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June 24, 2006



Two things: First, Christianity has a historical basis. It is not founded in mere ideas--however spiritually impactful--but in historical events. If the records of those events are not reliable, then there is a negative impact on our faith.

Second, a corrective is needed in some sectors of conservative biblical thought. I am a conservative; because of this, I think the notion of bible-as-manual must be eliminated. The bible is God's revelation of himself in language, not a self-help manual. If that is the case, then it really is all about relying on the Spirit.


Bill you ask many "What if's"
What if the Bible was compiled by many different authors over different time periods etc.?
My short answer would be "So what" we learn from the ideas.

Your second "what if" is more of a problem for me.
Suppose God never meant for the Bible to be inerrant?

Well, that creates a problem because at that point can we trust that there ever was a "fall of man"?

If there was no fall do we need a savior?

Here's a question for you.

You and Laura mention relying on the "Spirit". Suppose your "Spirit" and the Bible conflict? How do you decide which one to trust?

How do we even know there is a "Spirit" if the Bible is just a compilation of short stories and lessons without divine authorship?



I have a few thoughts on the subject of history and the Bible:

1. The parables Jesus told are an obvious example of narratives that aren't meant to be taken as historical accounts. That doesn't lessen the theological impact of them.

I'm not saying that the whole Bible should be viewed as though it were parabolic, but it is interesting to note some of the ways that Paul, for example, treats OT narratives as allegorical.

2. I think the earliest stories in the Bible (let's say Genesis 1-11 for the sake of this discussion) are probably not history, the way we think of history. Barth liked the word "saga," which he differentiated from "myth." If anyone's interested here is a link to a relevant article.

I realize you may not agree with me, but I don't feel the need to accept those accounts as historical in order for them to have meaning.

3. I think most of the rest of the Bible is at least based on historical happenings and I agree that the historicity is significant.

You used the word "reliable." I guess I might say that the records (I'm thinking particularly of the OT here) are reliable, but not free from error (from a Modern standpoint).



Saying the Bible is not inerrant does not necessarily deny the overall viewpoint that scripture gives us about sin.

You asked, "Suppose your 'Spirit' and the Bible conflict? How do you decide which one to trust?"

I think we need to hold a number of things in tension as we explore what the Spirit of God may or may not be saying to us:

1. scripture
2. tradition
3. reason
4. experience

I don't think anyone should reflect theologically without all of those components and I don't think of the Bible as a "trump card."

You wrote: "How do we even know there is a "Spirit" if the Bible is just a compilation of short stories and lessons without divine authorship?"

How did the people know there was a Spirit before the Bible was written?


Whatever God did inspire people to write... we know that every Word of God is pure and is a shield to those of us who put our trust in Him (Prov. 30:5). That the Word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any 2-edged sword, piercing even dividing soul and spirit, discerning our thoughts and heart's intents. (Sounds like more than mere words concocted by a bunch of men and run through the editing table a couple hundred times.)
Ephesians tells us in our war against rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness that we're to dress ourselves in defensive armor. We have ONE offensive weapon to use.........the Word of God, or the sword of the Spirit. We have obviously, therefore, been equipped as believers with this Word of God which is alive and active....pure.
I may not be a scholar or spend as much time with my sword as I should..... but I do prefer to regard it as a powerful tool on which I can rely without question. I would hate to be in a battle and have some gut belief that my sword might really be made of plastic or tin. I would have a hard time actually reaching my arm out to slay an enemy if I didn't have the faith to believe that my sword held the power to do that which it promised when I received it!!

Call me crazy!


I mostly agree with Laura, in the first comment, that Christianity is built on the history of the Jews, and to throw out all of that history would change the way Christianity, and how our faith is practiced. They don’t call it the Faith of our Fathers for nothing. A lot of the history in the Bible is in agreement with other writings from that time.

