• Is it a handbook for Jews and Christians?
• Is it a layout of God's plan for humankind?
• Is it a rule book?
I guess my answer will not make me popular.
Dr. Billy Graham writes in the forward to Dr Henrietta Mears' famous book, What the Bible is all about:
Millions of people today are searching for a reliable voice of authority. The Word of God is the only authority we have. It sheds light on human nature, , world problems and human suffering. But beyond that it clearly reveals the way to God through Jesus Christ.
I wouldn't want to argue with that. I just made a discovery of my own though.
I endeavour to read the Bible every year and last year I tried to do it in The Message. It's taking a lot longer than normal because there's a lot of in-text elaboration.
That aside, one thing has bothered me. Yes, the will of God is there. The authority is there. The wisdom and the worship are there, but something this last year has really stuck out.
It reads like someone tried to cram as many pompous jackasses as possible in between two leather covers. There are hundreds of them. Upstarts, social climbers, johnny-come-latelies, and arrivistes. Pompous to the max, one and all.
(adjective) affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important: a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything.
It starts on page 2 and gets worse: Eve, Adam, Cain, Nimrod, Noah after the flood, Abraham lying about his 'sister', Lot and his wife as fools, Isaac as a goose, Jacob as a cheat, Joseph as a braggadocious little pain, his brothers as adults, Moses before his call out, Pharaoh, the Israelite leaders in the wilderness, the spies in Caanan, the settlers mixing with the Baalites, the false prophets, King Saul, King David, King Solomon, his son Rehoboam and his ex-captain Jereboam, Assyrian Kings, more stupid Israelite and Judaic kings, Nebuchanezzar ... I'm tired already and I haven't got to the Pharisees, the Saducees, the dumb disciples and the squabblers in the early churches.
What IS the Bible all about then?
Just for now, for this week while I think about it, it's about the folly of arrogance, it's about the daftness of opinions, it's about the pointlessness of being pompous. It's about submission to God in all humility and abandonment to our own importance (as we've assessed it to be in our own pomposity.)
There's something to chew on over Easter.
To infinity and beyond.
Live long and prosper.Colin Pearce