Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Is God a Poet?

A considerable portion of the Bible, including much if not all of the prophetic passages, are recognizable as poetic. The Hebrews scriptures, in fact, are traditionally divided into the sections of Law, Prophets, and Poetry.

 

Poetry by its definition is designed to stir the imagination. As such can it lead every reader down exactly the same avenue of interpretation or understanding? Think back to your high school classes on poetry. Was there ever any debate about exactly what the poet was saying? What his or her message was? Poetry by its very nature is not designed to convey the identical impression to every reader. There is a large component of individuality in each reader’s impression of and reaction to that type of writing.

 

The fixation which some folks have with the idea of biblical inerrancy is totally misplaced in light of the various styles of writing employed in the Bible, including that of poetry. There is obviously ample room for differing opinions on interpretation, and that fact makes a term like inerrancy, if not meaningless at least lacking in practical application. In other words, even if God had one and only one understanding in mind, since we cannot determine that understanding with certainty, inerrancy becomes a mute point.

 

The whole notion of inerrancy is driven by the orthodox position that the Bible is the instruction manual for getting to heaven, for being accepted by God, for escaping the torments of Hell. If the Bible were such, then getting the instructions right would be paramount. The fact is that the Bible is not that instruction manual, so let your imagination soar in reading the Bible. The grander picture of God and His mercy that you perceive, the closer to reality you will be.

 

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