We see and hear them every day. Little quotes of Bible verses lifted out of context from a complete text somewhere. Or just little quotes that we THINK are from a Bible text somewhere but really aren’t and have nothing to do with good theology at all. Sometimes they actually go against plain texts. Things like, Everything happens for a reason, One door closes so another will open, God wants you happy, God wants you rich, and on and on with the bumper sticker quotes. Verses quoted are always the kind to make one feel all warm and fuzzy inside but never will you see one that is “judgmental” or what we think of as “negative.” We cannot allow any negative thoughts!! Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! That’s another one applied to everything from lifting weights to being able to jump off a skyscraper and fly. Nothing negative, ever! Never! Funny how the Bible “verses” chosen are only the happy ones.
The Bible is a collection of ancient Jewish texts, collections written by Jews for and about their heritage. You can read more on it in many books written and articles online. This is a simple way of saying it but it is more involved. They need to be looked at and studied like any other ancient texts. Think of stories or narratives then you will get the idea. The ancients loved telling stories much like we do today!
Whether one is religious or not isn’t the point here at all. It is about being responsible and actually thinking about what we are doing.
So here is a blog post I ran across this morning and I think the author nails the idea of how we have ruined the Bible. If we did this with any other ancient texts we would be acting crazily! So read it if you are so inclined and take what he says seriously. As always I welcome comments and discussion!!
While you are at it go order Sam Tsang’s book, Right Texts, Wrong Meanings. Learn how to look at texts the right way. :)