On Sunday nights I attend a small Bible study with members of my church. We are a very tiny church with around 35 members and a regular congregation of around nineteen. Most of these members have surpassed the age of 70.
Still, I am blessed that their long term years of reading and studying the Bible have helped me to understand the twist and turns, which come along with a book that does not tell you everything, but provides what you need to get there. Where is there? Heaven.
During our last meeting, we were joined by a local who is also well versed on the Bible. This man joined our meeting to share his views with our members. It was a fascinating encounter, as two theologist battled out which one understood the book of Revelations, the best.
Both men carefully considered their tempers as they debated. Since I am poor at the art of shushing, I frequently put in my two sense, to attempt at summing up what they were saying.
This man’s wife has been attending our study for nearly as long as I have. Her views about many Biblical verses are different than the ones we share. She has been attempting to get her views shared for over a year. I believe her husband came in to save the day, and make their views heard.
It was surprising to me; their differences have been little to do with any salvation issues, just the importance of the temple being rebuilt in Israel. This man believes the temple will be rebuilt, while our leader believes it is unimportant.
The new man, let’s call him Peter, believes the 12 tribes will be called back to Israel. the temple will be rebuilt, and sacrifices on the alter, will begin. His view upon the Bible is to understand God’s full story, and the old covenant will return. Which, according to my understanding of this, the laws will be re-enforced.
Our leader, we will call him Paul (his favorite teacher), believes it is all one covenant, renewed by Christ with a better sacrifice (Christ), a better leader, and a better law – Love God with all your heart and with all your soul.
If Christ is the better sacrifice, why would the temple be important? Why would we again sacrifice lambs? What is important about what Peter is trying to tell us?
At one point, he actually stated – “If there is someone out there who has studied, and knows more about the Bible than I do, I hope he will come and set me straight.” I had to giggle. Does anyone know the Bible with complete understanding?
Peter was trying to tell us what he had determined by the readings he has done, and was convinced he had solved the riddles within. I admire his dedication to his studies, but I have to ask myself, if he has grown too proud of his singular knowledge within those surmises.
Can we even fathom how much we don’t understand about the Bible? Maybe, just possibly, the Bible is so deep, it is simple. The message, I think…Be ready!