Ten hard Questions by a Skeptic. #5
"To a skeptic whatever claims are made will not help. The claims can be always refuted because the skeptical mind is offended by what the bible is and that faith stands for. "
#5. Why do we read the Bible and study it as the ultimate word of God (and the truth) when it was written in the 1st century? A transcript interpreted as God's words written by men who believed the world was flat. We have so much science and tools available to us in the 21st century. What's the rationale for still hanging on to it so strictly even after 2000+ years of evolution?
Again, as established before, faith cannot be intellectually comprehended. Faith simply is entirely on a different paradigm. Not to say that intellect isn’t required since reading in itself is an act of the intellect, but the bible offers the greatest benefit if it is read with a different motive than an exercise of one’s intellect. First, let’s think about what the bible is. It was written by various authors and some of them have been contemporaries of Jesus during His lifetime (NT). Others have written about Jesus like Paul. While the four apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Jacob have lived in different parts of the world and have limited personal accounts of interacting with Jesus they have retold the story of Jesus with pinpoint accuracy albeit from their own viewpoint and narratives.
**Christians read the bible not because it is believed that the bible is the infallible word of God. Can this claim even be proven to a skeptic? Can the claim of the bible be more than a book written by humans be proven to be the infallible word of God? Yes, bible scholars provide numerous factual evidence starting from the historic evidence (The Dead Sea Scroll), the historical accuracy of authorship and authenticity of the original transcription, and the variance of translations. I am not a biblical scholar, and I cannot really go more into details, but the evidence is there. To a skeptic whatever claims are made will not help. The claims can be always refuted because the skeptical mind is offended by what the bible is and that faith stands for. It is better to speak about why Christians read the bible and leave the skeptic to choose freely what’s in there for them in their quest for answers.
Why Christians read the bible and what they gain from reading the bible.
Daily reading is food to the spirit. The body requires nourishment for it to function properly. It is similar to the spirit (a spirit or the inner man within us). Consistent reading of scripture is like feeding your spiritual person with a protein shake (nourishments) which the inner man needs to grow, function, and maintain. The opposite holds true when food is omitted; faith starts to be lackluster. Doubt, negativity, pessimism (disguised as realism), fear, and anxiety start to take control and even spin out of control.
The Bible reveals God’s truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. Christian mediation is a regular spiritual exercise when an aspect of God’s nature is being actively reflected on. As one meditates on the nature of God, say the Goodness of God, that specific personality trait of God begins to infiltrate into the conscious mind of the believer. This is a powerful exercise because the mind begins to be shaped internally by the Holy Spirit hence commonly known as “renewing of the mind” or “transformation”.
God speaks through the bible wanting to communicate to His people. God always speaks and longs to communicate with His people. God has spoken to His people in ancient times (bible characters), but He communicates to His people today as well. God, the sender can choose the mode of communication in various ways depending on the person he wishes to speak to (recipient). Most often but not always God speaks through the bible. God the father (1st person in the Trinity) does not speak audibly but reveals a “truth” relevant to the reader. That is the role of the Holy Spirit (the mediator). The mediator and facilitator for this is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The meditative mind connects with the Holy Spirit who highlights the portion of the text in the scripture to unpack the spiritual meaning and personal significance to the reader. Often what has been revealed may speak into a specific context of the reader's personal life or circumstances which can either be a struggle or contemplation about a certain matter. It seems that 3. may be the most direct answer to the question of why is the Bible still relevant to people today. The bible is relevant to people today although it was written 2000 years ago because God speaks to us through the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit in the life context of the reader.
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