Skip to main content

Reading the Bible for Fact

Hebrews  13:19 –->And I urge all the more to do this so that I may be restored to you the sooner.

I finished reading Hebrews this morning, and this verse struck me.  Why?

Because it’s a clue to the identity of the author of Hebrews.  You see, when you read chapter 13, you see that Hebrews was written by someone that knew Timothy, and that at the time, Timothy was apparently in prison, so that starts showing when it was written, and then….

This is one of the dangers of Bible reading for me.  I tend to read the Bible and get distracted by facts and fact-questions. 

I’m not saying the Bible doesn’t contain facts, nor that facts aren’t important, but when we read Scripture, we should be reading for truth more than mere facts.

For example:

The Exodus:  Which is more important?  That God reached down into history, took the slaves that were the Hebrew people, and delivered them miraculously, and made them into a nation or the name of the Pharaoh, the date, or the exact location of the Red Sea Crossing?

Fighting Goliath: 4 cubits and a span or 6 cubits and a span? Bigger than David is what truly matters, delivered by God is what matters.  The principle that the people wanted someone to fight their battles, wanted a king for a guaranteed fighter, and still when the battle is joined, the king doesn’t fight, but rather God brings a deliverer, as He had been doing, that’s what matters.

I am not saying that we don’t recognize the historical truth of the facts in Scripture.  There really was: a worldwide flood, a big boat, Adam and Eve, and so forth.  This is not a statement to exchange inerrancy for symbolism, nor real analysis for allegorizing everything. 

I was just reminded this morning that facts don’t change lives.  Jesus Christ changes lives.  If I could prove the author of Hebrews or show you the Ark (either of the covenant or Noah’s), you still need the Cross to be saved.  You still need the Holy Spirit to lead you.  I do too.  All the factual knowledge in the world does not save you, rather the faith that the facts matter and that God will save.

So, while there are facts to know, and the facts underneath the truths are important, don’t bog down in them.  And certainly don’t spend all your time chasing the facts to the detriment of your faith.

 

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…