What is it that makes a book holy? Wikipedia says a holy book is text or scripture considered sacred by a religion. That can cover a lot of territory, but it will do for my little article.
As Christians, we have the Holy Bible which is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. We view the Bible as the story of the relationship between God the Creator, and mankind. It starts with poetic words in the first chapter of Genesis in the Old Testament, and ends with apocalyptic words in Revalations, the last book of the New Testament.
In between we read of how God favored one people over another, and how this relationship waxed and waned throughout history. With the New Testament, God gives us a new deal in the person of His Son, Jesus. We are given salvation through the act of Jesus sacrificial death, and all we have to do is believe.
Throughout history, Christianity has been under attack. So has the Holy Bible. People deface the Bible, call it fraudulent, drag up inconsistencies in the texts, and generally try to discredit this work. There have been attacks upon attacks.
With all the attacks, the Bible still stands as God’s Word. We Christians take offence to the defacing of the Bible, but we are smart enough to know that the Bible is just a book made up of paper and other materials necessary to present the text. The important stuff is the Word of God.
The Word of God cannot be destroyed. The Word of God is much more than just words. As the New Testament Book of John says in its very first verse, ” In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Argument after argument is posed that there are inconsistencies, and contradictions in the Bible. One of the most egregious readings was done by none other than Carl Sagan, dead scientist, astronomer and talk-show publicity hound.
In Sagan’s book, Contact, he takes a shot at there being two contradictory creation stories in the first chapter of Genesis. He is correct, there are two stories. However, there is only one way you can read a contradiction into the text, and that is to not understand the context. Sagan decided to take the accounts in an ultra-literal way, thereby establishing different orders for the creation of mankind, animals, and the earth.
There is danger in reading a text that was written in older languages in times when things were different. Context can be everything, and Sagan chose to ignore this. This is called the Fallacy of Contextualism. The link takes you to a scholarly article on this very subject.
In spite of all the seeming contradictions, we still hold to our beliefs. God’s Word does not need our defense. Our job is to spread it.
This brings me to the reason for my writing this article. Christians should defend, and spread the Word of God. However, just burning a Bible, or defacing a Bible has no effect on the power and longevity of God’s Word.
We don’t need to riot, kill, and generally go insane because some people deface or defame our Christianity or the Holy Bible. Jesus and the Bible are stronger than this, and we know that the story of Jesus, and God’s Word cannot be stamped out with a few book burnings.