Archive for July, 2015

But What Does the Bible Mean?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Why can’t the bible just mean what it means?

Well, it does. But knowing what the bible means isn’t always quite as simple as it might sound.

My friend Jon Swanson wrote about some words in the book of James. As Jon explains, words often require a bit of digging and wrestling if we want to understand the author’s intended meaning. That’s especially true when the original words were written in a different language to people operating in an ancient cultural context.

For decades, Christian leaders used accepted biblical scholarship to justify slavery. Rather than condemning or dismissing them, perhaps we should ask if we’re missing similar blind spots in our own interpretation.

Too many folks simply accept and repeat what they’re told by “experts.” I’ve discovered it’s possible to find experts with good hearts who honestly disagree. Personally, I’d rather say “I’m not sure” than claim knowledge of a “truth” when I’m uncertain.

The bible does mean what it means. It’s up to you and me to read with an open heart, willing to hear God’s voice even when the message might be uncomfortable.

If nothing ever surprises or challenges me, if it always agrees with my pre-conceived worldview, maybe I need to listen a bit more carefully.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site