Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Bible and Last Sunday's Visit With My Grandparents

Last Sunday I was over visiting my grandparents (My mom's parents) and we got on the subject of gay marriage. Of course the conversation then moved to God and the Bible. The conversation was short. And to close it I repeated a statement that my grandmother (My dad's mom) was fond of saying when she was alive: The Bible was written by the hand of man, so I don't trust it. My grandpa smiled at me and said she was right.

I have never read the bible cover to cover. I've only read bits and pieces, usually opening it up when it has been quoted by an author that I'm reading at the time. Anyway, while reading James Hillman's biography this morning I ran across this quote by his grandfather. He was a Jewish rabbi during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"We recognize the truth in every religion...We discard the belief that the Bible was written by God, or by man under the immediate dictation of God, and that its teachings are therefore infallible and binding upon all men and all ages... it is the work of man and shares all the faults that characterize the religious writings of bygone ages; its self-evident contradictions, its conflicts with the indisputable facts of science, show conclusively the human and the primitive human mind." [Joseph Krauskopf, Page 66, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman]

A hundred years later his grandson went on to write in A Terrible Love of War (A book I highly recommend):

"To consider the events in the Bible as legends, myths, and stories, or as exemplary lessons for learning life's truths, opens the mind to imaginative speculation, shaking belief in the Bible's revelation of the true words of its God."--James Hillman, A Terrible Love of War

In other words, don't take it literally. I've heard Robert Bly say that angry people have forgotten how to think metaphorically.

There it is, a blog post by 8:30 AM. Now it's time to get a bite to eat, then go out and dig some fence posts in bone-dry, sandy soil. We desperately need a good rain. We haven't had a notable amount of rainfall since late June or early July I believe.

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