April 28, 2014

The Christian Bible: Holy or Not?

The Holy Bible

The Christian bible is either holy or it is not holy. Yes, I suppose we could argue about whether there are degrees of holiness, but how about we keep things simple and not do that. Instead, we will limit ourselves to these two possibilities: holy or not holy.

If it is not holy, it could still be appreciated for its historic influence, literary beauty, or all sorts of other secular reasons. For example, one could still find parts of it to be meaningful or inspiring in some way. It not being holy would not detract from this in the least. Thus, it could still be a fantastic book without needing to be holy in any way.

But what if the Christian bible is holy? Doesn't this raise an important question for Christians? What could possibly make so many Christians think they have the right or the ability to interpret a holy text in any way? If it is indeed holy, wouldn't the sensible position be to read it, learn it, and to make sure that one's behavior conformed with it? If it really is holy, anything short of this would seem horribly arrogant and misguided.

Many Christians seem to want to have it both ways. They claim that their bible is the inerrant word of some sort of god while simultaneously claiming that it is open to their interpretation, reinterpretation, and cherry picking. I've never understood how so many Christians manage to live with this massive inconsistency. If it is holy, shouldn't you do what it says and stop ignoring the many parts you don't like? And if it really is holy, shouldn't you do what it says even though doing so would inevitably land you in prison? I suppose the Christians who claim that their bible is holy either don't really believe that it is or they must actively suppress thoughts of this nature.