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What is the Bible? Why do we say it's God's Word? How did we get it? What makes it so special?
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Why didn't God write the Bible himself?

Postby Enigma » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:10 pm

If God really wanted to convey a set of laws in a book, why doesn't He personally write a Bible that clarifies what He means (e. g. - homosexuality is sinful, but not worth of the death penalty) rather than leave it up to human prophets? The fact that among the most pious of men there still exists debate as to the meaning of the Bible implies that it really is pretty ambiguous...

Re: Why didn't God write the Bible himself?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:05 pm

First of all, what God really wanted to convey is the revelation of himself. The Bible is first and foremost a conveyor of the person and nature of God, not a set of laws.

The Bible, at its core, is a contract. It reveals the party of the first part (God), who he is and how to relate to him. It reveals the party of the second part (humanity), who they are, why they are the way they are, and how they can best relate to the God who made them. Then it gives the consequences for compliance and those for defiance.

Consequently, the "set of laws" are a declaration of who God is and how humans are to relate to him. The most important characteristic of the Torah is not as a judicial tool for society but as a revelation of the character of God (1 Pet. 1.13-15).

God wanted to tell His people that they should have certain attitudes, so as to conform to God's own nature and behavior. He did that by commanding actions (the law) with the idea that they would see the attitudes behind them.

Why didn't he personally write a Bible? You mean, golden tablets drifting down from heaven or found laying on the lawn? Or golden tablets delivered by an angel to all humanity? That God chose to use humans in his revelation of Scripture is both an honor and a conundrum. It makes his revelation simultaneously both approachable and questionable (by those who aren't convinced the best way for God to communicate). Frankly, I think even golden tablets found on the lawn would be doubted by those who wouldn't be convinced a person didn't do it.

> The fact that among the most pious of men there still exists debate as to the meaning of the Bible implies that it really is pretty ambiguous

We all know about communication theory. There is (A) the messenger, (B) the message, and (C) the receiver. Any communication, any time, no matter what and in what form, is subject to the interpretation of the receiver. It's the nature of all communication. For you ask that a communication be delivered to us that was impervious to interpretation is not only impractical but impossible. Instead, we put our collective minds together, throughout the ages, and across cultures, and interpret as accurately as we can. That there are differences can be enriching as much as problematic. Differences can motivate us to see from other than our own perspective or our own enculturation. The U.S. Constitution is a document with great authority, but it still must be interpreted. The law can be affirmed, but it still must be interpreted. Even scientific information must be interpreted. History must be interpreted. News must be interpreted. The fact that the Bible also must be interpreted is not a weakness. Every human interprets every piece of communication that ever comes to him/her, no matter what it is or what its source.

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