The Bible

collection of sacred books in Judaism and Christianity
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The Bible may refer to:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang "all the law and the prophets." ~ Jesus Christ
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. ~ Paul of Tarsus

Old TestamentEdit

 
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. ~ Psalm 82:3
 
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. ~ Isaiah 1:17
 
Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. ~ Exodus 12:24
 
To the increase of his rulership and to peace, there will be no end. ~ Isaiah 9:7
 
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. ~ Proverbs 8:13
Main article: Tanakh
  • Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
  • Then Jehovah’s angel said: “I will greatly multiply your offspring, so that they will be too numerous to count.” Jehovah’s angel added: “Here you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son, and you must name him Ish′ma·el.
  • Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
  • Come, now, and let us set matters straight between us,” says Jehovah. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They will be made as white as snow; Though they are as red as crimson cloth, They will become like wool.
  • To the increase of his rulership
And to peace, there will be no end.
  • Jehovah of armies has sworn: “Just as I have intended, so it will occur, and just as I have decided, that is what will come true.”
  • Jehovah, the Creator of the extremities of the earth, is a God to time indefinite. He does not tire out or grow weary. There is no searching out of his understanding.
  • Remember this, and take courage. Take it to heart, you transgressors. Remember the former things of long ago, That I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is no one like me. From the beginning I foretell the outcome, And from long ago the things that have not yet been done. I say, ‘My decision will stand, And I will do whatever I please.’ I am calling a bird of prey from the sunrise, From a distant land the man to carry out my decision. I have spoken, and I will bring it about. I have purposed it, and I will also carry it out.
  • 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.... 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
  • For just as the rain and the snow pour down from heaven
And do not return there until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout,
Giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So my word that goes out of my mouth will be.
It will not return to me without results,
But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight,
And it will have sure success in what I send it to do.
  • But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
  • Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
I, Wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
  • This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with YOU people, for we have heard [that] God is with YOU people.
    • Zechariah 8:23 NWT
  • The head of that image was of fine gold, its chest and its arms were of silver, its abdomen and its thighs were of copper, its legs were of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. You looked on until a stone was cut out, not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of clay and crushed them. At that time the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver, and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a large mountain, and it filled the whole earth.
  • I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The Court took its seat, and books were opened.

ApocryphaEdit

 
Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you. ~ Tobit
 
Your strength does not depend on numbers, nor your might on the powerful. But you are the God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forsaken, savior of those without hope. ~ Judith
  • Truth is great, and stronger than all things. The whole earth calls upon truth, and heaven blesses it. All God’s works quake and tremble, and with him there is nothing unrighteous. Wine is unrighteous, the king is unrighteous, women are unrighteous, all human beings are unrighteous, all their works are unrighteous, and all such things. There is no truth in them and in their unrighteousness they will perish. But truth endures and is strong forever, and lives and prevails forever and ever. With it there is no partiality or preference, but it does what is righteous instead of anything that is unrighteous or wicked. Everyone approves its deeds, and there is nothing unrighteous in its judgment. To it belongs the strength and the kingship and the power and the majesty of all the ages. Blessed be the God of truth!
  • Give alms from your possessions, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you.
  • Your strength does not depend on numbers, nor your might on the powerful. But you are the God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forsaken, savior of those without hope.
  • Wisdom is radiant and unfading,
and she is easily discerned by those who love her,
and is found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,
for she will be found sitting at the gate.
To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding.

