Walking the Bible Part II: Screws, Engines, and the Bible

The selection I posted yesterday about Gabi Barkay really stuck with me. I've actually been chewing on that metaphor for a few years. I came across Walking The Bible on Rob Bell's suggested reading list and immediately checked it out at ORU's library.

I read that part at a critical point in my faith. I was in Greek III: Exegesis in grad school. It was pretty intense because we were learning to translate the finer points of Greek grammar but also learning to evaluate the 'authority' of certain text fragments from one area and era verses similar text fragments found elsewhere from a different region. For example, we were trying to decide if a fragment of John 1 from the 3rd century found in Egypt was more reliable than a fragment of John 1 from the 8th century found in Jerusalem.

We were several weeks into class when I had a startling realization. The Bible as I knew it did not exist. I always thought that there was an original copy laying around somewhere. I handn't given it much thought, actually until that class I had given the process of compiling the Bible no thought at all. I wrongly assumed that the writer of Genesis, passed it on to the writer of Exodus, and so on and so forth. In Greek Exegesis class I slowly realized that there isn't a complete first addition of the Bible laying around somewehere and it made me question everything. I questioned my faith, the place of the Bible in my life, and most of the things I held sacred.

In that process I came across this book and his conversation with Gabi. His persepctive fliped a switch inside of me. Perhaps the Bible was truer than textual criticism. Perhaps I could trust that now there were not only multiple authors spread over multiple melinia, but now there were now multiple versions of what they write mae up of various scraps we have of their original work. The Bible indeed is not a machine. My faith is stronger now because of that crisis. For me, the truth's it contains and the narrative are more true than reality it's self. I'm connected to Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph. Their story is my story because my heart resonates with the truth of their story. We are all on a jounrey. We are all being reconciled, redeemed and saved from bondage.
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1 comment:

Jen Cohen Wallace said...

MIKE!! I'm totally going to read this book! Nothing like a good "crisis of faith" to make your faith stronger and your understanding deeper. I SO wish that Troy and I could spend some time with you guys...you and Troy would LOVE each other and talk tirelessly for days on end. And I would hold your sweet baby girl that whole entire time! :)

Miss the Collins'!

Jen (Cohen) Wallace

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