Why is The Bible Weird?

Why is The Bible Weird?

Rembrandt, Belshazzar's Feast

Before you call me a heretic, or write me off as a Bible basher, that's not the case at all,  I actually love the Bible (and the God it reveals) - so here me out......

One sunday afternoon, the preacher had been speaking about having devotional time with the Lord by reading his word - I was 18 and thought -- hey, why not. After the service, I got in my car and drove to a lake, as I sat on the grass overlooking the the crystal clear water (it actually smelt like crap - not joking), I pulled out my Bible and began to read, asking the Lord to speak to me -- I flipped through page after page, only to be left empty and feeling that maybe I was not doing it right, so I said, "okay God, I am going to allow the wind to blow (feeling super spiritual) what you would have me to read, and sure enough it landed in Jeremiah and let's just say, it was very discouraging (God was allowing people to be dragged off -- I thought to myself, is god saying this about me?). I learned that day, that some books were bizarre and weird -- prophets cooking food with human dung, angels striking people down, wars and bloodshed, God punishing people, etc. Needless to say I was very overwhelmed, I drove off more frustrated and confused than before I took my pastor's advice.....

Why is the Bible so weird?

Here's the thing I should have known about the Bible but didn't..... The Bible is a very ancient set of texts (scriptures) and older (it's very old) than most of the books in the world (literally) - these authors who wrote these books lived in different times and places (cultures) and these people did not have our modern ways of thinking about the world. The Bible centers around YHWH and Israel (literally), Israel is this nomadic tribe who is apparently smaller than the rest of the tribes surrounding them (they fight these people a lot over a land that was promised all the way back in the story old Abe -- See Genesis) and in the process of trying to gain a land -- Israel is continually transitioning (not kidding) - in these stories and books, we find kings, prophets, angels, dragons, talking serpent, living in a dome, paradise lost, weird visions and dreams, suffering, death, animals being sacrificed (PITA would not be happy), temples and strange foreign gods. All of this is foreign to us and to many of us sounds like a fairy tale -- imagine a friend saying, "Hey you wanna come by and hang tonight, we are sacrificing the pigeons on the alter we made?" how would you respond? Yeah. I know. I'd be out of there in a heartbeat. But this was the world of the Bible -- and sometimes it's just weird.....

It's okay to admit that the Bible is weird and strange....

Admitting this about the Bible does not make you antichrist or a devil in sheep's clothing, two of our earliest gospels open up with a virgin birth.. Strange? yes, very strange -- but this is the world of the Bible and happens to be the only Bible we have as christians.....

Here's some advice...

Chill, relax, a friend of mine once told me, Casey, the Bible is a big set of books, relax.... So my advice is that when you find things weird and out of the norm -- it's going to be okay.... God can obviously handle weird -- read the Bible, you'll see.

Written by: Casey Dayton

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2 Comments

  1. Wow. I was a lot older than you when I started to “chill”, and “relax” about reading the Bible. I’m not afraid of getting it wrong anymore. If Jesus will forgive sin, won’t he at least as much forgive being wrong? But getting it right is still a worthy goal, because the truth will set you free. But no matter what, I still have Jesus. And when I get confused and uncertain about what the Bible says, I still worry that I may be blind and that God is not opening my eyes for a reason. And then I remember the (Ethiopian?) in the NT who said something to the effect of “How can I learn if I have no one to teach me? ” I will add your words to those to comfort and encourage me at “weird” times. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the message! It’s a journey and process, nice to hear your journey…

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