Saturday 29 June 2013

I don't believe in Bible verses

Earlier this week, Martin and I came across this in our morning reading:

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I know these words as part of a popular hymn/song: one that I have always taken as affirming that things will generally go well for me because of God's love for me.  And yet look at where they show up: in the middle of one of Jeremiahs' laments following the destruction of Jerusalem.

Located there, those words are so very powerful.  Jeremiah is trusting in God's steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness in the midst of destruction.

That song I know so well certainly contains Bible verses but, by taking them in isolation, it makes them sound as if they say something ever so much safer than the original.

I've come across so many examples like this in recent years and they all make me a bit angry.  I no longer believe in Bible verses.  You can find verses that say more or less anything.  The truth of the Bible is contained in bigger chunks: paragraphs, chapters, books.  Verses are just too small.

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