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6.13.2012

When the Bible becomes a seemingly too dissected thing

I currently am at a point where the Bible for me seems to have become over-read. I don't state that to mean it's a big impasse or faith-questioning thing, but just that after reading the Bible complete now seven times, and individual books and passages numerous more times, and then getting the parts in relation to the whole understanding that can be derived from systematic theology (classical Covenant - Federal - Theology) the Bible is almost what a work of art can become after its been dissected too rigorously.

Anything gets like this once initial mystery and ignorance is gotten past.

I think some types deal with it by diving into commentaries ever deeper.

Frankly most Christians don't have the problem because the Bible is not read complete by most Christians, let alone several times (and I don't say that in some way to put down the majority of Christians; reading the Bible seven times is not a requirement for salvation, and everybody takes different approaches and is at different stages of their development and so on, and of course reading is a relative exercise where one person can get more from a single reading than I may have received from seven).

I see this as a serious subject. The Bible is God the Father's, our Creator's, *revealed word.* It's illumination is a product of having the helping presence of the Holy Spirit Himself in us. Given us by our King, and Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.

I said some types deal with what I've described by diving into commentaries. Other types deal with it by looking for deeper meaning in the text. Metaphorical level, allegorical level, anagogic, etc.

I see nothing inherently wrong with either approach. I know some strict orthodox types preach against or even mock the latter approach, but if one recognizes and is able to understand the level of the text that teaches us of salvation and the plan of God and all that we see in the sounder confessions and systematic theologies then seeing a deeper level of meaning in any given passage or verse will not necessarily get one off course.

Only I see it deeper than that. I don't see a practical benefit in 'thinking out' deeper meanings. That's like philosophizing within the limits of what we already know or have the means to find out.

I see the Bible as living language that has to be simply taken in with ever greater presence and level of being. Call it meditating on the text. Or simply pondering it. Having it cut deeper into memory and thus will and understanding. Seeing inner meanings and connections, and weighing passages against other passages, or doctrines against doctrines to see new elements and see from new angles.

I believe I have terminal understanding of biblical doctrine right now. So I am not envisioning seeing new doctrine. Just seeing deeper into the basics. Or having the basics deeper inside me.

So it's a receiving from God what He grants me to be able to see. In a way that transcends my current limitations if I just relied on myself for it.

And let's be honest about something too: systematic theology has done the work for us in identifying biblical doctrines that give great profit in meditating upon. I will get as much from pondering the doctrine of original sin from a systematic theology as from the Bible (if I could even identify it on my own from the Bible from any given book, the Epistles would be obvious, but I'm thinking even the book of Genesis). We don't have to be limited to an ST or the Bible, we can have both.

So we pray: Psa 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

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