Mark 7:6-7

7:6 He answered them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

The reference is to Isaiah 29:13:

29:13 The Lord said, “Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but they have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught;

Obviously one day I’m going to have to read the Old Testament as well, but one step at a time. Seems there’s more to it than tedious lists of commandments and gory tales of rape and murder. Who knew!?

What is the word of man and what is the word of God? How do you tell the difference? In class today we looked at the character of Pontius Pilate: how the representation of him changed from very early non-Bible texts (e.g. Philo of Alexandria), progressively through each of the Gospels, and on to later texts from the Apocryphal New Testament. At each step the Pilate was represented more favourably; at each step the Jews’ responsibility for Christ’s death was spelt out more plainly.

I’ll talk about who was responsible for Christ’s death and how much I think it matters when I get to it (Mark 15), unless there are comments.

But what struck me most of all was that even the Bible — even the Gospels themselves — were the word of man. Where is the word of God? Perhaps God’s own truth cannot be expressed directly in a human language. Perhaps we have to construct it for ourselves, inside, with the only guidance being a sincere love of God.

“Word of God”, “God’s own truth”, “Love of God”: what do they even mean?

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