can the bible be weird?

October 25, 2016

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If there is one word to describe this opening chapter of Ezekiel, it would be weird.

It might seem like an insult to say any part of the Bible is “weird,” but when it comes to Ezekiel, the term applies in all its many variations. Originally, the word derived from the Old English wyrd, which literally meant, “that which comes.” The sense “uncanny, supernatural” developed from Middle English, while the meaning “odd, strange, disturbingly different” appeared in the 1800s.

If the Bible is to shape and sanctify our imaginations, we must allow it to be what it is, rather than attempt to mold it to fit our understanding. For this reason, we need to embrace the Biblical weirdness of Ezekiel’s visions. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Acknowledge all the ways it is weird—The weird parts of the Bible often have three components: they’re disturbingly different from our normal experience, they reveal a supernatural aspect of reality and they are “that which comes” from God, usually (as in the case of Ezekiel) taking the form of a vision.
2. Weird images aren’t literal—When the prophets saw a vision, it probably appeared to them much the same way our dreams appear to us, only much more real. If we try to imagine weird images (such as the “four faces”) literally, we fail to grasp what the prophets were really seeing.
3. Don’t rush to rationalize—When confronted with weird images in the Bible, we often rush to “translate” them into metaphors or symbols so we can rationally process them. We immediately ask, “What does this mean?” before “What am I seeing?” (i.e., the images produced in our imaginations from reading the text).
Most weird parts are found in oracles, messages from God delivered through a human spokesperson. Sometimes God speaks through the prophets to our rational minds directly, using words. Other times he reveals visions to the prophets, which use images intended to be processed first by our imaginations.

Don’t circumvent God’s intended form; if he uses images, he has a reason for doing so.

Don’t be dismayed when you read parts of the bible and they seem strange or difficult to understand. That’s normal, it’s what makes the bible the most studied book in the world.

Do you know that every government on the face of the planet studies the book of Revelation, Daniel and Ezekiel?

Because of all the prophecies that have come true, is that weird?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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