Ever read the bible and wish that the writer would have made it a little more clear?
“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2).
Seriously? Had Paul (or whoever wrote this anonymous epistle) been willing to remind his audience of these things (especially the instructions on baptism), he could have saved us 2000 years of bickering! Why oh why did the author have to write to an already theologically developed audience? How many denominations and schisms have come about because of those very issues?!
Or how about when Jesus brings Lazarus back to life?
“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go” (John 11:43-44).
If only someone had asked Lazarus “so, Lazzy, what was it like being dead? Were you conscious? What is the moment of death like? Give us details!”
How about when Jesus tells the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43 “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”?
Did the Lord mean literally that day, or did He mean “today” from the perspective of one outside of time (or perhaps the perspective of the thief at the thief’s resurrection)? What is “paradise”? Where is paradise? Is it an intermediate holding place of good souls? Is it the highest heavens? What did He mean when he said that the thief would be there “today”?
Speaking of the time between the death and resurrection…
“He (Jesus) was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built” (1 Peter 3:18-20).
So, St. Peter…what? Did Jesus “preach to the spirits in prison” during the time in the grave? Was it a separate event that your readers would have known about? Who are these spirits? Were they the sinful men during Noah’s time? Were they fallen angels? What is prison? What was the Lord proclaiming to them? Were they in “prison” while he was preaching to them, or are you saying “He preached to spirits who are now in prison?”
And to think that Peter had said that Paul was hard to understand…(2 Peter 3:16).
And so, the saying goes; “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
(Originally published 05/25/2009:http://3-ringbinder.blogspot.com/2009/05/ever-notice-how-bible-sometimes-likes.html. Immaterial changes have been made).