Blog Bad Writing in the Bible (and why that's good) Part Four

Finally, I am going to give God a chance to turn the tables here, by examining a portion of the Bible which, no matter how one looks at it, can only be a miracle: the Gospels.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Bible, the Gospels are the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) which tell the story of Jesus' life on earth. The Gospels are the most beautifully told of stories, but what is just as astounding is to step out of the message itself and look at their style.

The novel, as we know it today, is a large book telling a continuous story, in prose, in great detail and covering an extended period of time. You may be surprised to know that this writing formula which we take for granted was not realized until the early 18th century.

So how do you explain the Gospels?

C. S. Lewis remarked, 'I have been reading ancient myths all my life. I know what they sound like; they don't sound like this. Either this is reportage, or some unknown author with no known predecessors or successors somehow perfected the art of the modern novel.'

From a secular standpoint, the Gospels are historically impossible. They cannot be explained as fictional mythology. The only explanation for their existence as they are presented (in a style that would not not be developed for any type of mythology or fiction for almost seventeen centuries) is that they are a careful and detailed report of actual events.

Yes, the Bible has some weird methods. But at its beating heart lies a story told with such vision and majesty that we didn't even grasp how to imitate it for seventeen hundred years!

Follow Christ long enough and, though you will pity and pray for skeptics and scoffers and anti-theists, you will not be able to help snickering a bit at their notion that they can outsmart or destroy him. The battle was over literally an eternity before it began.

The Bible sums up its own nature better than I or any other human ever could:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is not of this earth, my friend. It is God's word, and it demands that we play by its rules, and never the other way around. Its rules often seem bizarre and counterintuitive, but it has been the centrepiece of human history for millenia, and our history demonstrates that when we go our own way or use the Bible for our own purposes, death and tyranny and agony and misery invariably follow. We are seeing it again today.

Seek out the wisdom of Scripture with a sincere heart and true faith, and you will find it. God will not let you miss it. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and he reveals that love within the strange and beautiful pages of his word.
 

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