Here’s another reflection on the scriptures, found in “Nearer to the Heart of God” compiled and edited by Bernard Bangley, Paraclete Press, 2005.
This one comes from St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the great thinkers in the Christian church.
“One says, “Moses meant what I say.” Another disagrees, “No, he meant what I say.” It seems to me that it is nearer to the truth to ask, “Why can’t he have meant both? And if someone would see a third or a fourth or any number of meanings in the same language, why can’t we believe that Moses meant them all?” God has adapted the Bible to many interpretations. Without a doubt—and I do not hesitate to speak from my heart—if I had to write with such great authority I would attempt to write in a way that my words would communicate as much truth as possible to each reader. I would not write down one true meaning so obvious that it would prohibit any other meaning, even though there was nothing offensive in the alternate interpretations.”
We are in a time, at least in my church, The Presbyterian Church (USA), where how we approach the Bible is most controversial. That condition has been the motivation for our two “How We Read the Bible” classes here at Whittier Presbyterian Church. Augustine’s words, which are over 1500 years old, can be just as applicable today as they were then. Augustine’s approach is inclusive, not exclusive. What do you include or exclude as you read the Bible?
May God’s Word touch you today.