. It was a huge, black leather-bound King James Bible. Having done three raps on the Bible, his fist clenched around a vial containing a homeopathic remedy made from amethyst, Lawrence looked up. His face said, "I wish you hadn't seen that". "You don't have to use a Bible," he assured me.
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The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.
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When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don't find any conflict among them.
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Some people may think that it is a dangerous attitude to take toward the Bible, to pick and choose what you want to accept and throw everything else out. My view is that everyone already picks and chooses what they want to accept in the Bible... I have a young friend who whose evangelical parents were upset because she wanted to get a tattoo, since the Bible, after all, condemns tattoos. In the same book, Leviticus, the Bible also condemns wearing clothing made of two different kinds of fabric and eating pork... Why insist on the biblical teaching about tattoos but not about dress shirts, pork chops, and stoning?
Bart D. Ehrman
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It is fashionable in some academic circles to exercise scholarly criticism of the Bible. In so doing, scholars place themselves above the Bible and seek to correct it. If indeed the Bible is the Word of God, nothing could be more arrogant. It is God who corrects us; we don't correct Him. We do not stand over God but under Him.
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People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality. This mistaken view may have motivated the millionaire Conservative party donors. I have even heard the cynically misanthropic opinion that, without the Bible as a moral compass, people would have no restraint against murder, theft and mayhem. The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself.
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We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I was taught from this was not to begin a sentence with And. I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with And, but I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible? But it was in vain. Robert Graves was very keen on the symbolism and mysticism in the Bible at that time.
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An especially powerful type of historical evidence [for the Bible and Christianity] is that of fulfilled prophecy - historical events written down long before they actually happen. Hundreds of prophecies in the Bible have been remarkably fulfilled exactly as fortold but often hundreds of years later. This type of evidence is unique to the Bible and can be explained only by divine inspiration. God, the Creator of time, is outside of time. He is the One who controls the future and, therefore, is the only One who knows the future. "Bible prophecies are not vague and rambling, such as those of Nostradamus and other supposed extrabiblical prophets. Prophecies in the Bible deal with specific places, people, and events, and their fulfillments can be checked by reference to subsequent history.
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We can now say with considerable confidence that the Bible is not a history of anyone's past.... The Bible's "Israel" is a literary fiction... Not only have Adam and Eve and the flood story passed over to mythology, but we can no longer talk about a time of the patriarchs. There never was a "United Monarchy" in history and it is meaningless to speak of pre-exilic prophets and their writings... The Bible deals with the origin traditions of a people who never existed as such
Thomas L. Thompson
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The Bible is not absurd for the people who wrote it; it becomes absurd when people in our day insist on taking it literally. The Bible does not present us with material that is ridiculous in the context from which it came. The Bible springs from the context in which people then were thinking, searching, and trying to find answers.
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Where are you going?" "To get my Bible." "Right now? You can't get your Bible out right now! I'm, I'm, we're just about to... " She'd never be able to go through with this if he got out his Bible. She wiped all humor from her face. "I believe you. Proverbs 5:18. Rejoice, relish, and romp with your husband." He chuckled. "I'm serious, Connie, and I won't have you feeling ashamed or unclean over anything we do in that bed, tonight or any other night." "I won't. I feel unashamed and very clean. I promise. But please don't get out that Bible." "What? Think you that God can't see us right now?" Groaning, she slid off his lap and covered her face with her hands. He sunk to his knees in front of her, drawing her hands down. "I love you. You love me. We are man and wife. God is watching, Connie, and He is very, very pleased.
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The Bible is one long story of God meeting our rebellion with His rescue, our sin with His salvation, our guilt with His grace, our badness with His goodness. The overwhelming focus of the Bible is not the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer. Which means that the Bible is not first a recipe for Christian living but a revelation book of Jesus who is the answer to our un-Christian living.
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Nevertheless, should you have any doubts that we are stating sound doctrines, look up the references and see exactly what the Bible says and believe it in preference to any man. You cannot go wrong with this kind of advice. But in doing this, be sure you adhere to what is written, and that you do not let preconceived ideas cause you to be biased on any point. Do not try to make the Bible conform to your ideas. Always reconcile your ideas to the Bible. Let the plain language of the references given be read and understood in the same literal way that we would understand similar statements in any other book
Finis Jennings Dake
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Read the Bible daily. Make it part of your everyday business to read and meditate on some portion of God's Word. Gather your manna fresh every morning. Choose your own seasons and hours. Do not scramble over and hurry your reading. Give your Bible the best, and not the worst, part of your time. But whatever plan you pursue, let it be a rule of your life to visit the throne of grace and the Bible every day.
J. C. Ryle
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Prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God's listening ears. Topics: Prayer, Meditation I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood. Topics: Salvation, Atonement When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and, above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end. Topics: Satan, Prayer God's Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything. Topics: Scripture Do not study commentaries, lesson helps or other books about the Bible: study the Bible itself. Do not study about the Bible, study the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and only the Bible is the Word of God. Topics: The Bible All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do everything, prayer is omnipotent.
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It has been the practice of all Christian commentators on the Bible, and of all Christian priests and preachers, to impose the Bible on the world as a mass of truth, and as the word of God; they have disputed and wrangled, and have anathematized each other about the supposable meaning of particular parts and passages therein; one has said and insisted that such a passage meant such a thing, another that it meant directly the contrary, and a third, that it meant neither one nor the other, but something different from both; and this they have called understanding the Bible. It has happened, that all the answers that I have seen to the former part of 'The Age of Reason' have been written by priests: and these pious men, like their predecessors, contend and wrangle, and understand the Bible; each understands it differently, but each understands it best; and they have agreed in nothing but in telling their readers that Thomas Paine understands it not.
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We don't teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don't offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don't teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism. If you want to be fed God's word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.
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The Bible is different because it is the Word of God, by which He speaks to me. Disagreeing with the Bible would be disagreeing with God. So when I read the Bible I want to place myself 'under' it. I want to receive the Scripture in such a way that over time, my thinking, feeling, choosing, believing and behaving will be molded by the Word God is speaking into my life. I don't want to critique the Scriptures; I want them to critique me and change me.
Colin S. Smith
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Such debates [about the nature of Scripture], in my view, distract attention from the real point of what the Bible is there for. Squabbling over particular definitions of the qualities of the Bible is like a married couple squabbling over which of them loves the children more, when they should be getting on with bringing them up and setting them a good example. The Bible is there to enable God's people to be equipped to do God's work in God's world, not to give them an excuse to sit back smugly, knowing they possess all God's truth.
N. T. Wright
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When I grew up in the South, I was taught that segregation was the will of God, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that women were by nature in inferior to men, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that it was okay to hate other religions, and especially the Jews, and the Bible was quoted to prove it.
John Shelby Spong
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There's a way to preach the Bible unbiblically... You can use the Bible as the springboard for all kinds of ideas, can't you? Look around in here and find something that fits your fancy and then launch a rocket off it. People say, 'That was amazing, wasn't it? Remarkable what he got out of that.' Well of course it is because he put it in before he got it out.
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