Why is Scripture Sacred?

For Christians the words of the Bible are the “Word of God”. Does this mean that God wrote the Bible? No. Does it mean that everything you find in the Bible is literally true? No. Does it mean that it is inerrant? No.

Nobody knows who wrote the books of the Old Testament or the gospels of the New Testament (except the Psalms were written by King David and the Epistles of Paul were obviously written by Saint Paul (though not all of them)). Nobody knows how many people were involved. All we know is that the Bible as a whole is revered by millions of people as inspired, revealed Truth.

The Bible is sacred writing. It is holy scripture. Why? Why can’t we treat it like any other work of fiction? Or any other work of history? Well, people do. But they rob it of its spiritual power. Sacred scriptures are demarcated as sacred in order to protect them from profane minds, especially the profane minds of Cynical Clowns and Fearful Bores.

In my blog, The Good Trip Guide, I quoted Psalm 11 from the Old Testament and quoted from chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Romans and from chapter 20 of the gospel according to Matthew. For Christians, these are sacred pieces of writing that should be read with reverence. They carry a special spiritual authority that our critical, questioning minds must defer to. Ideally, we should read them as the monastics do, through “lectio divina”, a divinely inspired reading to match the divinely inspired writing, like two arrows that meet in mid-air.

Imagine what a Cynical Clown might make of these passages. Imagine the potential for irreverent humour and cynical scoffing. Imagine what a Fearful Bore might make of them: endless tedious over-interpretation and analysis. Neither is able to engage the sacredness of the text. Both are engaged in sacrilege.

Until we can regain a lively and wholesome sense of the sacred, and escape the dominant modern attitude of skepticism and cynicism, we will continue to flounder in the mud pit of profanity, impotently slinging mud at the invisible face of God. And that’s no way for mature adults to behave.