Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Bible is not a history book

I continue to be amazed by the numbers of people who believe that the Bible, both Hebrew and Christian, is 100% true and the stories in there happened in the fashion that they are described. Now leave out the fact that there are many contridictions, false statements and of course that evidence points to a very different history people still believe. Apologists do mental gymnastics to make their view work, others just say that God is mysterious, some tell us that all the evidence is the work of the devil to move us off the one true story. What they fail to realize is that all text of the Bible we have today are interpretation as we have translated them and added to and deleted things for many generations.

What I can't understand is why one's faith could be so fragile as to need the stories to be true. Why can't we find the truths in a story even if they aren't actual records of fact? I study Bible a lot and the more I read the Hebrew Bible the more I see it as the story of a society trying to find ways to live together as a tribe, despite the diversity of the crowd. Simple rules lead to better interactions between the people, the people and their world and the people and their God. But it was a document created to be reexamined for every generation as it lives in the moment, not in the ancient past.

Now I wish that the literalists would open the book more to learn how to live and less to condemn others, but what can you do. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. It is just when they try to make their beliefs law that bothers me. Abortion, Homosexuality, Evolution, all hot button issues have the literalists out there trying to make their view of the Bible law. This is where I get angry and this is where they must be stopped. We live in a free society. Let us not make it a theocracy.

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