New TestamentEdit

 
Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~ Paul of Tarsus
 
You have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. ~ Paul of Tarsus
Main article: New Testament
  • Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
  • Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.
  • μὴ συνσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοός.
    • Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
  • Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
  • ἀπεκδυσάμενοι τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον σὺν ταῖς πράξεσιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατ’ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν.
    • You have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
  • The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.”
    • Revelation 11:15 NWT
  • We thank you, Jehovah God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king.
    • Revelation 11:17 NWT

Quotes about the BibleEdit

 
I believe that the biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power. ~ Jacques Ellul
Alphabetized by author or source
  • It is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy.
  • If you suspect that my interest in the Bible is going to inspire me with sudden enthusiasm for Judaism and make me a convert of mountain‐moving fervor and that I shall suddenly grow long earlocks and learn Hebrew and go about denouncing the heathen — you little know the effect of the Bible on me. Properly read, it is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
  • In the Old Testament stories, … the sublime influence of God here reaches so deeply into the everyday that the two realms of the sublime and the everyday are not only actually unseparated but basically inseparable.
    • Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Willard R. Trask, trans. (Princeton: 1953), chapter 1
  • I resolved, therefore, to direct my mind to the Holy Scriptures, that I might see what they were. And behold, I saw something not comprehended by the proud, not disclosed to children, something lowly in the hearing, but sublime in the doing
  • Now, those four evangelists whose names have gained the most remarkable circulation over the whole world, and whose number has been fixed as four, ...are believed to have written in the order which follows: first Matthew, then Mark, thirdly Luke, lastly John.
Of these four, it is true, only Matthew is reckoned to have written in the Hebrew language; the others in Greek. And however they may appear to have kept each of them a certain order of narration proper to himself, this certainly is not to be taken as if each individual writer chose to write in ignorance of what his predecessor had done.
  • Saint Augustine, The Harmony of the Gospels, Book 1 chapter 2 paragraph 4. from hypothesis.com
  • "Thou shalt not get found out" is not one of God's commandments, and no man can be saved by trying to keep it.
    • Leonard Bacon, reported in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 511.
  • Without the Bible, we would not know of His Church then, nor would we have the fulness of His gospel now. I love the Bible, its teachings, its lessons, and its spirit. I love the Old Testament’s compelling, profound stories and its great prophets testifying of the coming of Christ. I love the New Testament’s apostolic travels and miracles and the letters of Paul. Most of all, I love its eyewitness accounts of the words and the example and the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love the perspective and peace that come from reading the Bible.
  • The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but, if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that.
  • An eye for an eye is not a call for revenge, it is an argument for fairness. In the time of the Bible, it was standard to take a life in exchange for an eye. But the Bible said, No, the punishment should fit the crime. Only an eye for an eye, nothing more. It is not vindictive, it is mitigatory.
  • Too many of our best scholars, themselves indoctrinated from infancy in a religion of one kind or another based upon the Bible, are so locked into the idea of their own god as a supernatural fact — something final, not symbolic of transcendence, but a personage with a character and will of his own — that they are unable to grasp the idea of a worship that is not of the symbol but of its reference, which is of a mystery of much greater age and of more immediate inward reality than the name-and-form of any historical ethnic idea of a deity, whatsoever … and is of a sophistication that makes the sentimentalism of our popular Bible-story theology seem undeveloped.
  • Why did Christian teaching not bear any obvious information relating to esoteric knowledge, including reincarnation?... the Bible is full of esoteric wisdom. But it may take some insight to discover it. It seems to be the case, especially in the past, that esoteric information, when embodied in literature made available to the public, was veiled beneath exoteric or more obvious interpretations. For if the deep symbolic meanings in biblical literature had been made obvious, on the surface, it is questionable whether the Bible could have survived, especially through the dark ages. It probably would have been discarded as irrelevant. It seems to be an indication of genius on the part of many writers, whose works later were gathered together to make up the Bible, that they produced material which could be interpreted on at least three different levels. The first level is of course a quite literal one. The second is a bit more sophisticated but still subject to interpretation by the concrete mind of the orthodox religionist. The third carries an esoteric meaning.
    • Howard Ray Carey in The Joy of Christ's Coming: From Traditional Religion To Ageless Wisdom, Chapter 4. Hidden esotericism in the Bible, (1988)
  • If we read the 13th chapter of Matthew with open eyes we find that Jesus' disciples were deeply puzzled as to why he spoke to the curious crowds in these word pictures, with such deeply hidden meanings. So they put the question to Jesus. He replied: This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. But He was planting the good seed deep in their lives to ponder upon, so that hopefully some time it would sprout, grow, and as He suggested bring forth grain, some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty.... But to His disciples Jesus said: Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. As you and I read the Bible let us ask ourselves: How acute is our esoteric vision and hearing? Geoffrey Hodson, a theosophical writer, in his book The Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible, Vol. I, gives us excellent clues to the symbolic meanings of the Bible. One of his suggestions is that we look at many biblical passages not for historical information, but that we consider them as happenings within our lives...
    • Howard Ray Carey in The Joy of Christ's Coming: From Traditional Religion To Ageless Wisdom, Chapter 4. Hidden esotericism in the Bible, (1988)
  • The initiate Paul gives a number of clues about this hidden wisdom. In writing to the church at Corinth he says: I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it, and even yet you are not ready. (1 Cor. 3:2)... So as we read the Bible let us perceive it with seeing eyes and inner understanding. The Christ indicates that when we do that we will discover the pearl of great price. Can we sense the inner meaning of this? When we make that discovery we will be ready to give up all our accumulated treasures for this One Great Jewel! Are we ready?
  • Thou shalt have one God only; who
    Would be at the expense of two?
    No graven images may be,
    except the currency:
    not at all; for for thy curse
    Thine enemy is none the worse:
    church on Sunday to attend
    serve to keep the world thy friend:
    thy parents; that is, all
    whom advancement may befall:
    Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive
    Officiously to keep alive:
    Do not adultery commit;
    Advantage rarely comes of it:
    Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
    When it's so lucrative to cheat:
    Bear not false witness: let the lie
    Have time on its own wings to fly:
    Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
    Approves all forms of competition.

