Can we understand the Bible?
When The Bible said that Heaven and Earth was made in 6 days and on the 7th day GOD rested; that is what it means. But some people claims base on scientific “fact” that the actual creation time may have been actually Thousands or Million of years. A single day, as they computed was actually much longer since God is using a different time table base on fossils record of the gradual evolution of living things.
Is that so? Then, if we take that concept it will contradict passages from Genesis and the whole Bible itself. We read in Genesis that on the sixth day God made man, which is Adam. That as we know Adam lived for about 900 years only, how can that be? Adam must have lived then for Millions of years if we took that stance because after the 7th day that God rested, we can find him still living and enjoying in the Garden of Eden. That is only 2 days from the 6th to the 7th day, and then how about his life with Eve after the fall? And did God rested on the 7th day or Sabbath for thousands or millions of years.
The above scenario is interpreting the Bible on known traditions and base on human knowledge. Carbon dating of fossils is human inventions and even Scientist admits this are just calculations and not accurate. Therefore, Science is Confusing us on time frame when they claim dinosaurs was already gone into extinction before man came. But that was not the case in the Bible. The Bible mentions giants, monsters, and big sea creatures especially the one that swallow Jonah for 3 days and 3 nights. So man co-existed with Dinosaurs contrary to scientific findings.
Latest Scientific discovery as technology advances are now re-affirming what the Scriptures had written centuries ago.
Now, scientists are discovering that there were no gradual evolutions of simple life form into complex creatures but actually a sudden appearance of life with no known predecessor. Especially during the Cambrian era; when they discover thousands of simple bacteria in different sizes and shapes appearing almost spontaneous and instant. The fault is “People chose to listen, to what they want to hear.” Our tendency as a sinful man is to resist the “Truth” because it is making us uncomfortable. We re-model the truth according to our beliefs and traditions.
Why people had doubts about Bible claims is that because they applied theoretical knowledge in answering things they could not understand. In Science when they said theory it is still not proven. Now, making guess or extracting message from the Bible base on unproven doctrines can be confusing isn't it?
Therefore, it is just right to believe in a Book that is tested by time to be factual and true.
Why we must understand the validity of Genesis claim? Because; once Bible readers consider Genesis as just symbolical representation; or what some claims as allegorical, everything that follows will be senseless. The Bible is so specific when the intention was symbolic and not literal.
Why it is not symbolical or an allegory? First, the intent and context of Genesis was to give a chronological order of Earth’s history. Would a historian use language that the future readers will not comprehend? History must be plainly written. Only prophesy had that quality of using symbolism, the intent was for believers to understand but non-believers to be unaware. God purpose on prophesy is to bring Faith and not punishment. The purpose is to make non-believers to believe the believers when they explain what will happen next. Do you think God enjoy killing people when He declares “I will drown mankind by flood”?
Anyway, Genesis above anything else is history except some part where it is indicated. The Book of Acts is historical so you won’t find too much symbolism there. Revelation is prophetic so it uses a lot of symbols. One must understand the intention of the book why it is written. Remember the Bible is a collection of books from different authors of different time period.
The Mistake of St. Augustine
If St. Augustine (regarded as the greatest thinker of the Roman Catholic Church) had only thoroughly read The Book of Job, Ezekiel and Isaiah's book he would not have made a faulty model of the solar systems and the earth spherical shape. But instead of believing the Bible, Augustine chose the Greek Philosophers explanation of the Universe. The result of this mistake began the disagreement of Church and Science…from that day on-wards the Church refuse anything Science offered.
Poor Galileo was accused of being a heretic when he said the Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. R.C.C. had mistakenly ex-communicated Galileo for his findings. Now his discoveries are known scientific fact. Instead of validating his findings from the world of God they argue on the basis of pagan and Gentile knowledge.
What’s the effect of this misunderstanding? Science triumph in the end and Religion loses its credibility. Now mankind, put their faith in Science…since Science is more credible, mankind rejects anything that can not be proven by Science.
Can an ordinary person understand and interpret the Bible?
