Monday, August 23, 2010

Further Bible thoughts

Do Christians not know the Bible?

In a sense yes but also no.

The yes is fairly obvious. Ask your average Christian if Jesus was born in a  stable with cattle and sheep present and the vast majority will say yes. In fact there isn't a scrap of evidence for this in the Bible. The "manger" where Jesus is laid in Luke 2: 7 refers only to the feeder that Mary uses as an impromptu cradle. There is no mention at all of where this manger is located.

The rest of the story is just romantic gloss that has been piled on by generations of Christian fantasy.

This is just one example of many.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that Christians know quite a bit of what is in the Bible. It is read in churches and people do hear it. Many of the big stories are repeated over and over again.

What scholars like James McGrath worry about is that Christians have not sat down and read the thing in a thorough-going way doing a detailed analysis of the different parts and how they do or do not fit in together.

Is this a problem? I don't think so and I'll explain why tomorrow.

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