Click on the link below for audio version
The Scripture that we call the Holy Bible is the best selling book on the planet. Why has this book, revered by Jew, Christian and Muslim alike, captured the attention of much of humankind?
Is the Bible a book of literal fact, handed down from God on High? Or is it a wonderful rule and guide for our lives, a book of spiritual wisdom? However you read the Bible; we can all agree that it is one of the most powerful books ever written. Its influence is global.
Let’s define what the Bible is and is not. First it is an anthology, not a purpose written book. There are hundreds of authors of the Bible, which was written over 1500 years. The Old Testament and the New Testament are not even from the same religion. The OT and the NT are the two main divisions of the Bible and they often totally contradict each other. “Eye for an Eye” in the OT and “turn the other cheek” in the NT. Which to follow?
The OT is the Jewish Scripture, including the Torah (first 5 Books) which is the word of God handed down to Moses according to Jewish tradition and belief. The later Old Testament books detail the Mosaic Law, early Jewish History and the later prophets. There is nothing of Christianity in the Old Testament because it had not yet been invented!
The NT is a totally Christian document written by Jews who became the adherents and followers of Jesus of Nazareth and his sect of Judaism called “The Way”. This may surprise some readers but Jesus was not a Christian, in fact he never heard of Christianity. He was born a Jew, ordained a Jewish Rabbi, lived and died a Jew. He never sought to begin a new religion but rather to reform Judaism, which had become stiff, rigid and legalistic.
Jesus’ ministry was to humanize Judaism by adding love, mercy and tolerance to what had become by 30AD a harsh jot and tittle religion of High Priests and their legal scholars. His ministry was to throw open the doors of Judaism and let the fresh air of love and light rejuvenate a noble and ancient religion.
Saul of Tarsus, the man that we call Paul, is credited with virtually inventing Christianity, as we understand it. This may give him a tad too much credit but it is true that fully 58% of the New Testament is believed to have been authored by Paul. He took The Way, a sect of Judaism, and turned it into a totally new religion designed to appeal to the gentiles (non-Jews) from all over the Roman Empire.
To say that he was fabulously successful is an understatement. His stamp is all over every aspect of Christianity, sin debt and the Redemption of mankind, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Deity of Jesus, the establishment of the Churches….all these were Pauline ideas.
It is safe to say that without Paul there would have been no Christianity.
So is the Bible the inerrant (without error) Word of God? The facts do not support this conclusion but belief is stronger than evidence for many people. Personally, I believe that human beings have deep spiritual experiences that are soul deep and often write of these encounters with the Infinite. Holy Scriptures around the world are therefore records of deep soul experiences by human beings experiencing the Divine.
God is not an author but a creator of the most magnificent creatures ever conceived…..you and I. We write of Divine encounters, of world’s never known, of things thought impossible and then we make them real. Surely we are made from the very stuff of God to do this. That is what makes the Holy Bible holy; that human beings, fallible yes, but touched by the Spirit wrote such a wonderful spiritual guide.
The Bible and all scripture are the Great Lights of the World. They are not to be taken as history or fact but understood as moral guides and spiritual food. Humankind would be the poorer without these wonderful records of the interaction of Spirit and humanity.
Use Scripture wisely and for love, never for hatred and destruction because such ideas are never from God. Too many people in our era do their evil under the cover of one Scripture or another. God never sanctions the murder of anyone, especially a child. God never wishes one religion to rule the world…if He or She had wished this, there would be only one religion. God is love, never hate, God is plenty, never want, God is joy, never sorrow, God is creation, never destruction.
Your Mind is the Mind of God, Your heart is the Heart of God, your Love is the Love of God…….God and You are One!
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota Florida
Until we are together again check out my 125 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore and log on to CSL.org to find out more about the Science of Mind and Religion Science. You will feel like you have come home at last.