The Bible, like all historical documents contains errors. It is possible that at one point it may have been inerrant, but I’m not sure that we can call it that now. I also don’t believe that the existence of a few errors, mistakes, mis-translations, transcription errors, perspective differences, cultural issues, or whatever you want to call them, invalidates the whole book or even parts of it, because with thought and study, the errors can be explained or understood.

I believe in an omnipotent God who has somehow provided us with a book to support our faith and daily life, and it is inerrant in that purpose. That means that if someone measured wrong, didn’t hear the last words of Jesus so put in the last thing that they heard, or put the wrong number in, it doesn’t invalidate anything else. I make mistakes, I transverse numbers, does that mean that everything I say should be called into question? This is different from lying, a liar should not be believed. I don’t think that the Bible lies.

If we didn’t have the Bible, which I think is the root of Bill’s question, our faith would be different. We wouldn’t have the written experiences of those who have gone before us, and interacted with Jesus, to influence our day to day decisions.

That doesn’t mean we would have no reason for faith. Again, I’ll go back to the quote by Helen Keller, who when told of Jesus, having never read or been read the Bible, said that she knew him, she just didn’t know his name. We can come to faith in God and Jesus without the Bible.

Paul actually had this conversation in Athens, recorded in Acts 17:22-34. These people were not Jewish, and didn’t rely on the Old Testament. In verse 24-27, Paul points to nature as the way in which man can come to know God.


Lets in the meantime enjoy our families and our lives and our relationships with one another. We can't prove if OUR God exists or even if the Bible is true. The one absolute here is that we will find out very soon. Muslims, Christians etc. are dying for their faith every day and thet don't question their beliefs or for that matter where they came from or how true they are. I have no problem of anyone asking the question "what if". Unfortunately Satan would love for us to doubt our beliefs and the origin of them.


Hi Lauraconk,

I would respond to you in two ways:

1. The Bible is important. The OT was important to the early church and NT writers and the whole thing has always been important to the historic church. To me, saying it's not inerrant is a far cry from saying it's not important or effective, etc.

2. The phrase "the word of God" is an interesting subject that I've been pondering and would like to learn more about...especially its usage in the OT. We have to keep in mind that a passage like Hebrews 4:12 is talking about the logos of God (that word is used 316 times in the NT, incidentally). You probably know the word logos from John 1, where he uses it as a metaphor for Jesus. Logos literally means "something that has been said." So I would say that "the word of God" refers, first and foremost, to what God has declared as opposed to the written book of the Bible.

Now let me argue against myself for a moment. The church, from what I can see, has traditionally treated the Bible as if it were the "word of God." This can be seen in the practice of reading scripture and then saying, "This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God." I think tradition is an important key for us to understand what to believe so I honestly struggle with that fact.


By the way, I want to say that I applaud the way you've used scripture itself to express your view. All too often, I think we try to rely more on our logic about what we think the Bible ought to be. I think it's better, in some ways, for us to focus more on what the Bible says and demonstrates about itself internally.

That's not to say that no other forms of argument matter, of course.



You wrote: "It is possible that at one point it may have been inerrant, but I’m not sure that we can call it that now."

The problem with what you're saying is that those who believe in inerrancy always say the Bible is inerrant "in the original manuscripts." It's basically a part of the definition for people.

Peter Ballard has some interesting thoughts about this in the article he linked to at the beginning of this series. Here's a quote:

"Apologists will usually say (correctly, I believe) that God providentially protected the manuscripts so that no significant errors crept in, and so that the essential things in the Bible were all reliably preserved....In other words, God protected the Scriptures as far as was necessary....So here's my point: why can't we say the same for the autographs? Why can't we say that God's inspiration of the writers was as far as was necessary to reliably communicate God's message?"

