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How to understand the Bible, Advent, and Christ

“there’s a temptation that goes with Bible reading: it is to turn the Book into an Oracle—to ask it questions it wasn’t intended to answer. The Bible is not the Mayan Calendar; it is not there to tell us when the world will end or, for that matter, to provide a scientific account of how it began.”

Mead takes off on Advent and The Coming: Part Two as “the Second Sunday in Advent is sometimes called Bible Sunday.” It is a good essay for guidance on reading and understanding the Bible.

“For two thousand years Christian scholars and theologians have warned against reading the Bible in the wrong way by asking it the wrong questions. In the classic text that many Christians use as their reference point for understanding what the Bible is for, St. Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy (chapter 3 verse 16 for those who follow such things) that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

It is worth noting that paleontology, geology and astronomy are not included in that list of what the Bible is good for.”

The example of Jesus and his parables illustrates this idea that the Bible, and Christianity, is about “instruction in righteousness” as a primary activity.

“But these stories don’t just tell us about life; they also tell us something about the way God teaches. They were intended to teach us about ourselves, other people and what’s important in life;”

read the whole thing … (link)

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