The Bible as a Source of Wisdom

15 Apr


What if God was one of us

Just a slob like one of us

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make his way home

— from “One of Us, written by Eric Bazilian

This month’s syncroblog is “what if” – what if some or all of the Bible narrative is not really history, but more of a myth.  How would this affect you or the larger church? Would it change you and how you view the world? (See the end of this post for other authors on this subject.)

The answer to the last question is a resounding “No” because I already believe some of the Bible narrative is not history, but creative story telling.

Before I thought of myself as a follower of Jesus, I did not know much about the Bible. I was brought up Roman Catholic, and we did not study the Bible. When I tried a class at seminary in the New Testament as a “special student” (i.e., non-degree seeking), I found myself way over my head at the very first class. The professor said something about someone going to heaven in a chariot, and two-thirds of the class yelled out this person’s name. The only chariot I could think of was the one in “Ben Hur,” and the only person I could think of was Charlton Heston. I may have not known much about the Bible, but I knew the answer was not Charlton Heston!

The more I read and studied the Bible and the history concurrent with its writing, the more I became convinced that there was some holy inspiration in the compilation of this book. Some of the stories are not original; the creation story, for example. While there were certainly multiple voices, everything fit together too well for it to be a random bunch of stories that some guys decided would become canon. While there are inconsistencies consistent with different author’s telling of a particular tale, there are also portions of the text that have been confirmed by archaeological evidence.

What would the world be like if everyone took the Bible, not literally, but as a guide? While it is proclaimed, I do not know anyone who faithfully carries out everything in the Bible to the letter, which a literal interpretation demands. In between literal, inerrant, directly God-given text and viewing the entire publication as fiction, there is a great deal of room. What if we could all have our view of what exactly the Bible is and is not, and do so without insulting, disparaging, or belittling those who do not believe what we do? What if we settled on believing we are called to love one another, leave the world better than we found it, and do no harm? That is not only simplistic; it is difficult to live out.

Other blogs on this topic:

13 Responses to “The Bible as a Source of Wisdom”

  1. Glenn April 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Thanks for you contribution to this month’s topic. My post came in a little late. Here it is:

    • damannwrite April 23, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks for contributing, Glenn. I look forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.

  2. Glenn April 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks for your contribution to this month’s topic. My post came in a little late, but here it is:

  3. Chris Jefferies April 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Bravo! You and I are in close agreement, I think. My post also points out the importance of not letting our different understandings get in the way of loving and accepting one another.

    Thanks so much for posting this, Doreen.

    • damannwrite April 23, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks, Chris. I am looking forward to keeping up with your blog.

  4. Liz April 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Doreen – It sounds like you and I have some similar thoughts. Thanks for participating in the synchroblog. I added my link late. Here is my info if you want to add it to the list:

    Penultimate Truth

    • damannwrite April 23, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Hi Liz. I think more people have similar thoughts than we realize, but may be in situations where they do not feel safe to express these thoughts. Nice to “meet” you via the blogs.

  5. Jeremy Myers April 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I love how you frame the question, and there at the end, talk about using the Bible as a guide, even if we don’t all agree on which parts are “literal” and which parts are not.

    So true. It seems the question, “Did it actually happen?” might be secondary to “Whether it happened or not, how can it guide my life?” All of us Christians would be better off if we focused on the second question more than the first.

    Thanks for contributing this month!

    • damannwrite April 23, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      Thanks, Jeremy. Nice to “meet” you via the synchroblog.


  1. What if the Bible is A Myth? | Till He Comes - May 14, 2013

    […] damannwrite – The Bible As A Source of Wisdom […]

  2. Myths in the Bible: So What? | Glenn Hager - April 17, 2013

    […] damannwrite – The Bible As A Source of Wisdom […]

  3. Penultimate Truth | Grace Rules Weblog - April 17, 2013

    […] Doreen A Mannion – The Bible As A Source of Wisdom […]

  4. April Synchroblog Link List – What If … ? | synchroblog - April 17, 2013

    […] damannwrite – The Bible As A Source of Wisdom […]

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