I had a professor who used to say: "We don’t read the Bible, the Bible reads us."
I always wondered what the heck that means.
Let me attempt an explanation:
I think what my old proffie meant was that the stories of the Bible play out in the lives of ordinary people all over the world.
The Spirit inspired truths that carry with them the potential to shape lives, change paths and cultivate good moral characters, need to be lived.
For most of us, that’s like third base.
Modern Religion got stuck at first.
The church I grew up in taught me that a clever Christian is a good Christian. The end in mind of the faith journey is to know everything there is to know about Christianity. The goal is knowledge that we can test, measure and evaluate.
Obviously, it is good to know what the Bible says and to have that knowledge we need to read it again and again and again, because humans tend to forget.
But the “knowledge” found in the Ancient Hebrew Faith that inspired and shaped the theology of Jesus, is way different from our modern understanding of “knowing stuff”.
The Hebrew word for knowledge is called “Yada”. Sometimes they used it to describe the knowledge about some or other subject. Other times they used it to when people really got to know each other, like friends. Most of the times “yada” was used to describe the intimate relationship between God and humans. But then there’s also the odd now and then when they used it to describe sex between two lovers.
Bet I got your attention now...
For the Old Believers to have knowledge of something were always a spiritual and intimate affair. It concerned your brain and your heart, your spirit, body and your soul.
To know the Bible in a modernistic sense will only score big in the eyes of the Sunday school teacher, but to let the stories, told by the ancient prophets, poets, dreamers and writers shape your soul, lift your heart and move your feet in the direction of The Big Story Guru, until your whole life is so enmeshed in his massive story that it becomes difficult to see where the stories of the Bible end and where your story starts, that’s the kind of knowledge “Yada” is all about.