I like how you've distinguished between erring and lying. It is my understanding that some organizations, such as Fuller, use the word "infallible," as opposed to "inerrant," to denote the kind of thing you're talking about. They say the Bible is "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." I think what they're basically getting at is that the Bible won't steer you wrong in spiritual matters. Don't quote me on it, though. In any case, I think this differentiation is confusing given the fact that my thesaurus lists the two words as synonymous! Also, a lot of people use "infallible," but mean the same thing as "inerrant."


I chose the words "possible" and "may" on purpose. From what you are saying, it looks like you think I am saying the original manuscripts "were" inerrant.

As a historian, I am unable to form a conclusion as to the status of the original. God has not provided them for us. I also have to admit that that I don't fully understand God, and was not a witness to any of the Bible events or writing and therefore am in no position to say that he did not make them inerrant. My position is based on where I am in time and space, and the information available to me now.

My point is that I don't need to call the Bible on the table next to me inerrant. In facts, the Bible itself says that I don't need it to come to know God.

So the short version: I don't agree with what you have just said. We can't know all of the mind of God, and we don't know what he did or didn't do.

I apologize for my snarky comment ahead of time, but anyone who thinks that Bill thinks for me, or that I agree with everything he says needs to re-read my last paragraph several times.

On a side note, I like the tone of this discussion much better. Kudos for everyone being civil!


Jesus believed the OT to be true. (John 10:35 tells us "Scripture cannot be broken")

In Matthew 5 Jesus say "17“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus believed in the miracles of the OT. He spoke of Moses holding up the serpent in John 3:14-16 (referencing Numbers 21:5,6, 8)

In Matthew12:40 and Luke 11:30 we see that Jesus believed in the OT story of Jonah in the belly of the fish.

In Exodus 16 and Psalm 78 the OT speaks of the manna. In John 6:33. 35 and 47-50 Jesus confirms his belief in that story and compares Himself to manna.
In Matthew 24 Jesus speaks of Noah's flood.

My question would be this...
If Jesus believed the OT and testified to their truthfulness should we, can we do any less?

Who is a more trustworthy witness. Mr. Drane or Jesus?


Bill wrote to George
"I think we need to hold a number of things in tension as we explore what the Spirit of God may or may not be saying to us:

1. scripture
2. tradition
3. reason
4. experience"

George responds.

Bill, I appreciate and respect your answer but it leaves me with more questions.
I agree with #1 so no need to comment there.
#2 Tradition. Tradition has told us "Don't eat meat on Fridays". Tradition has taught us about purgatory and "Indulgences".
Knowing that tradition has made so many errors how can we trust it?
#3 Reason. But what is our "reason" based on? Is any of this "reasonable"? I mean is salvation really "reasonable"?
#4 "Experience". If everyone has had a different experience, isn't this totally subjective?

It appears to me that only Scripture is truly dependable. If you disagree, please explain.

thank you,



I'm stuck George, I can't find where anyone says the Bible is not true.



I hit on some of what you're talking about in my post entitled Jesus and the Old Testament. Jesus recognized scripture as an authority and then proceeded to build on it. I think Paul did the same thing. A long time ago, I asked my hermeneutics professor what we could learn from the way Paul interprets scripture. He said we can't because Paul was inspired and we're not. I think that's bunk.

I don't think that Jesus was necessarily making any statement about the historicity of the Jonah story, to use one of your examples. Please note that the writers of the NT sometimes referred back to the OT, but treated the stories as allegorical. 1 Corinthians 1:1-11 is an example that I talked about in the comments section of the post I linked to above.

I will respond to your second comment when I get back from church!


Okay, here's my response to your comments about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (scripture, tradition, reason, experience):

Tradition can be just as fallible as the other four. The point is that we need to be careful about throwing out tradition. I am disagreeing with a basic anabaptistic belief here. The Reformers wanted to reform the church, not throw out everything it had ever said. The Anabaptists (and I'm probably oversimplifying here) wanted to ignore any kind of "tradition" and just go back to the Bible. What I think they got wrong is that we need history to help us interpret things.

