Saturday, November 5, 2011

This blog post is God breathed...

     Last Sunday I visited Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. I'm not gonna lie when I first walked in there I was turned off. Too traditional for my liking. Huge sanctuary with stained glass windows and pipe organs. The pastor was dressed in a robe and his voice echoed with great intensity in the large room. I am not used to this type of service. But then I heard a sermon from the old shouting preacher. A sermon that I have never heard preached in a church setting before. A sermon I will never forget.
     I have always longed for a person to agree with me and say, "Yeah, you're right. A lot of the Bible does sound like utter bullshit and there's no way that it can all be 'God breathed'. People just use that verse to pick and choose their favorite verses that help them discriminate and judge." Not exactly what the pastor said but it was along those lines.
     Basically what he preached is that the words God breathed are often misinterpreted. He likes to read the verse in the English Revised Version because it sounds most like the original Greek text. It reads, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for corrections, for instruction which is righteousness." Focusing on the part that it doesn't say Every scripture IS inspired of God it just says that the scripture THAT is inspired of God is profitable for blah blah blah... Which then you can assume that not all scripture is inspired of God. Scary huh? Which ones are then? That's the new big question. That leads into the rest of my questioning (which I will go into later if I haven't already).
     Before I decided to write this blog I did my research. I read other commentaries on the verse. Most people using their lifelong biases and refusing to believe that not all scripture is of God. Some had some good arguments but obviously I'm still not convinced. Even if the original Greek text did intend for it to say that All scripture is of God, who's to say the person writing that just wanted us to think that? He could have just made it up. Just because someone says it doesn't make it true. If someone wrote a book of the bible today most of us would be like "Yeah right." But what if they said "but all scripture is of God, remember?" We would have to believe them, right? Obviously not. Just because someone said it back then compared to now doesn't make it true.


  1. Hey Nathan, I know that I don't know you all that well, but there are times I have the same thoughts/doubts. Religion is just so lame. Its not that I doubt, say the existence of God, but its all the other small details. People who say that the bible is "god-breathed" have no doubts. I don't understand that, that's not the way my brain works. It is sometimes difficult for me to get past all of the contradictions in the bible. But then I thought, what if God, who is really freacking old, changes his style because we humans were responding poorly. Since we are creatures of free-will, you would think there would be some trial and error. I mean if we are taking Genesis literally, which I don't, God allowed the world to be run by humanity for an undisclosed number of years with little to no interaction with himself. That experiment ended poorly and hence The Flood. So he tried the 'chosen people' angle for a few thousand years and that didn't seem to go all that well either. It seems to me that God has now adopted the attitude of 'screw it, I'll open up access to everyone' I know that this doesn't necessarily address your concern of the bible's authenticity, but hopefully this line of reasoning could shed some light on why there are so many glaring inconsistencies.

  2. Hey Jason,

    Thank you for that. I've thought about the same thing and will eventually write a blog on that too.

  3. Hey man,

    Nice work. I'll say this: "God-breathed" is something different than saying "God-written." In other words, God has inspired everything in the Bible, so when I read the Bible, I feel God's breath, God's closeness, God pulling me in. Had ONE author written the entire Bible, there probably wouldn't be so many contradictions. But you would write about the same event in a different way than I would, and yet, both of those takes on the situation could reveal truth about what happened. God is that big, I believe.

    But keep fighting. - M

  4. Word. I think you need to read feminist scholars and their arguments for why we should be able to call G*d Mother or She.

    Also, you are totally right, but now that you are right, the question becomes "Why have or use a Bible?" Honestly, I think the Bible functions simply as a pointer. A guide. Many different things point to G*d: trees, the wind, love, friendship, good food, etc. Like those things, the Bible, for thousands of years, pointed people to G*d. Therefore, it is worth understanding, and at least attempting to let those arrows that millions of people before us followed point us to the Divine. Anyway, great post. Parts of the Bible definitely do suck.