As you journey through The Story, and questions come up, please post them below. Just leave a comment, and it will get answered.
As we read through the Old Testament I struggle with believing that the different stories are historically accurate and true, some seem quite far fetched – how do I reconcile this? I see the Bible as the truth but consider these different stories as a way to teach us about experiences with God and about who He is rather than historical accounts.
If I understand your question correctly, you’ve raised one of the central issues about reading the Bible, namely: can we believe that the miracles described in the Bible are historically accurate? On this topic, entire books have been written (perhaps the best is “Miracles” by CS Lewis – I highly recommend it).
A few observations might help us here. First: To believe in an all-powerful God requires us to believe that God can break the laws of the God-created nature. Put simply, if God is real, miracles are possible, even expected. Second: sometimes the Bible speaks in metaphor (such as Psalm 98:8 – “the rivers clap their hands…”); this is a description of universal joy, not of a miracle where rivers actually form hands and clap.
Most importantly, on many occasions where miracles take place the description is neither poetic nor metaphoric. Instead, the biblical writer is recording history and intends the readers to see the event as historical. This is clearly the intent of such stories as the God speaking to Moses (Exodus 3), the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14), Jesus walking on water and feeding 5,000 people (Mark 6), and the ultimate and defining miracle of the Christian faith, Jesus’ resurrection from death (Luke 24). While these stories may seem far-fetched, the storytellers clearly want us to accept them as historical accounts of God surprisingly and supernaturally breaking the laws of nature in order to reveal his presence. How we respond to these stories – well, that is the beginning of faith.
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