The Bible Is for You: Our Biblical Heritage Reconsidered

The Bible Is for You: Our Biblical Heritage Reconsidered

The Bible Is for You: Our Biblical Heritage Reconsidered

The Bible Is for You: Our Biblical Heritage Reconsidered

Excerpt

In the Bible, without doubt, are history and tale; proverb and enigma; correction and wisdom; knowledge and entreaty, prayer, praise and every kind of supplication; and all this in a Divine way superior to all the prolix benedictions in human books; to say nothing of its containing in its depths the Names of the Holy One, blessed is He, and secrets of being without end."

This attempt at a pithy summary of what is in the Bible by a sixteenth-century Venetian rabbi is as noble as it is succinct. But succinctness will not do. The Bible has been described in myriads of places and times; always it defies final and ultimate description. Historians seek to discover clues to ancient times in its lines; anthropologists look for origins of customs and taboos in its pages; theologians scan its words and their nuances for significant religious messages. Archaeologists, etymologists, philosophers, educators, and a mixed variety of other seekers after knowledge may be added to an unending list.

Despite all this, the Hebrew Bible, in our day, remains a closed book for most average adults. They recognize its value as a religious textbook for children, and often encourage their young ones to learn well its "tales." Few of them, however, get to know the Bible as a source of knowledge about human nature, as a resource for a better understanding of . . .

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