“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27 RSV).
I receive a daily devotional from a very popular Christian minister and author. Today I read the following:
“Only God could have put the Bible together. It is 66 books written over 1,600 years by 40 different authors —and it has one theme. It is one of the reasons we know that the Bible is God’s Word: It has a single unified theme. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is all about God redeeming man. Jesus is its star.”
This seems like really shaky Bible scholarship to me, and I was wondering how a metaphysical interpretation might differ. Thank you.
If only someone had been taking careful notes when Jesus was interpreting “all the scriptures!” It might have allowed for more clarity in the ensuing years. (But then again, Jesus was painstakingly clear about his message and teachings, and for centuries we’ve still managed to muddle them.)
Actually, I don’t have a major issue with what Rick Warren writes here, although I’m not sure my understanding would conform with his intention. Unlike many fundamentalists, he does not insist that a being named God actually wrote all 66 books of the Bible; he acknowledges 40 authors (the number is dubious, depending on how one assigns authorship of the New Testament writings) and a span of 1,600 years. Warren says, instead, that “only God could have put the Bible together.” If we understand God to be the Presence and Power that is the Source of all true creative energy, then I would agree. Not that a being we call God actually assembled the writings; we know a great deal about the deal-making and political maneuvering that resulted in certain works being included and others not—but that the final outcome was divinely inspired. That the collected writings perfectly describe and address our individual and collective spiritual path and purpose—this I wholeheartedly believe. It’s not really about God redeeming man. It’s about the Power of God loving, supporting and encouraging us as we ‘redeem’ ourselves from the false beliefs of limitation and unworthiness that we have allowed to distract us from our spiritual Truth. In this sense, it is not Jesus who is the star. It is the Christ, which means each of us is the star of our own unfolding hero’s journey—and the Bible is the road map that supports each of us on the journey.