On Biblical Complexity

As I’ve said many times before, including several times on this blog, the more I learn about a topic, the more I realize how little I know and how much more there is to learn. People use Bible quotes for many reasons, but this holy book is much more complex than many, if not most, Christians realize.

Think about a diamond. We prepare this gemstone with 56 or more facets (sides). Each providing its own reflection, yet the diamond’s overall brilliance is the combination effect of light’s simultaneous action on each of the surfaces. Examining the diamonds different facets shows us something different with each turn.

The Bible is the same way as each passage provides a different reflection (perspective) to deepen the totality of its meaning. Then complexity increases as we add in context, links to other passages, and knowledge of word origins, translations, history, and culture – in order words, it’s deeper than a simple quote.

Sure many people engage in Bible studies, but I wonder about how many get a chance to participate in a Bible study led by a Biblical scholar? Probably not too many, but I was fortunate to recently participated in a 5-Sunday event at our church led by a person with PhD in Biblical Studies. Simply wow!

Although I know very little about the sacred texts of other religions, I wouldn’t be surprised if they shared the same complexity. Meanwhile, I remain cautious to single-quote fanaticism.