The mainstream view of the Bible starts with God and says that he is using the book to tell ‘his’ story. A non-mainstream Christian view of the Bible starts with people, and their stories about God.

The Bible is certainly a human product: however we think inspiration may or may not work – it definitely involved humans. Lots and lots of humans. Scribes and editors, poets and sages, lawyers and letter writers, polemicists and genealogists, knee bending empire supporters and revolutionary nationalists, among a lot of others. And it is absolutely chock full of stories, it even reads a bit like a story, a story full of stories.

That means that taken together it’s a book which has been developed in community over thousands of years, forged in and against the white heat of empire and domination, edited and revised, pored over and criticised endlessly. And it is pure treasure – it contains the voices of those who have gone before us. It shows them working out their ideology and identity, and wrestling with ideas about and experience of what they consider to be the divine. It tells us of their lives, their longings, their weaknesses and their wisdom. It showcases their failings and their blind spots, just as it demonstrates their extraordinary compassion and courage. There is, put simply, no other book like it.
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