Ever since I moved to the Netherlands I am spending my weekend regularly at my parents in law’s house. One of the routines they have is to read from the bible after dinner. This way I had the opportunity to listen to the old testament and discuss what was read with my parents in law. It is interesting to see how the stories describing many different situations are full of statements about the rules to follow in these specific situations. It is amazing to discover, when listening to these rules how contradictory they can be even though they are announced as the rules of God. Many times the rules are brute and cruel and in many other occasions very odd or curious to say the least.
Listening to just a few paragraphs was enough for me to establish that the message, and mainly the rules and recommendations are repeated several ways in order to emphasize the importance of these rules. At some point it occurred to me that it seemed as if it was a kind of programming language that is trying to program the listener using repetition as the main tool. It is like a mantra of constantly repeated rules and points of view. Most of all in this part of the bible there is an emphasize on the trueness and undoubtfullness of Gods word and on how we a people we hav e to blindly and unconditionally submit to Gods words since we can fully trust and rely on them.
There is a trend now in the churches to adapt the interpretation of the Bible to better fit in the actual times and make it more acceptable within the context of our ‘modern’ times. The picture I get from this is that the Bible’s stories are (again) interpreted within the context of our actual time but always with the same starting point the church has as institution. The sometimes cruel and weird stories are reinterpreted to make people to accept the underlying message which remains unchanged: submit to God with unconditional faith.
For me the Bible is interesting since it is a tool that can help you understand the programming of the human race. It reveals the tendency of searching ways to avoid our own responsibilities and the fact we accept and allow this as long uit suits our self interest or out of fear for what will happen if we do not act according to what is said in the Bible. Our self interest or fear allows us to forget to research the real roots of the Bible and take the story in the right perspective.