Interrogating the ‘young’ Bible

One of the concepts I have been working with I put into the form of a rhetorical question. ‘Imaging interrogating the young Jesus (maybe 12 years old)….’ He grew up in his culture, a culture that did not view women very highly and saw Gentiles as rank outsiders (even ‘dogs’). Fully human meant that he did not float above the surface but was shaped by his culture. The remarkable feature is that he came to a place of full maturity – what we could term ‘truly human’ and by the time he was 33 was mature and became a source of salvation for all. Interrogate the 33 year old Jesus and his answers would not have simply stood out in his culture but would make our perspectives look tame. I am all but double that age, growing up with advantages he never had and am no where close to half that level of maturity.

[David Leigh in one of the Zoom groups opened my eyes to some fresh insight how Jesus was so far ahead, in spite of his culture, when in the Temple at age 12 he is questioning the ‘experts’, and it seems clear the questions were pushing them in terms of their interpretation of the Law.]

In the night – always happens – the ticking of the brain in the night… I was thinking that there is something similar going on with the Bible. Interrogate the ‘young Bible’ and we might be shocked by what comes back to us. Ask the mature Bible and we get a different take on things. [Of course the riders are many. So much of what we have was put together and edited in the period of the Babylonian exile, but we still get early ‘young Bible’ perspectives bleeding through.]

It is just another way of saying that the Bible is not a flat book, with all speaking at the same level, or that we are impacted by a trajectory ever moving forward, ultimately guided by life, not by right and wrong. So no big ticking of brain, more a trickle.

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