    The sum of all is, thou shalt love,
    If any body, God above:
    At any rate shall never labour
    More than thyself to love thy neighbour.
    • Arthur Hugh Clough, "The Latest Decalogue", in A. L. P. Norrington, ed., The Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough (1968), p. 60–61, on the Ten Commandments.
  • I believe that the biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power. It incites to "counterpower," to "positive" criticism, to an irreducible dialogue (like that between king and prophet in Israel), to antistatism, to a decentralizing of the relation, to an extreme relativizing of everything political, to an anti-ideology, to a questioning of all that claims either power or dominion (in other words, of all things political), and finally, if we may use a modern term, to a kind of "anarchism" (so long as we do not relate the term to the anarchist teaching of the nineteenth century).
  • In giving his Torah to Israel, God is like a king who gives his only daughter in marriage, and makes it a condition with her husband that there shall always be a room kept for him in their house. If we wish to have the Torah, we must have God also. This is the meaning of the words 'Make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell therein.'
  • My light, the Torah, says God to man, is in thy hand; but thy light, the soul, is in my hand. Take care of my light, so that I may take care of thy light.
  • As a matter of fact, however, it may be clearly stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact details historical statements in the Bible.
    • Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (New York: Farrar, Strausee and Cudahy, 1959), p. 136
  • Those humble but indomitable workers, to whom later generations referred by the collective name of Baale Masorah, Masters of Tradition, performed in obscurity their Herculean task of guarding the Biblical Text against loss or variation.
  • That it has pleased God to make Holy Scripture obscure in certain places lest, if it were perfectly clear to all, it might be vulgarized and subjected to disrespect or be so misunderstood by people of limited intelligence as to lead them into error.
    • Pope Gregory VII, in response to the request made in 1079 by Vratislaus, duke of Bohemia, seeking permission to use Slavonic in local church services. Awake! magazine December 2011, page 7; "They Tried to Keep God’s Word From the Masses."
  • To keep us occupied, he therefore set us to read a chapter of the Bible each day and write a piece on it. The idea was to teach us the beauty of the English language. We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I learned from this exercise was not to begin a sentence with “And.” When I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with “And,” I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible?"
  • Billions of people, including many scientists, continue to use religious scriptures as a source of authority, but these texts are no longer a source of creativity. Think, for example, about the acceptance of gay marriage or female clergy by the more progressive branches of Christianity. Where did this acceptance originate? Not from reading the Bible, St Augustine or Martin Luther. Rather, it came from reading texts like Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality or Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’. Yet Christian true-believers – however progressive – cannot admit to drawing their ethics from Foucault and Haraway. So they go back to the Bible, to St Augustine and to Martin Luther, and make a very thorough search. They read page after page and story after story with the utmost attention, until they find what they need: some maxim, parable or ruling that if interpreted creatively enough means that God blesses gay marriages and that women can be ordained to the priesthood. They then pretend the idea originated in the Bible, when in fact it originated with Foucault. The Bible is kept as a source of authority, even though it is no longer a true source of inspiration.
    • Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), Chap. 7 : The Humanist Revolution
  • The mission of the Jews and the purpose of the erudite and initiated authors of the Bible was, I submit, to preserve, to enunciate and to deliver to humanity this wisdom of the Chaldeo-Hebrew Sanctuaries. It is for this and not for lordship over the Earth, I suggest, that the Jews were a chosen people, a nation or “kingdom of priests” in very truth. May not their tribulations have partly arisen from their neglect of this mission, and may not their earthly wanderings and centuries of physical homelessness have followed upon and resulted from their departure from their true Sanctuary and the real purpose for which they were “chosen”? Happily the light still shines, however deeply veiled, in and through this marvellous record of the Scriptures of the Hebrew Race.
  • The task of unveiling the hidden truth demands some knowledge of Cosmogenesis, of the emanation of the Universe from the Absolute, the finite from the Infinite, and of the successive cycles, major and minor, of involution and evolution. In addition, both knowledge of the Symbolical Language, its purposes, methods and classical symbols, and the faculty of analysing and interpreting historical metaphors, are necessary to open the casket containing the treasures of concealed wisdom—the Holy Bible itself.
