Monday, Nov 5, 2018. In what way are you reading the bible? What is your approach? Most people do not read the bible at all - they take their knowledge about its content from others, who teach this or that. Often, it comes from school, or from some contact with the church. But it is very exciting to look into the biblical books - if you can understand, what you read! These stories, words and reports are special, very special indeed.
Thousands of Years …
The bible has grown, from its very beginnings about 3000 years ago, to the time where all the New Testament books have been collected into the shape we know today, about 1700 years ago. Since then, they have been source and inspiration to millions of books and stories and sermons.
Why did all this happen? You can link the bible to human history as a whole. We trace its origins back into the early high cultures of the middle east. The Old Testament reaches back into the time where written history started to evolve.
Yet, in all of this, we find the biblical books talking about life, about goals, about the beginning and the end. It talks about humans, and about God. It talks about what is important for us. It talks about life and death, about justice, about love, about social behaviour. All, what is important to us, yesterday and today and tomorrow. It is just breathtaking!
The bible itself understands its words and stories as words of the living God. They are written by humans, indeed. They are written by prophets, and then by disciples and followers of Christ Jesus. The phrase “God's word in human word” has been shaped. It is meant as a discovery, wondering about the power and strength of what we find here in the biblical books.
Word of the Lord …
The bible wants us to discover its words as God's salvation for us and to us. The apostle Peter writes about this in his letters:
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1, 22ff)
The framework of life Peter talks about is “earnest love from a pure heart” to one another. The invitation of the bible is to a community of humans and God himself, which is characterized by trust, faith and love. Forgiveness and truth is here, in a unique combination. Nothing less is the center of the biblical message, which puts it into context with the full human evolution and development.
Reading the bible makes sense when you want to find God yourself. When you ask him, when you approach him, and when you want to listen. Then, you are truly blessed, since he wants to be found! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts