Strange World of the Bible #2: Ten Things the Bible Does Not SayAuthor: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bible, Cool Stuff, Discipleship, Faith, Women
Sometimes we assume something and it just not so. This is the second of short blogs on the “strange world of the Bible.” The first is here Strange World of the Bible : Nudity, Public Bathing & Dogs
My goal is simply to encourage closer reading of the text and to constantly ask questions. So in today’s strange world of the Bible I want to share ten things that you may or may not know that are in or about the Bible.
Some Bible Surprises
1) It will come as a shock to some who believe in calling Bible things by Bible names that the word Bible never occurs in “the Bible.” Now how ironic is that? In fact the “new testament” is a phrase that never occurs in the “New Testament” in reference to 27 documents but refers to the blood of Jesus. Likewise readers of this blog know that the phrase “Old Testament” never occurs in Bible in reference to 39 books of the “OT.” Melito of Sardis in 170 AD gave Christianity that term in reference to those books.
2) It will come as a surprise to those who cry “all I need to read is the Bible” that Paul the apostle read more than the Bible (Paul never read a “New Testament” though). The climax of his sermon in Acts 17, Paul reveals he was a reader, and memorizer!, of Greek literature. He quotes from two classic poets in the same verse (v.28). He says “For in him we live and move and have our being” which comes from Epimenides the Cretan from about 600 BC. He also says “we are his offspring” which comes from a poem by Aratus after 310 BC.
3) I grew up on the verbiage of a “scripturally organized church.” As I was raised, this meant that a New Testament church had to have elders, deacons and perhaps a minister. But have you noticed that when Paul sent Titus to Crete to “straighten out what was left unfinished” that Paul exhorts him to get on with appointing elders but there is not a word about DEACONS! Did churches on Crete not follow the “pattern?” Our usual approach to Timothy and Titus is simply to mash them together and both loose their Spirit given integrity as letters. Some never notice that the elder qualification list in Timothy and Titus (though similar) is not the same and we literally import deacons into Titus of which there is not a single word about in the little letter. Topical preaching frequently hides the distinctives of each text.
4) Did you know that David had no biblical authority to build or plan to build a temple for God? It was a human idea. God approved the idea though he did not let David do the actual building.
5) Did you know that most scholars believe a woman was the author of Psalm 131?
“O LORD, my heart is not lifted up,
My eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with it mother;
my soul is like the weaned child
THAT IS WITH ME.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time on and forevermore”
6) Did you know that the “doxology” at the end of the Lord’s Prayer is found only in the King James Version, Mt 6.13. Though this verse has been omitted from English Bibles since 1826 with Alexander Campbell’s Living Oracles (no modern translation has it). This doxology does not come from Jesus at all but from Solomon when he dedicated the temple that David did not have the authority to build. So in the NIV at 1 Chronicles 29.11ff we read the source of the KJV: “Your, O LORD, is greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor …”
7) Did you know that if you open your Bible to 2 Kings 19-20 and Isaiah 37-39 and read them out loud you will hear the Bible “in stereo.” Begin with 2 Kings 19.1 and Isaiah 37.1 and the texts are verbatim and the material in Isaiah is the material from 2 Kings.
8) Have you noticed that Jesus’ baptismal scene in Luke is very different than that of Matthew? In fact there is no description of the baptism by Luke at all. If we read Luke, not Matthew, have noticed that the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus “as he was praying” not as he was baptized (Luke 3.21-22). If we read Luke carefully this plays into two themes that run thru Luke and Acts – Prayer and the Spirit are tied together. The Gospels often suffer the same fate at Timothy and Titus. They are simply mashed together and we create a text that the Holy Spirit never gave and what the individual writers wrote is lost.
9) Did you know that Apollos was a scholar. He had deep command of the Bible (like Paul he also never saw a “New Testament” in his life). He understood discipleship in Jesus. He was a powerful preacher of Jesus. But he was wrong about baptism – had deficient understanding of it. A woman named Priscilla, and her husband Aquila, heard him preach. Luke says that they took him home and “explained to him the way of God more adequately.” But the text never says that he was rebaptized due to his insufficient understanding. This is fascinating. You can read the story in Acts 18.24-28. Was he? Luke is silent on the matter. People have more to say than Luke does.
10) Did you know that the Hebrew Bible does not teach that Israelites were saved by law or works. Did you know that the Hebrew Bible teaches that Isrealites entered into a relationship with God based on grace not law. The Hebrew Bible teaches that “Exodus comes before Sinai. Grace comes before faith or obedience.” Thus we can say “Exodus comes before Sinai. Calvary comes before Pentecost. Grace comes before Faith. It ALWAYS has. It ALWAYS will.”