When it comes to the Bible, many Christians are sincerely confused. They’ve been told that the Bible is “God-breathed” and “Infallible” by their Pastors, and that it contains no errors, contradictions or mistakes of any kind.
Worse yet, many of them have been told that if the Bible is wrong about anything, it’s wrong about everything and the entire thing should be thrown out.
Sadly, all of this has set many Christians up for a fall.
All it takes, then, is for someone to point out an error or a contradiction and suddenly their faith in God is forever shattered.
But all of this is completely unnecessary and avoidable. The Bible is not a perfect book. It was not written by God, it was written by men, many of whom did not share the same perspectives about who God was and what God was like.
For Evangelical Protestants in America, this fact is very uncomfortable. Most Jewish scholars freely admit that their Hebrew Bible is a collection of varied opinions and perspectives on God and His nature. They are comfortable with the dialog, and the mystery, that these varied voices bring to the table for us to consider.
American Christians are most certainly NOT comfortable with mystery. We don’t want mystery, we want facts. We demand answers. We insist upon having the most exact and accurate information about God possible. Everything is either Black or White, when it comes to God and the Bible. There is no room for any shade of gray.
One way to solve this problem, as I see it, is to allow Jesus to lead us to clarity whenever there is a question or a difficult conception of God in our Holy Bible.
After all, the “Word of God” is not a book, it’s a person. That’s what the Bible tells us, anyway. The term is always used to refer to Christ, the person or sometimes, alternately, to the Gospel message itself which has the power to transform us into the image of Christ.
This “Jesus-Centric” perspective is heavily suggested by Jesus himself when he says that “no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” [Mt. 11:27]
It is also heavily suggested by the Gospel of John which not only affirms that the Word was made flesh and came to dwell among us, but that this same “Word made flesh” was the only man who has ever seen God at any time, and that revealing God to us was one of the main reasons the Word became flesh in the first place. [See John 1:18]
The Apostle Paul also affirms this, saying that Jesus is the image of the invisible God [Col. 1:15], and “the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way” [Eph. 1:23].
The author of Hebrews even goes so far to stress that in these last days, God has spoken to us by His son” who is “the exact representation of His being” [Hebrews 1].
Simply put, if you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father [John 14:9] and without Christ you and I are blinded by a veil when we try to read the Old Covenant Scriptures because the only thing that removes this veil is Christ [2 Cor. 3:14].
This is why I wrote my latest book, “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible“, because I’ve started to notice how many Christians these days seem to be reading the Bible with a veil over their eyes, as if Jesus had never come and never illuminated those Old Covenant scriptures for us so we can clearly see who God is and what God is like.
In other words, Jesus is what God looks like. If we fail to see this, then we are blinded to the light of the Gospel itself and we fail to see that Christ is the truest image of God we could ever have.
The Word of God is a person, not a book. That book, the Bible, points us not to itself but to the actual Word of God who is Christ.
If we read the Bible and fail to come to Christ, then we have misused the Bible and missed the entire point of it.
It is a roadmap that points us to Life incarnate. It does not contain life in itself. Jesus said so:
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to ME that you may have life.” [John 5:39-40]
The Bible points us to the Word of God, but it does not contain Him. The Word of God is alive, and longs for you to know Him in a deeper way than you ever thought possible.
Don’t fall in love with the map. Follow the map to your ultimate destination. He is waiting for you with arms open wide.
Keith Giles is the author of several books, including “Jesus Unbound: How the Bible Keeps Us From Hearing the Word of God”, available now on Amazon.
He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.
Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.
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