The Bible and Its Interpretation In Today's World

Consider Alongside! We often use analogies and metaphors to explain and convey concepts and in many places, the Bible is no different. However, it is important to remember that the Bible was written for people with much less understanding than we are capable of today. People did not know about DNA, cellular construction, atoms and molecules, or computer programming, all of which are very relevant in the creation of life. We have a much better understanding today and it does pay therefore not to get too caught up in the primitive, sometimes childlike, story-telling in the Bible to the point of dismissing all else. The Bible can certainly be considered, but must be considered alongside the massive wealth of other information we have in today's world.

Interpretation Important! It is also important to remember that, although perhaps inspired by God, the Bible has not actually been written by God, it has been written by man and has had many contributors since its time began. At best it is perhaps the word of God, at worst the content is only as reliable as the understanding and the biases of the men that have compiled it. The Bible we know today has been edited many times from original scripts and, on top of that, much of it is still open to interpretation. We can all see a picture, but we may not all see it the same as the person who painted it.

Not Perfect! The original Bible transcripts were written in Hebrew, the oldest parts, the first five chapters, known as the Torah, were written over three thousand years ago. The New Testament was written about nineteen hundred years ago, during the first century after the death of Jesus. Not everything has been included in the Bible and through many translations, over thousands of years, from the original Hebrew language, some of the Bible's content and its true intended meanings have been coloured. As we are but human, this is not surprising, but it does mean we should understand that, just like us, the Bible is not perfect.

It's Not Always Easy! The Bible goes to great pains to point out that no man is perfect, and that even Jesus was human. We all make mistakes in our effort to evolve understanding and that is how we learn. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. We also learn at the expense of others and often when we make a mistake, and do wrong, it is someone else that pays the price. To become worthy takes time, conscious effort, and a humble willingness to accept our imperfections. It is not always easy to take a good look at ourselves and admit to our faults. However, that is the process that must be undertaken if we wish to improve. It is not so much what we think of ourselves that matters, so much as what others think of us.

Common Sense Often Best! For the most part it appears the Bible's meanings have perhaps well withstood translation from the original transcripts, and even now, alongside our current understanding of science and evolution, seen in the right light, the Bible mostly maintains its accuracy and its credibility in the history and meaning that it represents. However, it does pay not to misinterpret, or to interpret too literally, some of what's written in the Bible. We must also be aware of others trying to influence us against what we may feel to be right, using feeble and subjective interpretations of the Bible's content. Common sense is often our best guide.

Not Essential! The Bible is not essential in finding one's way to God and the spiritual world. In all that we have now we have evolved a far greater capacity for understanding, and should not limit ourselves to any one source of information in our search for truth. The Bible is an older part of man's attempt at recording what we perceive to be the truth about ourselves, what is right in life, and our relationship with God. It is in no way a complete source of understanding in that relationship, but it will always be a part.

Turning People Off? If you ask people why it is that they feel there is no truth in God, many will tell you that it's because of what they see other people doing in the name of God! Treating people badly or even bumping them off because they don’t share a particular belief, is not a great way to spread the word. Even so, it is surprising how many people have done this over the years.

Just Be Nice! Whatever the case, it is surely much better to have a world full of atheists who get on with each other than a world full of religious people who fight and argue! If religion is such a problem that people can’t share it without fighting and arguing, it simply can’t be that good! Perhaps the way is simply to lead by example. If people can see that you are onto something good, they will always want to know more. That is human nature! We all have heroes, and we all respect the talents and abilities of those who work hard and hone their skills. Let us be nice, and encourage other people to be nice. It is that simple most of the time!