Tuesday, July 17, 2012


You may be wondering poly-what? Polyphonic means many voices and is an accurate description of the Bible.  We often think of the “Bible” as one book and as a very holy book and in the way we usually use it that is true. The Bible is actually much more than that one book. It is actually a whole library of books. There are at least forty-four authors of the written word and perhaps over a hundred when you count the oral tradition in the book of Genesis.

One way to read your Bible is to think of the “Many Voices” of the people in the Bible. These voices transcend over two thousand years of testimony as they describe their personal relationship with God. Each of these people had a powerful spiritual experience and shared that experience using their own words and the understandings of their times. Their worldview affected their choice of words to describe what happened to them. Because of the time laps of two thousand years the word choices changed as culture changed. Add another two thousand years of western culture and translations through many languages and you can see how understanding a particular testimony becomes more difficult.

To read the Bible in English as one book robs us of the true picture of their witness. We are most fortunate that we have scholars in the fields of history, language and archaeology to help us understand the worldview of our many voices of witness. 

Open your Bible to find the “Polyphonic”

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