Daily Office Readings for Monday 4 March 2019
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
This is the opening of the Gospel of John. It is Trinitarian in that it is Word, with God, is God! But what we must take away from this is that it is “Word” not book (Bible)! In the beginning is the Word, not the Bible. There is a difference.
The experiences of our relationship with God and God Incarnate was just that, Godly experiences. It was word of mouth about the Word of God. Later we would put these experiences down in writing. Perhaps first for Christians in Aramaic, the spoken language of Jesus and later in Greek the language of an occupied Middle East. But in all translated recordings there are gaps, misrepresentations and mistakes due to languages that do not have words that fit the exact meanings.
Later, the Greek was translated into Latin, and sometime later the Latin into our early English. And now, into our American tongue and even that into various understandings, New International Version, King James, New Revised Standard Version, The Message and many, many others. And all of these are English translations, English translations that even the word smiths don’t agree on.
Many people hold to every word of the Bible. But the Bible has flaws due to mistranslations, mistakes and bias of the translator. Having said this I still believe the Bible contains all things necessary for our salvation. However, not everything in it is necessary for our salvation. There is a difference.
All Biblically based faiths do a certain amount of picking and choosing about what words of the Bible they hold most sacred. This is especially true for New Testament or Christian faiths. No exception. We have to because of the contradictions therein contained.
What we can take real comfort in is that the Bible is only a written reflection of an interpretation of the Word that was with God and was God, and is God today. The reading of the Bible must always be accompanied by loving prayer. In this way we can truly hear what the Holy Spirit is really saying to God’s people. Loving prayer is our personal translator.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.