Bible Expert

20 Feb 2021

An expert has been described as a drip under pressure (ex-spurt). Sadly many are not ex, they continue to spurt. I know that I am guilty of this too. Here I go:

YouTube tutorials may be of value, but I’m getting fed up of endless introductions that ask you to subscribe to their channel. People love quantifiable public attention and money from advertisers. With the valuable good, there is also the diabolical. When I hear some self professed expert state knowledge that I know to be factually inaccurate, I loose confidence in everything else they might say -even if it’s about something I don’t know about. If their facts aren’t right how can you trust their opinion? Knowledge is important but…

At work (I haven’t been able to say that for well over 2 years, but thank God, I can now albeit minimally) a colleague mentioned how useful mind maps were. I agreed but added, that I prefer them as concept maps where bits of knowledge on the map are connected with words that describe their connection. This helps us to engage with understanding as well as knowledge. Knowledge plus understanding is far more valuable. I still spurt too, gushingly.

In a bible study this week the value of reading scripture was highlighted. I agree, but prefer it in the context of theological study. At times, following a pre recorded programme of study has been great. Post accident, emotions from day to day experiences provoke my study and reflections. For me Biblical studies often focus on the Bible as a book, whilst Theological knowledge of the Bible is broader and more thematic. The good news. I did not spurt this out at the group meeting.

During the study the temptation of Jesus was discussed. The devil used his knowledge of scripture to tempt Jesus. The Devil used what I call Shotgun theology, extracts of scripture, to fit his own agenda. Knowledge of bits of scripture, even favourite bits, is good. Jesus demonstrably used an all encompassing knowledge and understanding of scripture to honour his relationship with the Father. Devil defeated. This approach is in short supply, subscription to this is sacrificial. Have you been asked to subscribe?

In the Garden of Gethsemane. The minor cost of staying awake to support Jesus in his distress was too big an ask for the disciples, even Peter, James and John. They could not keep watch for an hour despite their knowledge, understanding and relationship. Contrast this with Jesus, “Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14v36)

Abba Father. A good father loves his children and good children love, trust and obey their daddy. It seems we need knowledge, understanding and a selfless response rather than demand what we’d like from the all powerful. I think that engaging with scripture is more about love, sacrificial love, than knowledge and understanding, theological or otherwise.

Reflections Menu