Hank Jensen
by on September 2, 2021
Reposted from Bible-Brain

What does the Bible mean to you? There is something very wrong with the previous sentence. Two little words change the meaning quite radically. I asked "What does the Bible mean to you?" By adding those two little words, I have effectively given you permission to make up your own beliefs and put them into the Bible. In reality, the Bible means what it says. Therefore, the better question is "what does the Bible mean?" What the Bible means to me, from an objective standpoint, is what the Bible also means to you.

Observant followers of this ministry will notice that the header images usually contain a word-for-word Bible quotation. It's rare for me to alter a verse beyond emphasising certain words. This article is an exception. Obviously, I have altered the verse as a sarcastic jab at those who say "I don't disagree with God, I disagree with your interpretation". This is very common in today's society. "What does the Bible mean to you" has lead to many a twisted philosophy. People do come up with their own beliefs, then superimpose these upon the Bible. Anyone who then uses the Bible to show this error is told "that's just your interpretation".

My twisted and sarcastic verse from the "Modern Liberal Translation" is labelled as Mark 7:9-10. This is quite deliberate, as searching for Mark 7:9-10 in a real Bible will take you to the following quotation: "He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’" (NKJV).

In the real version, Jesus is pitting man's word against God's word. The Pharisees are upset, because Jesus' Apostles do not follow their traditions (i.e. their interpretation), and so Jesus rebukes them. Notice His strategy. He doesn't tell them "that's just your interpretation". He tells them quite explicitly that they reject the commandment of God in favour of their tradition. Then, He quotes God's word. He quotes it as if it is supposed to be self explanatory. And this is far from the only example. In fact, time and time again, we see Jesus almost mocking the Pharisees. "Have you not read? Have you not read? Have you not read?" Of course they read. That was literally their job. They even had large portions of it memorised in ways most people today can scarcely imagine. Here's me, having read Genesis 1 probably 100 times, yet I still have to go to Bible Gateway to look up a specific verse. These people could quote half of Deuteronomy without having to open a scroll.

And yet Jesus simply tells them "you don't obey what's in those scrolls". When it came to the Sadducees, He even went so far as to say they do not know the scriptures (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24). When it comes to the Bible, we're not just talking about random squiggly lines on the remains of a dead tree. We're talking about words, much like you are reading right now. The scriptures have meaning, and it is a meaning we are intended to draw out, not force in. When the Bible says "thou shalt not", we are not supposed to understand this as "thou mayest, for God careth not". When the Bible says "thou shalt", this isn't a creative suggestion, this is something God very much wants you to do. Every theological belief you ought to hold is found within the pages of scripture. False teachings are also addressed in scripture, sometimes even very explicitly, and we are supposed to cast those aside.

Writing is the closest thing to telepathy we have. Its purpose, of course, is to transfer a thought from one mind to another. When I wrote this post, I wanted you to understand how the Bible works. It's not an invitation to a birthday party, a recipe for a cake, or a short story about a pink sparkling dragon. God is a far greater communicator than I will ever be, and He makes His intentions for the scriptures quite clear. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. And that, my brethren, is a real Biblical quote. It's in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Therefore, God intends us to use scripture for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. He does not intend for us to make up our own religions and just borrow His book as justification for it. Let us therefore drop this silly bickering over interpretations and instead seek to come to the interpretation that was intended. Not all interpretations are equal, so let us stop pretending they are.

Posted in: MORALITY
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