  • Their own Bible their Revelation destroys all the moral perceptions they heap upon him [God] unless indeed they call those qualities perfections that every other man's reason and common sense call imperfections, odious vices and brutal wickedness. Nay more he who reads our Buddhist scriptures written for the superstitious masses will fail to find in them a demon so vindictive, unjust, so cruel and so stupid as the celestial tyrant upon whom the Christians prodigally lavish their servile worship and on whom their theologians heap those perfections that are contradicted on every page of their Bible. Truly and veritably your theology has created her God but to destroy him piecemeal. Your church is the fabulous Saturn, who begets children but to devour them.
  • The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
    • John Jay, letter to Peter Augustus Jay, April 9, 1784.
  • It's fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.
  • Take some time and put the Bible on your summer reading list. Try and stick with it cover to cover. Not because it teaches history; we've shown you it doesn't. Read it because you'll see for yourself what the Bible is all about. It sure isn't great literature. If it were published as fiction, no reviewer would give it a passing grade. There are some vivid scenes and some quotable phrases, but there's no plot, no structure, there's a tremendous amount of filler, and the characters are painfully one-dimensional. Whatever you do, don't read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists — and nothin' will get you there faster, than readin' the damn Bible.
  • Reading the Bible is the fast track to atheism. Reading the Bible means starting at "In the beginning..." and throwing it down with disgust at "...the grace of the lord Jesus be with all. Amen." I'm sure there are lots of religious people who've read the Bible from start to finish and kept their faith, but in my self-selected sample, all the people I know who have done that are atheists.
  • When 19th-century British missionaries arrived in the Caribbean to convert enslaved Africans, they came armed with a heavily edited version of the Bible. Any passage that might incite rebellion was removed; gone, for instance, were references to the exodus of enslaved Israelites from Egypt. Today, just three copies of the so-called “Slave Bible” are known to exist.
  • “This can be seen as an attempt to appease the planter class saying, ‘Look, we're coming here. We want to help uplift materially these Africans here but we’re not going to be teaching them anything that could incite rebellion,’” Anthony Schmidt, the Museum of the Bible’s associate curator of Bible and Religion, tells Martin.
    That meant the missionaries needed a radically pared down version of the Bible. “A typical Protestant edition of the Bible contains 66 books, a Roman Catholic version has 73 books and an Eastern Orthodox translation contains 78 books,” the museum says in a statement. “By comparison, the astoundingly reduced Slave Bible contains only parts of 14 books.”
  • I don't need a Bible to tell me I'm doing wrong a hundred million times in my life. Everything I did wrong in my life I am suffering a long time. It's coming back and back and back and back to me for years. I am not ashamed to tell myself what I am doing wrong, but there must always be a way to understand that's all I can do.
    • Klaus Kinski, as quoted by Denise Worrell (1989), Icons: Intimate Portraits.
  • [The Bible] is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works Comprising his Speeches, Letters, State Papers, and Miscellaneous Writings, John Nicolay and John Hay, editors (New York: The Century Co., 1894), Vol. Two, p. 574,
  • No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.
    • Isaac Newton, The New Dictionary of Thoughts, 1954, originally compiled by Tryon Edwards. Revised by C. N. Catrevas and Jonathan Edwards, p. 534.
  • Most wondrous book! bright candle of the Lord!
    Star of Eternity! The only star
    By which the bark of man could navigate
    The sea of life, and gain the coast of bliss
    Securely.
  • The Bible was very definitely written by men, and not superior men either; far from it! This is why so much of it can be shown to be historically and scientifically dead wrong about damned-near everything back-to-front. We’re talking about people who believe snakes and donkeys can talk, who believe in incantations, blood sacrifice, ritual spells, enchanted artifacts, pyrotechnic potions, astrology, and the five elements of witchcraft. They thought that if you use a magic wand to sprinkle blood all over someone, it will cure them of leprosy. We’re talking about people who think that rabbits chew cud, and that bats are birds, and whales are fish, and that π is a round number. These folks believed that if you display striped patterns to a pregnant cow, it would bare striped calves. How could anyone say that who knows anything about genetics? Obviously the authors of this book didn’t.
  • There are lost portions of the Bible having to do with sexuality, and with Christ’s beliefs concerning it, that were considered blasphemous and did not come down to you through history.
    • Jane Roberts, in The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, Session 771, p. 75.
  • But no public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means; and I have no reason to hope that Mr Coote may be an exception to the rule.
  • I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That's how you make atheists.
 
