A Tale Of Two Bible Readers

Two men read the Bible, each in their own place.

The first paid lip service to the whole thing. He praised the Bible, and extolled the importance of believing it all and doing it all. He spoke against homosexuality. He married the woman he raped. He put a great many of the Bible’s details into practice.

The other read the Bible, and felt lost. He had lots of questions. Don’t sow a field with two different kinds of seeds? What is that about? Not permitting a woman to teach? How is that fair? And so he set the Bible aside, and went out and sought to live compassionately.

Which of the two did what the Bible demands?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    The latter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03597613161014861874 Fred H. Anderson

    The latter, obviously.

  • http://www.sophiesladder.com Jeff Carter

    I commend you for trying to get to the heart of what the Bible demands, but if all that it demands is that I live compassionately, I don't need the Bible or Jesus to tell me that.A richer, deeper question is, What does the Gospel demand?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07121072404143877596 Tom Van Dyke

    What question-begging.Matthew 21:28-32 poses the same question honestly. I don't see the need to reformulate it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10828225180668865911 Mystical Seeker

    This reminds me of the famous question that was put to Hillel, if he could summarize the Torah while standing on one leg. His response was a variation on the Golden Rule–what is hateful to yourself, do not do to others, and the rest is commentary.

  • http://abandonallfear.org.uk Lex Fear

    Answer: Neither.The bible demands neither of these things.

  • http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com/ mattdabbs

    I don't think we have enough information to answer that question very well. Did the second guy get who Jesus was and see him as Lord? Or did he just walk away from the Bible, which is designed to produce faith in our lives, and have zero faith in Christ as the Son of God…and yet see compassion as something to model ourselves after.Jesus never said, "Compassion is the way, the truth, the life…"So if we knew what he did with Jesus, then we might be able to make the call a little better. As it stands the scenario is incomplete.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14247799389009268470 James Pate

    Both. Neither (depending on if the first one does the compassion stuff too, but if he's a rapist, I seriously doubt it).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18037406583478493064 Erp

    If I as a lurking infidel might pose a rephrase.Which of the two did what God wants?Which of the two did what fulfills justice and mercy?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11983601793874190779 Steven Carr

    There is no such one thing as 'what the Bible demands'.Roughly what percentage of the American population have read the Bible?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03734930079710820207 Luke

    both are following what they understand the bible to say… one has read it and goes that way. the other didn't understand it and leads a compassionate existence. both are upholding aspects of the bible… but it's impossible to uphold the whole.great quandry! there is really no right answer!

  • Gail

    Brilliant! Wish I'd had your parable to read aloud at my recent Synod Assembly.(Though most would not ever have heard the 'married the woman he raped' reference.)

  • benjdm

    Well, the Bible contradicts itself in its demands, so you can't do 'what the Bible demands.' I would have to say the former does more of what the Bible demands.(shrug)


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