The Bible (always a dangerous topic)
"They must find it difficult ... those who have accepted authority as the Truth, rather than Truth as the authority."
- Gerald Massey
You are entitled to opinion, as am I. This is a dangerous topic and I choose to handle it delicately. If you have no interest in reading this, then move on without condemning this view. If you are looking, and are curious as to other perspectives, then read on.
The infallible word of God, or a collection of guidelines for and from an ancient civilization who believed they had heard from God Almighty? Can we find within it's pages; Truth ... and untruth? Allegory, or literal history? Did the events happen ... or DO they happen?
According to research, there are over 150,000 variant readings (interpretations) of the Bible. And, in multiple languages. This is a nice way of saying that within the Bible there are many errors. Now I know that most people who believe the Bible to be the word of God also believe it to be without error ... "infallible (incapable of making mistakes or being wrong)" or inerrant (incapable of being wrong)"... however, that just is not possible. You can ignore this fact if you choose to, but that doesn't make you right. There are errors ... and in every language. People have been burned in oil or at the stake for saying this, but it is now 2013, and we have learned much.
For example, Galileo was put on trial at Inquisition headquarters in Rome. At the hands of the Roman Catholic Church, following mounting controversy over theology, astronomy and philosophy, the Roman Inquisition tried Galileo in 1633 and found him "gravely suspect of heresy", sentencing him to indefinite imprisonment. This was subsequently commuted to house arrest, under which he remained for the rest of his life. This, for his belief that the earth revolves around the sun. Yet the Bible tells us that the Earth was fixed and unmoving, even that the sun stood still. Of course now, we know the Truth.
If you take the stories and instructions contained within the pages as allegory and myth, then there is great Wisdom contained within. Wisdom that can be applied everyday by anyone living now, in 2013. These great records of Wisdom date back to ancient Egypt and were learned by the compilers of the Bible through ancient mystery schools, and interaction with other civilizations and their belief systems.
But ... if you take it only as literal history, there are problems. Many of these things never happened historically. The crossing of the Red Sea, captivity in Egypt, wandering in the desert wilderness for 40 years, Moses on the mountain, the great flood of Noah, etc. All of these stories carry a deeper inner meaning that is allegorical to events that must take place within each and every person. Our own crossing over, our own crucifixion, our own resurrection, our own Christ being raised out of the ignorance of our animal nature.
For example, if taken literally: In Genesis - God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah’s family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history. In Leviticus - As a punishment, the Lord will cause people to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and fathers and friends.
These are allegory ... dealing with our thoughts and condition. These stories point the way to understanding we are Spirit having a physical experience in the here and now. We are not the body. We are the Witness ... the Observer ... the Experiencer ... the one you are looking for is the one who is looking!
I mean no harm to your beliefs, however ... if you follow christianity ... there are much deeper teachings that actually led to the development of Christianity from earlier civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Sumeria, Persia, Asia, India, and Mesopotamia. The very foundation of all world religions ties them all together ... after you remove the opinions of angry scribes and lawmakers.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.