The Worst Thing About the Bible

The worst thing about the Bible is that it ends. The Bible can’t end! There is no stopping! The Bible is expanded by every life in every age. We are writing the Bible even now! Revelation continues! Revelation is ongoing! The Truth is always breaking in upon us anew! We are always saying, “Now, I see! Now, I get it!” Going, “Eureka!” and dancing naked in the streets.

The worst thing about the Bible is the canon is closed. You can’t close the canon! Truth evolves, unfolds, comes forth in time, over time, through time, with experience gained from living our life. Truth is experience with life over time.

Truth is delivered unto us via our experience with the here and now of our existence. It is not some statement, some formula, some doctrine concocted through divine revelation (Though all realizations of truth come to us as divine revelations breaking into our world from some other world, though the other world is within us, not outside of us), and passed on through the centuries to the present moment.

However, it is also the nature of truth that we recognize the truth of our experience reflected in the experience of those who have gone before us. So, the Bible, and the Tao te Ching, and the I Ching, and the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., speak to us today—but to only those of us who have experienced the truth of these sources in the daily events, trials and ordeals, of our own lives. Apart from our experience, the profound wisdom of others is only talk, talk, talk. We hear what they are saying through the ears of our own experience. The truth recycles in each age—but has to be experienced anew in every age.

Everyone in every age has to learn to hit a curve ball. You can’t learn that from some book of doctrine. You can’t learn anything you need to know from a book of doctrine—except that what you need to know is not in there, and that it is only after you know what you need to know that you can connect here-and-there with what you find there.

The Bible is a wonderfully shameless compilation of ways to do it, and ways to not do it: “This is what they did, and this is what happened. Now, and in every age, “the old has passed away and, behold, the new has come.” And each age has to figure out how to hit a curve ball in that age—or to throw one. How many ways are there to throw a curve ball? Or to hit one? We all have to figure it out for ourselves. And we can’t tell anyone how we do it. Hitting a curve ball is one of the great mysteries of every age.

Children have to figure out how to do it for themselves. Parents can’t tell them how to do it. Children are facing situations and circumstances their parents never faced. Each age comes up against things no other age has ever come up against. The experience of the species is good only for encouraging us to step into the unknown in the knowledge, and with the assurance, that it has been done by every age before us, and we are still here. If they did it, we can do it. They had what it takes, and we have everything they had. So, bring the day on! We will figure it out as we go.

We are on our own with only the stories of how things have been done in the past to guide us. And, we need access, over the full course of our life, to ALL of the stories in All of the traditions in order to weigh one against the others and decide for ourselves what to do here and now in the time and place of our living.

When the canon was closed, it was as though the Authorities (Those who know best and must be pleased) of that age said, “This is all you need to know.” And they altered some of the stories to better reflect what they though we should know, and they omitted other stories so as to not dilute the truth.

The truth cannot be diluted! It can only be expanded, enlarged, deepened and broadened by the additional stories of each new age. The stories in the Bible, and all the ones in all the other traditions and ages, expand, enlarge, deepen and broaden all the other stories—and the additional stories of each new age—through contradiction and dissonance. The contradictions and the dissonance within, between, and among the stories in the Bible, and out of it, are the cracks where the light of new realization—new revelation—breaks in.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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