Perfectly Imperfect Scripture

I used to struggle with the seeming inconsistencies in scripture that bible laymen, translators and antagonists endlessly debate over. Several times they became a nearly fatal spiritual stumbling stone to me. On one such occasion as I wondered how to judge which translation of scripture was superior God laid upon my heart the error in my reasoning. The following, is the result.

How does God speak to us in this era? Through His word. Scripture was written as men were inspired by God. The nuance, the details of stories, and even the perspectives differ, as varied as the humans who wrote them BUT the theme, story, the common thread or central thought within remains as constant as God Himself.

The bible was stitched together, distilled as it were from many pieces of manuscripts. The voices of many Godly people pooled together into a single harmonious heavenly choir.
There are many ways to translate the words and thought in its pages between languages and every translation endeavor seeks to be the most accurate and true to the original. Yet differences between them inevitably arise and become stumbling stones to those with skewed view of perfection.

Many view the differences in scripture, the apparent contradictions (which aren’t true contradictions at all), as proof against God and the authenticity and authority of His word. They view perfection as error-free, an exclusion of flaws, a state devoid of unique existence. A mirror. This is the flaw in legalism. Mirrors are pristine but they themselves are empty only reflecting what is around them. A group that has rehearsed its lie will often look as clean.

But true perfection is perfect in spite of flaws or even because of them. It embraces uniqueness and discrepancies and harmonizes them into a single form of unity and peace. The truly perfect is often a mosaic. Or another example, seven bands of light all vibrating at different frequencies, perceived as different hues, are unified in a single beam of brilliant white light.

The Godly genius of scripture isn’t found in it’s error-free construction but that in the midst of its differences, historical challenges and cultural views, the face of truth remains pure and is unchanged and continues to change those who dare to look into His light.

The challenge then isn’t to believe that the bible is free of errors but that God’s voice is clearly heard in the midst of them. He is meant to be sought wholeheartedly and this challenge spurs me on to this end with greater fervor.

Jeremiah 29:13
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

If God can be so easily overcome by our imperfections who are we believing He is? Do we dare impart our limited understanding of His perfection to our view of His word? The glory of God and His heart in scripture is revealed without blemish through imperfect men, incomplete manuscripts, and biased history. He and His word are all the more amazing precisely because His truth shines so clearly through it all.

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