Why is the Bible the Authority
Where Does Biblical Authority come from?
It seems that for some people that the Bible is the authority because it says God is the authority, end of story.
· Would someone who thinks all authority comes from God, defend this position?
· Why do you believe this?
· Where do you get this concept from?
· Why is the Bible the Authority on things?
Some of us take the Bible as a wonderful historical document of huge significance because of its effect on society. But we reject the idea that the Bible is ultimate authority and we reject the idea that it is literally true. The Bible certainly has understanding of the human condition, and a great deal of history. But it is not the only source of knowledge and understanding. All of Science and is seeking the truth. Many other thinkers/writers have contributed hugely to our overall understanding of ‘what is’ and ‘how it works’.
My own view is that Bible grew out of religious traditions and it tells historical stories of a certain people (Hebrews). These peoples (tribes, clans) had developed a theology based on belief in a monolithic God.
If you are searching for the truth, you have to understand what truth is, but also what belief is. What is ‘faith’ in the neuroscientific sense? What is going on in your brain?
And, you have to understand where these beliefs came from in the historical or human development (anthropological) sense.
I think that it can be shown that the idea of God came about after humans had developed language (70,000 years before the Bible). Humans starting thinking. Sounds and meanings had become a learned skill. Sounds were put together for larger meaning, and ideas and concepts became part of the skill set. See my Sounds and Civilization:
Language and thinking got to the point of asking “what is going on”.
In their very simplified understanding of the world about them, these folks made gods and spirits the answer to mysteries. That is how it got started. An idea, a conception that answered questions about the world around them.
The reason religion survived and did so well (and continues to) is that it offered two primary benefits:
· Explanation of how and why we came about
· Solace, hope and understanding in times of stress, disease and sorrow (e.g death rites)
Once religions got a little more organized, they provided group support through rules and customs which helped modify and mollify behavior. This gave the group better survivability, an evolutionary advantage.
The collective, group understanding in these earliest of days was that some mysterious force or god(s) was controlling things. Everything followed from that including all of religion.
What happened (early thinkers and then the Enlightment) is the collective intelligence of our species came to a different understanding as to how things came about. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and a host of others gave us the explanation which starts with the Big Bang and leads to neuroscience, consciousness and today’s political environment.
This is a huge challenge to the theology that backs all the major religions (God centered, God Created, God Authority).
Religion seems to be good for individuals (hope, support, an explanation, salvation). It is just that its theology is probably wrong. Sorry
(author’s note: this was a response to a different article by Jeff Hilles that I thought I make my own posting)