How many of you have been on either side of a “bible thumping”? It looks something like this.
Essentially it’s someone using their own interpretation of the bible as being nothing but laws, do’s and don’ts and saying “Stop in the Name of the Law”. Jesus called these bible thumpers (known as the Pharisees) “Broods of Vipers” and “Spiritually blind“.
I recently read a book called the Blue Parakeet that puts a very interesting spin on interpreting the bible. My favorites quotes from the section of the book discussing the law interpretations of the bible are:
- For some, the Bible is massive collection of laws—what to do and what not to do. It is not difficult to understand how the Bible, which contains plenty of commandments and prohibitions—there are 613 in the Old Testament alone—can gradually take on the impression that it is a collection of legal morsels, a law book. Nor is it an uncommon experience, especially for the younger generation, to express the sentiment that “law book” is how they were taught the Bible, and it turned them off to the Bible.
- In short, law book readers become pompous, self-righteous, and accusatory.
- Three words tell us how to read the Bible : Story, listening, discerning. That’s all we need to know.
- We are given a pattern of discernment in the Bible, to listen to what God said in that world so we can know what God is saying to us through our world. So we can know what God wants us to say about that story to our world—in our world’s ways.
So next time someone tries to bible thump you (especially if you’re not a Christian) tell them since they know their bible so well, look up “brood of vipers” and spiritual blindness :)
Formula of the Week
Discernment > Literal Interpretations of Laws
Question of the Week
Have you been bible thumped in your life? Drop a comment and share it with us.