What’s Behind The Story?

2 Timothy 3:15-17
(NIV)
From
infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for
salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Image courtesy of morguefile.com

What is the Bible? 
Does it have authority or is it simply moral guidelines?  Are we supposed to believe every story really
happened?  Did any of the events recorded really happen?  What do you think?
I believe God used humans to craft the Bible.  He inspired the writers and committee of decision
makers to compile a library of books that reveals God’s love and plan for
humanity.  Phew!  God used people to deliver His message. The
common thread from start to finish is that this
God
is uniquely different from any other god in that He loves us, wants the
best for us and has always had a plan for spending eternity in relationship
with us.  God is for us and with us.
So, what about the stories? 
I believe the stories in the Bible are primarily about the message, the
big picture, the meaning rather than the facts. 
Early stories that were retold around campfires for generations are
meant to reveal God’s character more than document actual events.  They explain why and not so much how.  I have much more confidence in the details of
later stories for which there were eye witnesses alive while the stories were
circulating. 
For all of the writings, our goal is to discern God’s
intended message.  I’m fascinated by a
series Rob Bell is writing about the Bible that can be found on his Facebook
page.  Bell asks these questions:  Why did the ancient people find it important
to tell this story?  What was it that
moved them to record these words?  What
was happening in the world at that time? 
What does this story tell us about how the original audience understood
who they were and who God is?  What’s
developing in the world that caused these people to think the story was worth
telling?
These are great questions that have deepened my
understanding of some familiar Bible stories.

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