Our twitterized culture loves quotes. We love that punchy punchline or catchy catchphrase. The Bible is used as a source of such quotes by many people, some of whom believe the Bible as God’s Word and some who do not.
I completely understand the “quote book” way of using the Bible. It is after all an enduring piece of literature. A cultural artifact you might say. Any historian or literary buff who displays ignorance of the Bible is displaying transparent bias rather than an objective plurality of interest in human sociological history. This being said, a person who studies the Bible as a cultural treasure certainly has no obligation to agree with everything they read. Those who read Plato don’t have to agree with him either. Of course if they find some quotable treasure that expresses their opinion well, or some point of wisdom that strikes them as helpful in today’s age, so much the better. They have no obligation to see the unity of the Bible and certainly have not committed themselves to finding its originally intended meaning, let alone submit their own perspective to what they read. They may speculate about possible interpretations and suggest modernized re-readings or even cut and paste their favorite sections into their own…Bible quote book. Read more