I love much written in the Bible. Much of it is very beautiful and poetic, verses like Isaiah 11:6 “And a little child shall lead them,” or from Revelation 22:5 “ They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” Truthful and beautiful passages such as these resonate as truth within. One can feel their power because they are backed with Truth. Words of revenge and getting even, punishing the wicked and rewarding the righteous have never resonated as truthful to me. The real question one must ask when contemplating the interpretation of scripture and its truthfulness, and therefore Godliness, is to ask for what or whom does the passage serve? Does it serve love or fear? Does it serve God or self? When you can answer that question with every single passage in the Bible, and indeed with anything you read from any source, you will know whether the words are God-centered or self-centered. From what I have read, the Bible contains plenty examples of both.
I think a more honest and open view on the scriptures in the Bible is that all of it was written through human beings, with some of it inspired by God, and some of it, the devil, or the ego. In the Bible I hear both the word of “God” and “Satan.” As blasphemous as this may sound, I cannot deny my experience in the reading of scripture. Even Jesus questioned scripture when he saw it was not truthful, as Jesus says in Matthew, 5:38-39 “You heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Whenever I come across scripture such as the “eye for an eye” passage in the Old Testament which contradicts that which I know to be true, I either have to conclude there was a mistranslation and therefore a misunderstanding, or it was written by the ego, the “devil” if you will. When I come across such scriptures, I recognize them for what they are, then move on to relish those other scriptures which resonate in wisdom and Truth.
This is the mistake of traditional religion – it makes scripture and the outward forms of their religion ends in themselves instead of a catalyst or mantra to discovering Truth. Truth is ultimately the only thing which will reveal itself to itself, but requires the forms of the external, the “mirror” if you will, to see itself – through scripture, prophets, religion, relationship, etc. The forms are the mirror, but are never the Truth itself. And so the notion God’s Creation exists for His purpose is correct, as it is the mirror in which God, Love, Truth, sees Himself. However, almost everyone mistakes the mirror for that which it reflects, which is the whole problem. This mistake is the definition of idolatry – the sin of serving anything but the True God.
We must read the scriptures critically and with a genuine heart for the truth to sort out the “wheat from the chaff,” the true from the untrue, the Godly from the un-Godly. Jesus, in correcting non-truthful scripture teaches us a valuable lesson – to follow God, Truth – not words in a book, as everything which is filtered through the hands of humankind, including Biblical scripture is subject to potential error. The “truth” test – of whether words serve love or fear, God or the devil, tell us everything we need to know on scripture’s accuracy or inaccuracy in its faithfulness to the Truth, as the “Word of God” is always Truth…