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[Here’s an extra post today – since I’ve been slacking this week]
The main thing that you need to know before trying to read through the Bible is that it does NOT belong to (or come from) your culture. “How do you know?” you ask? Because the Bible (unlike the Koran or Bhagavad Gita or the Book of Mormons, or even the Iliad and Odyssey) does not come from ONE culture but spans thousands of years in many different cultures! Even the Judaism of today (with Synagogues and prayer books) bears little or no resemblance to the religion of Ancient Israel (with its Temple sacrifice and Holy places). This isn’t a criticism of any other religion – I’m just pointing out that if you tried to approach the Judeo-Christian Bible like one of these other texts, you’d probably misread it!
Anytime one culture has tried to claim the Bible as its own – whether it was the Romans or Germans, or English, or American…its message became distorted. As a result European History is filled with Holy Wars in the name of Jesus – even though anyone can see that THAT is not what the Jesus of the Bible would have wanted.
Why did God then make the Bible so difficult? The point of its “multi-cultural-ness” is that this Message is not just for certain people (in a certain place at a certain time) – but it is for all peoples, in all places, at all times! The core message is adapted over and over again for different cultures and generations… And by giving us a survey of these different cultures and times, we get to see what God means (and who He is) more clearly!
(About the photo: There is something hidden in the light beyond the trees… You can’t see without light and yet a great amount of light is hard for us – or cameras – to process…hmm…)