Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Bible Is a Shadow, The Allegory of the Cave

Exaltation of the Word

The Word is not intended to be exalted. It is primarily an effect, e.g. the effect of what God has spoken. But no one exalts what God has spoken but only that that He spoke AND was written down. Indubitably, they even argue that there are no prophets today and God has gone silent. The idea of prophets being here today threatens the cult they follow, which decided that a few dignified sheets of paper with some special wording printed on it was unique. They are characters from the Allegory of the Caves.

The Bible is in fact only a shadow. What we perceive is not intrinsically synonymous with the way things really are. So Plato found it helpful to illustrate this by saying the common observer is likened to some one living in a cave, who sees shadows on the wall, and takes note of the shadows as if they are the living entities themselves, rather than a reflection of the beings whose outline they reflect.

If we consider the Bible as only a shadow, we can immediately understand why so many people become dogmatic in defending their version of doctrine as they insist quite dramatically that it is the shadows which are the beings! But we want to discourage them from idolizing the Bible in this way and have consider the following:

Revelation is predicated on the co-operation of the Holy Spirit, the autographs, the manuscripts, the translations, the translating committees, finally the optic nerve, the co-operation of the neurological structures, and lastly, the rational mind in comprehending it. Which of these stages is the Word (or is the Word in its purest state), or at what stage does it cease to be the Word? Only in the primary stage could it be 'breathed' (the Word). But then, everything which follows is merely a shadow. If this series of functions fail, then you have a resultant misunderstanding as to what the Bible says, or was intended to say, and the person arrives at a conclusion or interpretation at odds with the original intent.

Our most firm conclusion, everyone who is committed to the veracity of the preceding paragraphs, is to say that given the Bible in its role as the most effective and informative of the shadows must be investigated to discover precisely what it was that God told the prophets, in the event that what we have before us, in any or all translations, is not the most effective at representing those meanings.

If someone tells you something, it will often not be up for dispute as to the meaning or intention of what was said. If someone writes you, and more so if they tend toward complex and puzzling language, then it is quite the more ambiguous the intent of the author. Hence, original intent is harder to come by than the precise meaning of a speaker. But so frequently do men misunderstand speakers so all the more do they misunderstand the written word. Thus, the Word of God is most meaningful in its original condition.

If something is emitted, and is relayed, and transferred, and delayed, and lastly it arrives, it may come contaminated or in a less than perfect state, or something other than its original state. Therefore, when we rely necessarily on the word of authors, translators, committees, publishers, and printing presses, it's not uncommon that the ball will get dropped and it clearly has on certain notable occasions (the Adulterer's Bible). Very marginal errors years ago may even be imagined to result in more heinous errors today. What we see, is if the Bible is taken for only the shadow it is, and NOT an object deserving of our worship, then we can handle with greater care the interpreting of it, because a deeper investigation is required to determine the nature of the actual Forms rather than the shadows. Once we come to acknowledge that the Bible makes seriously contentious statements that were controversial not only in the time they were written, but continue to be among the prime controversies in our day, then we will consider more seriously before ascribing inspiration to our personal interpretations. So ultimately, our interpretations are only shadows that at times only reflect poorly the actual Revelation.

1 comment:

  1. Since a larger percentage of the population can read, they should be able to figure out that Paul is a fraud.
    Instead 99% reject Christ for the way of Paul, the wide road [Matthew 7:13-15].