Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Invisible Bible

Last Thursday I was listening to the Albert Mohler Program and he mentioned a book: The Invisible Constitution with the complaint, “Why—If there is an ‘invisible’ Constitution behind the real one; you can put whatever you like in it!”

Now, I haven’t read the book; this is not a take-off on any premise therein.

Coincidentally, this was the same day One Small Step wrote this comment:

And then, to carry on with your line of what other secret messages future generations will find ... if God did inspire in such a way, what other parts of the Bible were inspired in such a fashion? What else did the authors write thinking it was literal truth, but would later to be found metaphorical or symbolic or figurative?

that was resonating through my head at the moment. I almost shouted “Eureka!” as I heard the disapproval from Dr. Mohler. I wanted to reach right through the radio, grab Al by the face, look him in the eye and say, “This is exactly what Christians do. They create an ‘Invisible Bible’ behind the real one and insert whatever they want into it.”

We see the poetic book of Job. A Christian creates an “invisible Bible” and determines it was either poetic, or perhaps poetically describing a literal event, or doctrine, or a description of God, or…whatever! We see a literal event. Right? Nope—the “invisible Bible” is giving us a metaphorical event—didn’t happen. Or perhaps it was a literal event, only mythically enhanced. Or a literal event that was to be a type for a later event. Or a metaphorical event demonstrating prophecy.

We see Jesus mixing it up with the Pharisees. Some look in their “Invisible Bible” and claim this actually happened and is a demonstration of how to show “love” to non-believers. Other people’s invisible Bible indicates it didn’t happen at all—it is myth. Still other people’s invisible Bibles say it did happen, and Jesus was loving them, but this is not an example of we should do.

Yeah, Dr. Mohler—you got it! By creating these “invisible documents” we CAN insert whatever we want. Christians are prolific at it. Paul’s doctrines about women? Well, the bit about not preaching in church—THAT one the Southern Baptist Invisible Bible says the same as the literal Bible. The One about women wearing pearls and gold? Lo and behold the Southern Baptist Invisible Bible says this one is “Right out!” Has to do with a principle, doncha know!

Psalm 22. A poem about a cry for help from an afflicted person. Ahhhh…but turn with me to Psalm 22 in your “Invisible Bible” and it turns out to be a miraculous prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion. Mind you, the Invisible Bible also says the author of Mark couldn’t have figured that out and used Psalm 22 as midrash to create the Passion Story---oh, no! The Invisible Bible says Mark was writing history. Or at least this one does…

Because the Bible is considered “God-breathed” by most Christians, this creates a façade. A veneer. Where the actual, physical Bible is boringly traipsed over, but underneath one can pull out the “Invisible Bible.” The “Real” Bible. The “God-Breathed” part. This is the part that is taught and fought and commentated and preached and teached and wrestled and able to create divergence in so many different denominations we have given up trying to keep track of them.

Think of this. If all we had was the literal Bible, the available sermons on the topic would have dried up long ago. Assuming there were only 1,000 churches preaching 3 sermons a week, this gives us 312 million sermons having been taught on the Bible. Using the KJV, it averages out to over 10,000 sermons per word! Why hasn’t it stopped?

‘Cause the Invisible Bible provides an infinity of possibilities that can never be exhausted.

What is the Christians’ favorite version of the Bible? The invisible one.


  1. Amen.

    A great ser...I mean, a great blog post DagoodS. Just felt it needed an amen tacked on.


  2. Dagoods

    Funny I wrote something along these lines yesterday. Are we not all Cherry pickers at some time or another?

  3. Couldn't we argue that the Bible does this to itself? Paul has mentions in 1 Corinthians 2 about how only the Spirit can help one interpret spiritual things, and so the unspiritual are unable to understand properly, and thus find things of God foolish. Or with God making the wisdom of this world look foolish.

    There's another section, but I forget where, where Paul says the Jews can't properly understand how Jesus is the Messiah because they read the Tanakh with a veil or something.