Should we trust the Bible? And if so, why?
My thinking about the Bible has been greatly influenced by the scholar, Dr. Michael S. Heiser. Several of his posts on this site are very useful in how to approach the bible. If you prefer to listen than to read, try his podcast (note: he can be a little dry on the podcasts… but he’s a scholar and these are free!). Each episode is short, and I suggest starting with Episode 16.
Why do we care what Ancient Hebrews thought?
Non-Christians might ask, “Why do we care what the Ancient Hebrews, the writers of the Old Testament, think regarding the spirit world?”
This is a great question, which I’ll address at length at another time. Suffice it to say, the Ancient Hebrews, who gave us the Old Testament, had a supernatural worldview, as did most other ancient cultures. According to their texts, they interacted with the supernatural in ways we 21st Century Earthlings do not; perhaps they had an understanding of the spirit world that we do not.
Amazingly, thousands of years of their oral traditions have been preserved and passed down to us in the written form that makes up the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible).
Our challenge, of course, is how to take their words…what is literal, what is poetic, what is what? They certainly viewed the cosmos differently than we do.
In the meantime, let’s see how this ancient people, who gave us such things as the Ten Commandments, may have viewed the spirit world.