Did Jesus come so that we may have the New Testament? Did God enter into Israel’s history so that we may have the the Old Testament? I’m thinking ‘No’ on both counts.
Those questions may not make total sense; they just popped into my head and I haven’t spent much time thinking about them, but I thought they were interesting enough to post. I can’t quite explain them yet?it’s still very much an internal, ‘feeling’ thing?but these questions have to do with the place we give the Bible. I suppose that they’re in a way related to this post.
UPDATE: There appears to be some confusion as to why I posted these questions and what, exactly, I mean by them. No surprise there: I was (and am) a little unsure myself?they just seemed like the right questions to ask. They aren’t rhetorical or meant as a trap.
They’re just questions relating to how we value the Bible. I’m not questioning the authority of scripture, but I am, perhaps, toying with the doctrine of sola scriptura. I say “perhaps” and “toying”, because I really don’t know much about that doctrine, only what it means in a literal sense, which makes me more like a cat batting at a ball of string than an academic engaging scripture and tradition thoughtfully.
I wonder, too, about the Bible’s view of itself (can’t help but personify). From what I understand, most of the Bible’s references to “the word” are, in fact, referring to Jesus, rather than the written text of the 66 books of the Bible. (This is a concept I can’t quite wrap my head around, which also means that I can’t grasp the implications of that concept either.) In this sense, the Bible doesn’t say much about itself, does it, other than what is implied by characters quoting other parts of scripture?
I don’t have a Hebrew dictionary on hand, but if this is true, there are implications, for example, for the motto of the Bible college I attended, which is “The word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Perhaps I misunderstood the intention behind that motto, but I always thought they were referring to the Bible. It is, after all, Bible college, not “Jesus college”. Now it appears that such an understanding of that verse (I’m at work, so I don’t have time right now to check the verse’s context in the chapter) could very well be erroneous.
Does that clear it up at all? Probably not.
The implication and/or meaning of Jesus as “the Word”, though not new to me, is huge; I think my brain might explode if I think about it too hard (or perhaps I just need a good night’s sleep).
UPDATE 2: I suspect that I didn’t make things any more coherent with that first update. I’m tempted to get into it further, but I think I’ll just leave it as is. I normally organize my thoughts a little more, but today you got stream-of-consciousness writing. Some of must think I’ve gone mad.