Eight things your pastor will never tell you about the Bible
Richard Hagenstoon, author of Fabricating Faith: How Christianity Became a Religion Jesus Would Have Rejected, wrote a guest post over at Friendly Atheist on Monday, that I found interesting. I will probably have more to share after I read the book, but I did want to share my comments on a few of the points he makes in his post. He shares a list of 8 Things Your Pastor Will Never Tell You About the Bible and usese those points to make a couple of broader points about the Christian faith, which he hints at in the subtitle of his book. I agree with those broader points so I’m not here to raise an issue with those, but I do want to talk about four of his eight points below. He may come to the same conclusions about these four points in his book, but I’d like to share my opinion on them anyway.
Jesus Said He Wanted to Offer Nothing to Gentiles
But of whom was Jesus speaking when He used the word Gentiles? I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but one has to look no further then U.S. foreign policy to realize that many people interpret the Bible far too literally on this issue. If you interpret Scripture in the reformed tradtion - as a complete book that tells ONE story about ONE God with ONE plan for ONE people - you’ll see that “Gentile” and “Jew” are used to represent two peoples, God’s people and everyone else.
Jesus Tells Everyone Not to Think of Him as God in the First Three Gospels
Jesus often used rhetoric to make a bigger point. Mark 10:18 and the parallel passages in the other gospels is an example of this. Jesus was not denying His deity, He was trying to get the listeners to make the connection - I AM good because I AM.
Jesus Was Against Public Prayer
The point here is that some Christians don’t carefully read the Bible, or perhaps don’t take parts of it seriously. I agree. I make the same mistake myself.
Some Books of the Bible Are Forgeries
This is the most interesting of the points, in my opinion, because some of the passages mentions are some that I have the biggest issues reconciling with the rest of what I know. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.