You asked what it's based on. There is no secret meaning here. It's based on knowledge, intellect, learning, etc. Remember, I'm saying we need to hold these things in tension. If you rely on your own reason alone, there will be a problem.

You wrote: "Is salvation reasonable?"
I think it is. I don't believe in fideism which means you believe in something regardless of whether or not it's reasonable.

This was a tough one for me at first because it sounds like a "liberal" thing. I have come to realize, however, that experience really does matter. I'm probably not going to be able to articulate this very well, but I believe that without experience, we cannot have the ability to read or interpret anything. Thus, we can't really believe anything. Our beliefs are shaped by our experience whether we care to admit or not.

You asked: "If everyone has had a different experience, isn't this totally subjective?"

First of all, I believe that we can strive toward objectivity, but that we never attain it. But I don't believe our experience are "totally" subjective either. I think it makes sense that you and I can have some shared experiences. We may not share these experiences in identical ways, but they are shared nontheless. I guess I might say they are shared somewhat subjectively! ;-)

I wouldn't necessarily say that scripture is not dependable, but I would say that we shouldn't try to depend on it while excluding the other three.

I could probably write more about this, but maybe I'll just wait for further questions or comments you (or anyone else) might have. I'd enjoy talking about it more so fire away. Just keep it simple so that I can keep up with my responses!


So what do you do when two or more conflict?


Flip a coin.

No, seriously...The fact that your holding them all in tenion doesn't mean one can't have more of an influence on you. I think they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Scripture, for example, is coming from a perspective based on a different time and culture. That can be a weakness, especially given the diffiulties we still have understanding those perspectives.

We can probably agree that reason is fallible, too, but I think that it is only because of reason and experience that abolitionists were able to work against scripture and tradition to say, "Hey, maybe slavery isn't such a great thing after all."

Know what I mean?

So there's no easy answer to your question. Admittedly, it's a little more work than taking out your concordance and looking up a verse or two. But I think it's necessary nonetheless!


I guess what I'm most curious about are statements like, "I wouldn't NECESSARILY say that scripture is not dependable" Does that in turn mean that under a certain condition you might say that scripture (the Bible as we know it is what I assume we're talking about) is not necessarily dependable as well??

To say that ONLY the words God or Jesus actually vocalized are equivalent to "the Word" or the words that embody the sword of the Spirit. I'm not feelin' it. While I believe I understand the logos deal, my EXPERIENCES :) show me that I gain tremendous power from repeating scripture and recalling to mind words written by Solomon, Paul and others... words I trust to be God-breathed, allowed and inspired by Him. Words it seems the Holy Spirit comforts me with and brings to my recollection. So, if the Holy Spirit is recalling these things to my mind and teaching me... and if the Holy Spirit is a member of the triune God... then are those words not now the "logos" as well?? That same word that equals my sword??

If we look at the book of Revelation, we don't read a lot of "God said" logos-type stuff. We mostly read about what John SAW and heard (from angels, elders, etc.). Yet it was a revelation given by God via angelic messenger service to John. You know the ending... no additions, no omissions OR ELSE. While not logos, it certainly is God-written and protected. My REASONING says that if this and other books which contain similar warnings and protection by God, why not ALL of the scripture God has allowed to remain in tact over the course of HISTORY?

I'm also curious about a statement about the account of Jonah being allegorical.. but my brain can't handle too much more at the moment. I can't see anything revealed in Jesus' logos that indicate He was referring to anything less than an historical account. ??

Send love to my girl!!!!


Paragraph 2, line 2
that first "or" should've been "are"


I don't think that the Bible is "dependable" in the way some people think it is. It's not dependable as an answer book about everything...even when it comes to moral or spiritual issues.

I also think that it's dependability depends a lot on tradition, reason, and experience. By the way, I neglected to say above that I would include our interaction with the Holy Spirit as part of "experience."

