Sunday, May 9, 2010

Memorizing the Bible?

According to the web page at the inaugural National Bible Bee was held recently. That is a contest to see who has done the best job of memorizing the Bible.

MY question: why?

Wouldn't a more useful contest be to see who could do a better job of analyzing the Bible? Wouldn't a more meaningful contest be who could write the best paper explaining some passage in the Bible?

It's like memorizing how to spell a word. That doesn't mean that you know what the word means. Isn't knowing what something means more important than knowing how to spell it?

Similarly memorizing the first few verses in Ecclesiastes doesn't mean that you necessarily understand them.

I've always believed that one of the many bad things about believing in Biblical inerrancy is that it actually tends to actually DIMINISH the amount of thought and analysis given to the Bible. For example, if you believe that the book is inerrant, then you're generally not allowed to ask WHY something happened. The Bible says that it happened. Therefore it happened. End of story.

Why did God send a global flood rather than use some other method for killing all evil humans? You're not allowed to think about such things. God did it so it must have been the best way. Q.E.D.

In the same way, if you MEMORIZE something you are probably NOT analyzing it. That would be too distracting.

Alas, Biblical literalism could be actually argued as anti-Bible as well as anti-God and anti-Christian.

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