September 04, 2011

Please Comment

I am asking for comments re: "The Bible is/isn't worth studying because..."

Partially this is because I don't get a lot of comments here-- and partially it's because I wonder from time to time myself: Not really buying any of the answers I've heard, why do I find this worthwhile?

5 Comments:

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

To me, the Bible is worth studying not only for a deeper understanding of God, but also because sometimes God uses it to speak directly and clearly to me. Sorry, this is just a quick off the cuff answer.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Okay... but I used to use the I Ching that way. Quite aside from how I'd sometimes misinterpret what it was saying about outcomes... there were many lines in there which really did&do sound like How Things Are. But I'm not studying the Ching.

I feel like there is a message we're supposed to adsorb from there... but it isn't necessarily what the text is insisting. A lot of the time, that text is obviously what some crazy human expected, wrongly as it turned out. Prophecies conditional on people acting one way, except they did something else. Instructions attributed to God that sound a whole lot like "Pay no attention to that priest behind the curtain." And yet...

 
At 12:45 AM, Blogger Random Arrow said...

“There’s nothing not to know,” I recently told a client. Desperate. Asking advice to do an obvious right. Scared of the costs. It just burst out of me. Unexpectedly came up. Deliberately went out.

The Bible is my friend that way. Saying hard truths. Or kind. By bursts. I can read for days and wonder why I experience dry spells. I don’t know why.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger forrest said...

Good to have you back! (I know, you said you were/would be a busy person, but not only is it hard to find people who get into this; but what you say usually helps.)

"Hard truths. Or kind." Sometimes, but I think I find those lots of places. Even the Arnold Lobel books I used to read to my kid (which turned out to owe a lot to the Talmud, I found out later!)

Definitely a hunger for truths-- hard ones or kind ones-- involved. When I can believe a writer isn't just bubbling out babble, that there might be something in his/her book I need to know...

I'm not sure what this is, here. I've read every word in this attributed to Jesus-- and some of them were obviously heavy as a gold blackjack, others just as strongly tasting of corroded lead pipes intervening... But the story we have of Jesus' life doesn't make much overall sense: First he did this, then he did that, etc. That culture is alien... while like ours in disturbing ways. Where does he fit in, what does he fit into? So I guess I'm wanting to find my way into that question...

And one thing I continue to wonder, why is it so hard to recruit people to this? Just an uncongenial form of what they're doing elsewhere? Or lots of overall indifference: "Would everyone who's not here please tell us why you aren't?"

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Random Arrow said...

More about the worth of study. This came to me strongly. After I posted and went to bed. One thing in the scripture has stayed constant over time – “a time for everything.” That chapter. Always has meaning. It’s not hit or miss. I can turn to that one anytime. Always alive. For years.

Much of the rest – “obviously heavy as a gold blackjack, others just as strongly tasting of corroded lead pipes intervening...” Yes.

I don't want to ‘save’ the Bible. Save the Bible by forcing it to be worthwhile. Well, I'm lying. Sure, sometimes I feel that way. It’s boring. Or violent. Full of garbage that I could read in "Inquirer" or in a graphic novel porn comic book. In moments when I try to ‘save’ the Bible, then I have a usual gimmick. I read Ecc. 3 back into the parts that don’t make sense That helps a little. But, it’s a misleading trick. Maybe wrong too. Sure, Ecclesiastes 3 can be applied to try and make sense of acts attributed to God or crazy acts of prophets that make no sense. “Must have been the ‘time’ for the prophet to get slugged in the mouth. Must have been the ‘time’ for the other prophets to hide in a cave.” I do this to save Jesus too – “must have been the ‘time’ to Lion-rip-roar in the Temple.” A fake technique. Even if it’s true! It’s still just me trying to ‘save’ the Bible.

It’s still true (I say) – “there’s a time for everything.” That’s how I truly feel. I don’t want to impose this on anyone else as a normative thing. I feel it. I sense it. I agree. This ethic cuts across some Quaker commitments. And it cuts against lots of ethics in other denominations too. It’s not quite situation ethics. But, when I quit using this gimmick to ‘save’ the Bible and I just let that truth be truth – “a time for everything” - then I’m not manipulating my mind to save the Bible. I’m free to see the, “time.” I don’t always see it. I still have more unanswered than answered questions about the Bible. Questions about my life and times too.

One question is why more people do not join in?

One thing – there are some people from my place – real people in real life – who I’m not sure I want here :))). My bias.

Maybe this kind of study is what they need? What do I know?

 

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