The bible

Yes, yes, I know- doubtful historicity, God appearing vengeful and not very nice at all, and all that Doctrine and Heresy-finding and oppression and war-

And. If you take a verse and make it your own, the Bible is the pure Spirit of Life, the Uisge Beathe, the Vodka. My first was from Genesis chapter one: “God saw what God had made, and behold, it was very good”. Indeed. Very good. That is me. That is you.

And sometimes it helps to see it as descriptive rather than prescriptive. For example, God visiting the sins of the fathers on the children unto the tenth generation. If that is God being vengeful, making a decision, then he is horrible and I want nothing to do with him. If it is just a description, well, it is how it is.

They who have ears to hear, Hear! And we do, more and more of us all the time.

What of the Broad and Narrow way? That has been used for two thousand years by people who sing,

I am Right.
You can be too
If you see everything
as I do

Jesus can get twisted and misunderstood, and I think the story of the broad and narrow way is ripe for this, used by heresy-hunters for centuries to claim that they are blessed and everyone who disagrees is damned. But what if the Broad Way is just the fashion, the norm, and if you follow it you destroy yourself: and the narrow way is to be entirely and idiosyncratically You, like no-one else, a path for you alone. That would be narrow, and would just fit you, be right for you. It is striking that good arguments may be made for two separate interpretations of one Jesus saying, which have opposite meanings.

Notes

The saying is in Matthew 7:13-14. NRSV:  “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  I think, perhaps, more are finding it now.

5 thoughts on “The bible

  1. The I am right . You can be too thing is a human trait.

    I am a practicing Christian . One of my favourite hymns is Bernadette Devlin’s “O God, You Search Me”, taken from psalm 139, especially the last verse which inevitably brings me to tears.

    “For You created me and shaped me,
    Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
    For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
    Safe in your hands, all creation is made new”

    Like

    • Welcome Duncan. Try the Gospel of Thomas for some wonderful chewy quotes to contemplate. Or the Jesus Seminar have attempted to reconstruct what Jesus said, and suggest what words attributed to him he did not actually say. I like the lyric.

      Like

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