I think I have let it be known that I view the Bible as a history book of the early period of Christianity. As such maybe it needs to be updated from time to time? New chapters need to be written and old ones modified to more accurately reflect information found.
The Bible was put together about 400 years after the death of Jesus. It was primarily assembled under the oversight of a Roman Emperor who intended to use it as a guide for his kingdom. It contained several of the ancient documents found at the time but by no means all of them. Some of the ancient documents just didn’t seem to align with what the emperor wanted. There was and continues to be today questions about the authorship of many of the established documents. It is now generally accepted that many of the people given credit for the authorship of the various documents didn’t really write them but instead they were written by the people who were inspired by those early Christians. Anyone who cares to look at the bible with critical analysis techniques sees these inconsistencies. There is nothing wrong with that as they, as with any human endeavour, are not perfect.
There are some who seem to believe that after the Bible was assembled God no longer had anything to say to us. My Quaker friends totally reject this idea and so do I. God teaches me new things on a daily basis it seems. The Bible was only the beginning of that wisdom transfer.
Wouldn’t it have been interesting if every four hundred year a biblical council such as the one in fifth century were to have been convened to add additional documents and maybe correct some things in previous versions? I guess in a way that is what Roman Catholics say is the Pope’s job. He keeps God’s word relevant for the times. I personally doubt that this can be accomplished via a single human being. even with a massive hierarchy.
The biggest change to the church came from the Protestant Reformation five hundred years ago. Since that time we have gone from a handful of Christian organizations to literally tens of thousands. Every time a church body has any serious conflict their answer it is to split into another version of Christianity and then claim they are the only ones who have it right. Another major problem I perceive with the Protestant variety is that they tend to fixate on rules set down by Paul instead of the stories and lessons of Jesus. Let’s just face it head on, the church Jesus founded morphed into something that even he would not recognize. But that is another post…
4 thoughts on “The Bible As A History Book..”
Such rational thinking…many good points, but today rational thinking has gone by the wayside…
Oh Mary, are you telling me that I am outdated?? 🙂
To the 20% who are irrational Trumspters that might be true. But I hold out hope that for the other 80% it is just temporary insanity…
Just for the sake of argument what would you expect to happen if the new church council were to add documents or “correct” existing information. What would you expect to change if that were to happen. How would you judge if the changes were actually a correction of the current version or something totally new [and wrong]?
Some interesting thought there Bob, thanks for bringing it up.
Of course this is all speculation, but I kind of look at is in a similar way our constitution is changed. We have changed it 25 times in the 240 years of its existence. Each change is well documented so everyone knows why each change was done. But even these changes, particularly the 2nd one is still in dispute today. 25 changes in 240 years, what would once every 400 years do? I suspect there were a lot of notes made when the bible was formed but of course they are all lost to time as well as the actual document they formed. We know we at best only currently have a copy of a copy of the original.
I know Catholics don’t put as much weight in the Bible as Protestants do and they freely admit that much of the original bible is made up of myth. To me that should be a standard view. The bible is a starting point in faith. It was never meant to be the FINAL say on anything.
I outlined the view in the post as a “what if”, but given that we are now 35,000+ different organization who call themselves Christians it would probably be impossible now to even attempt updating the bible. Most of the splits are over interpretation of the words of that document. So, as you kind of insinuate, this is probably not possible now. We currently have at least a half a dozen different versions of the bible that in places say very different things. Even to reconcile the existing versions is an impossible task. I just wish all the world’s religions would simply agree to disagree and coexist with one another and to quit shouting they are the only ones who have it right. That would be a gigantic step toward world peace in the 21st century.
Thanks again for the thoughts.