Monday, 3 May 2010

What is the Bible?

Reading the comments on this post I was challenged to describe what the Bible is for me.  It is most definitely focussed on the Gospels, with the other books being there as support material, and if there is conflict between what the Gospels say and what another part of the Bible says then I will support the Gospels.

I once heard a vicar joke that St Peter founded the Catholic faith and St Paul the Protestant one!  However there appears to be a certain degree of truth to this.  I am always surprised when people give their favourite Bible passages as coming from anywhere other than the Gospels (Church Times back page interview for example) and wish that I was more surprised when I heard that at one theological college the students needed little teaching about Paul, but more about the Gospels!

For me the thing about the Gospels is their counter cultural nature, and the fact that striving to live them is counter intuitive (loving enemies, not worrying about the future, forgiving those who wrong you).  If you read the Jesus Seminar view on the authentic sayings of Jesus then most of them would fall into this category.  And yet attempting to live them brings "life in all its fullness" (John 10:10 Good News Bible).

One of the criteria that they use of course is whether the saying would have been expected or would have been a later embarrassment to the early Christians and this helps me to believe that at least those things are genuine sayings.  There is of course a certain circularity in the argument - the bits which are genuine are the bits which are counter cultural because they are counter cultural!  But the fact that living them changes my life is enough for me.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely base most of my Christian thinking - and I hope as much as possible of my actions on the gospels. I agree with the idea that they should be given most weight, especially if other sections conflict with them.



Related Posts with Thumbnails