I have come to realise over the last few days that all of the writers of the various books of the Bible were at different Stages of Faith. Just like us, they were all at different places in their walk with God, and some of them were possibly even at less ‘mature’ stages than we are.
This is visible easily in St. Paul’s writings, as his maturity and emphasis changes with the chronology as well as with his target audience (hint: Paul’s books are not placed in the Bible in chronological order, but in order of content!).
Not only were they as writers personally at different stages of faith, but the cultures they lived in were also at different stages of evolution regarding their concept of God.
So, the guys in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) were not long out of Pagan child-sacrifice culture, whereas those who had returned out of exile in Babylon, hundreds of years later, were very different in their regard for God and His ways.
In the New Testament, the view changes even more decisively with Jesus’s ‘perfect revelation’ of what God is like. “Now we have seen Him”, was John’s implication in John 1:18.
I find this quite fascinating, and it is all very much worth bearing in mind as you read the words written by these people so long ago, and remember that you too are on a similar journey.
But your experiences and learning will be different from theirs – and that’s ok. Amongst other things, the Bible is about an evolving arc of discovery of Who God is, and what He’s like. And it’s perfectly ok – a good idea, even, sometimes – to read it with that in mind.
Grace and Peace 🙂