Thought Leaders Series: 2018
The Bible provides us with insight into a people that were trying to make sense and articulate the world around them. They did this based on the body of knowledge at their disposal, and the sociopolitical wrangling of their time. The best way to describe these contributors in today’s terms would be academics, or using Gramsci’s term: organic intellectuals. They drew from the best ideas of their time, and they challenged each other’s views and opinion on the Why Questions.
This leads on to my second point, which is the fact that the Bible should not be treated as a book. When we do this we assume a consensus between contributors. We assume a cross cutting theme.
When we treat it as a book, we start reading through the lenses of our dogmas, doctrines, and other subconscious elements (which most Christians attribute to the Holy Spirit). By this we miss the unique insights that these individual contributors where trying to convey to their audiences.
The Bible consists of writings and commentaries from different individuals at different eras. Some built on each other’s work, others challenged the predominant view of their time.
In academia, ideas are challenged, scrutinised, revised, revisited, discarded or built upon over time. We are the only creatures with the capacity to do this. This unique ability is the reason why we keep advancing. We advance in knowledge based on the body of evidence on the subject in question.
In similar vein we ought to be doing the work of theology today in light of the data at our disposal, and the sociopolitical tensions of our time.
These contributors would be baffled to realise that we folded our hands and treated their work as finality, when even a huge chunk of their work are still missing.
Don’t idolise or make the Bible a God, rather, draw positives from it as we build and lay foundations for the future.
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