Millions of people have had the same experiences with scripture that you have had and I don't want to take away from that. I think the Bible is invaluable. But I think that God has continued to inspire people to write things since then (none of which are infallible in my opinion). The Bible has an authority all its own because of when the documents were written, but that doesn't mean that God can't work through other books, too.

I don't think we should interpret Revelation 22:18-19 as saying that nothing should be added or taken away from the whole Bible. After all, the Bible in its present form didn't even exist at that point. The New Testament had not been collected together yet.

I wouldn't necessarily say that the story about Jonah should be taken allegorically. My point was that just because Jesus referred to the story doesn't mean he's saying it's historically accurate.

If I tell Liam that he needs to learn not to lie like in Pinnochio that doesn't mean I'm claiming that the story of Pinnochio literally happened.

Sorry if any of that is jarring to you! I'm really not trying to discredit the Bible as some people are accusing me of doing. If anything, I want to truly understand it and grow in my faith.

That's not to say I don't welcome your comments, questions, or criticisms!


I don't feel I've criticized you.. so I am hopeful that you haven't misunderstood me.... maybe you just added that word meaning you don't mind if I do ??

I also didn't intend to say that the warning in Revelation was about the whole Bible... it specifically seems to speak just about that book, as like you say, the NT wasn't compiled yet. I just was trying to say that if such warnings are given at least 3 times that I know of in different books... could it not be reasoned that the same should hold true over the whole book now that it is compiled? If we're holding history, or tradition in tension with other things... tradition and history have kept the Bible intact...nothing has been added or taken away, in the mainstream of it all.

Of course others can gain amazing insight into the heart of God and can write life-changing material! Of course others can be inspired to write and God can use that to change hearts and minds and to grow people! God could use a rock to do those things, as well... if He so chose. He can make a donkey speak if need be... I totally agree on that point. I just cannot see how any of that lessens the dependability of the Bible. It is the best way to learn about who God is, what His heart is like and who I am to Him. I can love my son, can love my parents, can love my friends... it doesn't make my love for my husband less valuable. He can depend on my love even though I love other people, too. (Sorry, if you can compare Pinnocchio to Jonah.. I can take my own liberties ;) )
In turn, just because I can learn from other means... it doesn't lessen what I can learn from scripture and the dependability of those words... they're time-tested, scholar-approved and imprinted on our hearts and minds... I can rely on them without fear of being misled. When trying to determine if something is "of God" what do we use as a litmus?? We check it against what we know to be true of Him, as He never changes or wavers... we look to the Bible. Joe Schmoe could tell me xyz about God. If the Spirit within me stands in agreement and it's something I know from what I've learned about God (through yes, the Bible, my experiences, tradition, and reason...I see this point) I will agree. If he tells me tuvw about the Bible and it doesn't sit right (based on those 4 things)... on what basis will I eventually make my decision?? I turn to the Bible, I pray. It's invaluable and dependable.
I have not studied under Dr.'s so and so... my faith may be considered child-like..... but according to the logos of Jesus, a child-like faith is a good thing. I am not in the least way insulting you or the persuit of higher learning, please don't misunderstand. But if higher learning is going to cause me to question the dependability of the Bible...I'm not buyin.
I am, however, in some odd way enjoying the conversation and find it to be a growing thing :)


I don’t think that scripture is equal to the other three items you listed. Not only is scripture its own important category, but it is also part of tradition, reason and experience. That puts more weight on scripture, tipping the balance in its favor. (I’m not saying I agree with all you have said about scripture, reducing it to a 1 in 4 item, but am trying to look at it from your perspective.)

As a historian, I have been trying to think of an example of historical documentation (which seems to be the role that the Bible would have in your thinking – if my conclusion is incorrect, please let me know) that might reflect my thinking on this. The Declaration of Independence. We celebrate the congressional declaration and the signing of this document on July 4th, under the TRADITION that it was the actual date it was signed and declared. Our REASON tells us that if the date on the declaration is July 4, then that is the correct date. Our EXPERIENCE tells us a few things, 1) if July 4 is the date written, then that is the correct date, 2) if that is the date we have always celebrated, then that is the correct date, and 3) sometimes people make mistakes. In this case, our tradition, reason and most of our experience is wrong.

