Several weeks ago (or is it months now) my community group leader informed us that the staff pastors had been given an assignment to determine their BIBLE VIEW.  Defining BIBLE VIEW as the lens through which you will interpret the text.

He didn’t share his personal view in depth, because he sincerely wanted us to determine that for ourselves.  At first thought this seemed like a fine idea.  There is much to consider in how the Word was written, there is literary genre, time frame, cultural influences, language, idioms of that language and culture, throw in pictorial meanings of original Hebrew text and you can evaluate the Word until the cows come home!

So this idea of my own BIBLE VIEW has been rolling around in my head for some time now. 

I recently took part in a women’s study of Hebrews and we all came into the study with various styles and sought to study the Word independently and then come together and share. The conversations of Bible version, which original Greek was used, the pictorial meanings, the Webster definition, the possibilities seemed endless, the discussion interesting and yet my spirit completely unsettled. 

And then a few days ago, I read this:

From The Journals of Jim Elliot

Systematic Theology, be careful how you tie down the Word to fit into your set and final creeds, systems, dogmas, and organized theistic philosophies.  The Word of God is not bound! It is freeto say what it will to the individual, and no one can outline it into dispensations which cannot be broken.  Don’t get it down ‘cold’ but let it live, fresh, warm and vibrant, so that the world is not binding ponderous books about it, but rather it is shackling youfor having allowed it to have free course in your life. That’s the apostolic pattern!

I then went to Elliots scripture reference for the day and found:

2 Timothy 2:14 and xref 1 Timothy 6:3-5

“Remind them of these things and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.”

“If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sounds words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ , and with the doctrine of conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words,out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”

And so it becomes clear why my spirit has been so unsettled, Lord please forgive me, I have wrangled about words, I have spent time on contreversial questions.

Perhaps if I spent more time on what I know, now what I wish I knew, and more energy on what we agree on, and sharing that truth with the world, perhaps then I could be of better use to the King.

I am not suggesting there is no place for studying the Word.  The tools we have available today to study are great and can add to what we discover and understand about the Lord.  But we must seek this information to enhance our relationship with the Lord and our ability to serve Him.  Not seek it to debate it, with believers or non-believers. 

In our Hebrews group, one women reminisced about her early walk with the Lord, reading the one year bible, Proverbs, Psalms, Old and New Testament, just a portion everyday.  She recalled the joy of hearing simple truths from the Lord on a daily basis.

I returned to this practice this week. 

The simple truth is that I trust God for the Word He has given me.  The Bible I hold in my hand every morning is His Word for me.  Much like a young man in a thrid world country with a ripped page of Phillipians would have to trust God that that is the Word God has given him. 

So as for my basic BIBLE VIEW, it is God’s Word, Genesis to Revelation, and I trust God to use it in my life as I read it, study it, pray for understanding of it, and seek to walk it out everyday.

As for figuring out which translation is best, which Greek is correct, whether or not the Hebrew pictorial meanings are more accurate than Websters 1828, I just need to take a break from all that and return to simply reading the Word and listening to the Father.

This past week has been some of the richest time I have spent with the Lord in years.  He is bringing clarity, conviction, challenge, refreshment…

Thank you Lord for the Simple Truth of your Word!