The answer is Yes and No. Yes we can understand, if we take it as it is and No if you make your own interpretation. The Bible explains itself. Meaning each teaching has a supporting passage within The Scripture. All we need to have is patience in looking for complementing passages. That is why in Joshua 1:8 we are advice to meditate on the word of God.
The Bible is complete, inerrant, and can stand to defend itself. That is why on its last book, the Book of Revelation we are told; not to add or minus anything from it. The standard sets of Bible we now enjoy is basically the same with what the early Christians used; with the 4 Gospels already decided to be included among the thousands in circulations during that time of the early Church. I don’t know what were the reasons of the Apostle, why they did not include the Gospel of Timothy, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Judas, et al…but what is certain the collection of Books we now had is complete. (Maybe if God would reveal this to me, I might have a separate topic on this area)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
That is the reason why I intend not to tackle issues that was not revealed to me through the word of God. I would not comment on issues that were not within my reach or something that was not confirmed by the word of God. I don’t claim “extra revelation” which was characteristic anyway of a false prophet. Just like the Beetles who claim in their songs “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me…speaking word of wisdom let it be!”
How was that supposed to happen? What word of wisdom that she spoke? Mary did not even write a Gospel. I don’t even recall from the nth times that I’ve read the Bible, that she was given special adoration after Jesus died and resurrected. What we know, Jesus being a good son, still remembers to provide for his earthly mother, and for gratitude while on the cross commanded “John, behold thy mother.” And “Woman, behold thy son.” Jesus understood the pain Mary experiencing of loosing a son. At the same time Jesus called her as “woman” because He is already returning to His real nature as God after this impending death. He is thanking Mary for being the “vessel” or passage to Earth as man, to fulfill prophesies.
It was so surprising for even Church leaders to admonish us not to read the Bible for ourselves. Why was that? They say it would make one confused. What! The word of God makes us confused? That seems to be more confusing. From cover to cover of the Bible we are encourage to read the Bible, get to know God through the works and teachings of Jesus, now they are telling us not to read for ourselves.
St. Paul speaks about the faith of the Bereans who after hearing his message would go home and check the Old Testament if what he is preaching were true. Obviously, the early believers do not have the New Testament yet because the covenant is still on the process at that time.
Total trust in God will aid us in understanding His message. Probably, just a little common sense will do. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance…that is if you already surrender your life to Jesus and become born-again. You can not expect HELP from the Holy Spirit if you have not repented and asked forgiveness from God. Being “born-again” is a prerequisite to experience the Kingdom of God.
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."-- John 3:3
Come to Jesus as a child; ignore all your previous knowledge. God does not look into social status. Peter was just a fisherman, Paul was a tent maker by trade, Matthew was a tax collector, Moses was not a good speaker, and me Fher Ymas is not even a Theologian or Pastor. I did not even attend any seminar on Bible teaching. I am just a simple church-goer who most of the time fail to attend services or fellowship. I am just following the basic principle of the Bible who said…”Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Isn’t it plain and simple, no magic tricks, no more ceremony, no need to attend seminary? All we need to do is seek!!! We are complicating and making life difficult by trying to maneuver the words of God according to our preferences. All we have to do is have faith.
Who helps me speak and blog about faith and God?
JOHN 14:25, 26: "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
In fact, I am just simply re-stating God’s word. These teachings are not mine.
The Failure of Science and turning to New Age Thinking
Recently, we are awakening about the weakness of Science. The solution they claim to make life easier is now killing our planet. A global new thinking is rising and even more dangerous than its predecessor. We are trying to return to our primal beginnings…More and more people are turning into alternative medicine, eastern-religions, magic and potions. People are now returning to its spiritual nature but denying Bible teachings. People are now embracing the idea of Soulmate, channeling, feng-shui, and even the population of Atheist and Agnostics are rising. Some Christians even have the nerve to mix their faith with other religions and beliefs. God clearly warned us in avoiding this marriage or inter-mingling of Religion.
Read Deuteronomy 23 and see what God commanded against mixing faith in Him with other beliefs.