If we go back to the writings and documents of that time, it is very clear that the Declaration was made and introduced in congress on July 2, the wording of the document approved on July 4, the bill approved on July 19, and finally signed by the first person, John Hancock, on Aug 2. The last person signed it almost a year later. My favorite event regarding this is that a scholar found a John Adams letter referring to July 2 as a day that “will be the most memorable…”, the scholar actually changed the date in the letter to match the traditional date.

Yes, there are some errors, Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the whole thing, the dates are wrong, people have changed details. Does any of that invalidate or reduce what the Declaration of Independence says? Does any of it lower the weight of the document in legal discussions? Americans have used tradition, reason and experience to add and alter both the Declaration and Constitution, and in most cases are wrong. Those writings are of the people who actually had the discussions, met the people, carried the guns (some of them) and had the threat of death held over them. All of that counts far more than our tradition, reason and experience.

I’m sorry this got long and a little wacky, but I had asked you what to do when there was a conflict in the four items you listed, and you really didn’t have an answer. I think that we do, we go back as far as we can, and get as close as we can to those who actually experienced Jesus, then we measure everything else against them.

And after composing this in Word, and refreshing your blog, I see that Lauraconk has said the same thing, shorter. But I spend some time on this, and am going to add it anyway! ;)


Laura, your husband should rise up and call you "blessed". Very well said. Thank you.



You wrote: "I don't feel I've criticized you.. so I am hopeful that you haven't misunderstood me.... maybe you just added that word meaning you don't mind if I do ??"

You're exactly right. I was just saying, "Don't mind if you do!"

You wrote: "...nothing has been added or taken away, in the mainstream of it all."

This is kind of nitpicky, but we often forget that different segments of the capital "C" Church have slightly different canons. What we can say is that they all share the same books that Protestants have in their canon. Some of them just have more. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the Orthodox church considers the Septuagint (Greek translation of OT) authoritative as opposed to the Hebrew (Masoretic?) text. I talked about this issue in this post.

You wrote: "[The Bible] is the best way to learn about who God is, what His heart is like and who I am to Him."

I basically agree although I would add that the writings of all of our theological forebears are invaluable on this matter. In the faith tradition that I grew up in, I have found that tradition is all too often thrown out. There will always be bad aspects of tradition, but we have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

You wrote: "When trying to determine if something is "of God" what do we use as a litmus?? We check it against what we know to be true of Him, as He never changes or wavers... we look to the Bible."

I think that there is a sense in which God never changes, although I don't think he's static (but that's another conversation). I would differentiate between God never changing and the Bible never changing, however. I think we can see a development of thought about God in the Bible. God continues to reveal himself today. Therefore, I believe I cannot totally rely on any book. You might disagree, but I hope I'm at least explaining my view in an understandable way!

You wrote: "I am, however, in some odd way enjoying the conversation and find it to be a growing thing :)"

I'm glad. I have to admit that my motives for some of this are probably pretty selfish. Some of it is me venting and some of it is me wanting to learn! But I also want others to benefit from the conversation. I take the way my words affect others very seriously.



I don't have any problems with you putting more "weight on scripture," so to speak. As you already know, my argument is more against scipture as "foundational."

I wish I could draw a diagram here, but I don't think it's going to work! I don't picture the Bible as the foundation of a building, with everything else built on top of it. I picture the Bible as part of a "web of beliefs."

In the first picture, if you do anything to change the foundation, you risk collapsing the whole building. In the second picture, you can change the way you think about scripture without collapsing the whole web. My philosophy prof, Nancey Murphy would probably say I'm explaining this poorly, but I'm trying!

