A nearly universal teaching (at least in fundamentalist America) is that people should read the Bible in order to grow spiritually. Scripture verses themselves are given as proof that this is fact. But is reading the Bible, in itself, really that essential, or is there more to it?
Some people think that the Bible is a work of fiction. They ask “How could God part a sea?” or “How could somebody get two of every type of animal into a boat?” Is this spiritually beneficial?
Others accept the Bible’s accuracy, but see it as a book of truths and lessons for personal and societal benefit. There are even courses that teach how to invest in the stock market and make millions of dollars using biblical principles. Did God have this in mind?
And then there are those who see the Bible as a sort of legal constitution – a set of dos and don’ts, laws and conditions to be followed (including the New Testament). If / then formulas for living up to some standard. No comment.
Or is the Bible an autobiography of a person? And like any person, I can get to know this one by reading it and / or through other means as well. We can spend time together in some activity, I can talk to those who know him (or her), think about the person, just sit in his presence, or all of the above and a hundred more.
Yes, this is a controversial topic and I don’t have the final answer, or even the all-inclusive question.
One thing’s certain: It’s totally cool that the God of the universe wrote a book. Personally, he had me at “In the beginning…”
To me, the Bible is the awesome story of God’s relationship with humankind. And guidelines (not laws) for how to live our lives in relationship with God, our fellow humans and the rest of God’s creation.
I like that. In the beginning is a rather big and bold statement.