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November 21, 2007

7

Isn’t the Bible really full of legends and myths?

by Dave Malnes

What is the main point or the thesis statement of the Bible?  

Jesus says, “The Scriptures testify concerning me.” The central message of the Bible is that Jesus Christ is that person in whom God is fully revealed. Jesus says, “If you see me, you see the Father.” For this reason, we must take the whole Bible seriously, because Jesus Christ took the entire Bible so seriously. He always referred to the Scriptures as facts, not myths or legends. Faith becomes the new pair of glasses for which we can accept and clearly see the whole Bible to be true. Without these glasses, the message and the stories of the Bible become out of focus and unclear, therefore difficult to grasp. 

I would agree that the Bible contains many miracles that simply cannot be explained to satisfy our human minds. In the Old Testament, we read about snakes talking in the garden, a giant fish swallowing a man and the dividing of a great sea. By struggling with the truthfulness of these miraculous stories, we allow the elements behind the story to interfere with the central message. With Adam and Eve, the point of the story is not that a snake talks. The point is that Eve fell for a lie about who God was in her life. She thought she could improve herself by doing something. As a result, she no longer became what God intended her to be. God’s grace was not enough. This story is very important because it reveals the existence and the essence of sin. 

The Bible is not about believing in miraculous stories. The dominant theme of the Bible is our problem of sin. Sin works as a blind spot in our lives. The Bible has a way of pointing to an area in our lives to which we are not looking. The Bible reveals our weaknesses and innermost needs that we kept effectively hidden. As a result, we get embarrassed or defensive, because we don’t like to admit we are wrong or lost. When we begin to understand sin, we start to grasp the radical message of faith found in the gospel.   

Jesus Christ came to erase sin. God desires to re-establish a relationship with his creation through the life, death and resurrection of his Son. Through Christ’s death, believers have new life. All the miracles in the Bible point to this one central truth. So, our problems with the Bible can cloud our understanding about what the Bible is supposed to be. Be patient with the perplexing parts of this God-inspired book and open yourself up to its transforming power. It is the words of the Bible that will lead you into a relationship with the Savior. 

** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.   

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. kermittheagnostic
    Nov 21 2007

    If I asked you to accept, on faith, evolution would you? If I told you that once you accept the truth of it only then will it begin to make sense. Would you?

    Is this not what you are asking me to do?

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  2. kermittheagnostic
    Nov 30 2007

    I guess not.

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  3. merganzerman
    Nov 30 2007

    To Kermit the agnostic:

    Thank you for replying to my post.

    Forgive me for not replying to you earlier. Thanks for the reminder.

    To accept the theory of evolution as I understand it, would be a matter of faith. Without going into a debate, I think the premises of evolution would be a great leap of faith.

    I think you raise a very good point. To be honest, I don’t think I can argue or reason anybody to faith in Jesus. In fact, I think it’s impossible. Really, the whole point of the post is to at least give consideration to the truth as stated in the Holy Bible — God’s Word. And, historically speaking, there is enough evidence to proof that what we read in the Bible is not made up of legends or myths.

    I think the “problems” of the Bible that we just don’t understand should not get in the way of accepting God’s solution for the problem of sin. That by faith, we are forgiven. By faith, we accept all of the truths and promises of God. And when we don’t have all the answers, that’s okay. Because the most important questions, “Who is God? What is my purpose in life? Where will I go after death?” are answered. And, I have a peace that goes beyond understanding and in conjunction with a transformed life, I can’t help but not deny that God is who He says He is.

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  4. kermittheagnostic
    Nov 30 2007

    Hi! Thank you for responding!

    The funny thing about evolution theory is that it is not something that requires faith at all. And that is the reason I brought it up. It is quite different than religion in this respect and I think it is incorrect to say one either believes or does not believe in evolution. It is simply a theory that is strongly supported by observation and as such asks no one to just believe in it without seeing and understanding the clues. Religion is, on the other hand, not a theory at all but a belief system who’s central idea is to believe without seeing or having proof. Evolution asks you to find contrary evidence, religion asks you to trust regardless of contrary evidence. The two ways of thinking are diametrically opposed and as such should not be compared to each other.

    And you are making my point even stronger in your last paragraph. You state that the problems with the Bible should not interfere with accepting the truth of it. Evolution, on the other hand, must stand up to any problems we find in it and if these problems are found not to make sense with it then it must be thrown out. So far it has held up quite well and this is why I think it stands a high likelyhood of being true. Religion, on the other hand, because of it’s reliance on belief without proof, is the prime reason I think it stands a low likelyhood of being true.

    How do you cope with the inherent problem this type of thinking presents? Are you not afraid you chose the wrong religion?

    Thanks for listening,
    -Kermit

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  5. merganzerman
    Nov 30 2007

    Thanks, Kermit, for your insightful and thoughtful response.

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  6. kermittheagnostic
    Dec 2 2007

    You are welcome!

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  7. Dec 6 2007

    Hi Author,
    you have raised a very good blog on Jesus Christ and my answers is Bible is Holy book of Christians which consists of legends and myths and thanks for this good post.

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