For the benefit of others, I wrote a series about the philosophy involved here back in February of this year (I know Debbie's already read them). Here are the links:

A Web of Beliefs
Which Web?
Lakatos on Theology
Which Tradition?

An easier way to get at those posts would be to click on the Philosophy link under "Categories" in the column to the right. Just remember that you have to start from the bottom and read upward if you want to read them in the order they were written!

I'm getting pretty good at this shameless self-promotion thing. Maybe I'll make it in Hollywood after all! ;-)


I agreed with you on the web verses foundation theory, and in fact just finished refering to it in the last of a 7 part series I'm going to be starting. See, I can do shameless promotion too!

I am glad that it is okay with you that I give scripture more weight, cause I could do it anyway! The only foundation a Christian should have is on Jesus.


Are we done with this topic yet?


Do you mean this post or my whole series on Understanding Scripture?


I was about to post a rather huge comment, but I have thought better of it. I'll post it on Laura's Writings.

Bill, as always, thanks for the discussion. I love being sharpened!


OHHHH...I see. Now everybody's self-promoting. Nobody self-promotes in opposition to my self-promoting and gets away with it!

NO ONE! ;-)


Okay, now I'll be serious. I'll look forward to reading what Laura and Debbie have to say.


hey... I gave ample credit ;-)


Oh man! Now I have to read Laura's blog again just to see the comment! (I was there last week to poke around)

And Bill - yes to this post, and you mean there is more to this series? Are you a masochist?


lol...well I did promise a conclusion, but I've been avoiding the mental exercise of writing one.


I have often found that I start a series and then lose interest/get distracted/become lazy and never finish it. Now I am trying to do the whole thing in Word first, cut/paste and use the delayed publish option.


Okay... I don't have a true clue what you meant about God or the Bible changing or not changing. :)

I think because they are both living, they are in movement... we can experience different things from them at different times, but neither can change in their inherent nature.

I just feel compelled to respond with 2 things... just to get it off my chest.
In Malachi 3:6, God clearly says, "I am the LORD, I do not change." His promises to us are secure... He will not be changing His mind. He cannot lie.

St. Augustine wrote in the Confessions (I LOVE this): "Who then are you, my God? What, I ask, but God who is Lord? For 'who is the Lord but the Lord', or 'who is God but our God?' (Ps 17:32). Most high, utterly good, utterly powerful, most omnipotent, most merciful and most just, deeply hidden yet most intimately present, perfection of both beauty and strength, stable and incomprehensible, immutable and yet changing all things, never new, never old, making everything new and 'leading' the proud 'to be old without their knowledge' (Job 9:5, Old Latin version); always active, always in repose, gathering to yourself but not in need, supporting and filling and protecting, creating and nurturing and bringing to maturity, searching even though to you nothing is lacking: you love without burning, you are jealous in a way that is free of anxiety, you 'repent' (Gen 6:6) without the pain of regret, you are wrathful and remain tranquil. You will a change without any change in your design. You recover what you find, yet have never lost. Never in any need, you rejoice in your gains (Luke 15:7); you are never avaricious, yet you require interest (Matt. 25:27). We pay you more than you require so as to make you our debtor, yet who has anything which does not belong to you? (I Cor. 4:7). You pay off debts, though owing nothing to anyone; you cancel debts and incur no loss. But in these words what have I said, my God, my life, my holy sweetness? What has anyone achieved in words when he speaks about you? Yet woe to those who are silent about you because, though loquacious with verbosity, they have nothing to say."

God doesn't change... there's just SO much to Him, it'll take a lifetime plus to really know Him fully. And we know we won't see completely until Heaven... I cannot fathom what it's going to be like to REALLY know Him!!! I feel like singing right about now... but it's early, so I will refrain :)

You said this was a different conversation altogether... but I don't know the rules to this blog stuff, so you have to put up with me!!

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