if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know. ~ Joseph Smith
  • While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
Serendipity: Was there ever a doubt in your mind? He's always referred to as "Him." That's not how I wrote it. But one of the draw backs to being intangible...is that you have no say in the editorial process. The people that held the pens added their own perspective...and all the pen holders were men. So She became a He. Doesn't stop with God either. The whole book's gender-biased. A woman's responsible for original sin. A woman cuts Samson coif of power. A woman asks for the head of John the Baptist. Read that book again. Women are painted as bigger antagonists than the Egyptians and Romans combined. It stinks.
  • All the events narrated in Scripture came to pass naturally, and are referred directly to God because Scripture, as we have shown, does not aim at explaining things by their natural causes, but only at narrating what appeals to the popular imagination, and doing so in the manner best calculated to excite wonder, and consequently to impress the minds of the masses with devotion.
  • Scripture does not explain things by their secondary causes, but only narrates them in the order and the style which has most power to move men, and especially uneducated men, to devotion; and therefore it speaks inaccurately of God and of events, seeing that its object is not to convince the reason, but to attract and lay hold of the imagination. If the Bible were to describe the destruction of an empire in the style of political historians, the masses would remain unstirred.
  • The inspiration for the title of this book came from a Bible prophecy that seems more applicable now than at any other time in human history. It occurs in both the Old and the New Testament and speaks of the collapse of the existing world order and the arising of “a new heaven and a new earth.” (Matthew 5:48, New Revised Standard Version) We need to understand here that heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness. This is the esoteric meaning of the word, and this is also its meaning in the teachings of Jesus. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner. Collective human consciousness and life on our planet are intrinsically connected. “A new heaven” is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and “a new earth” is its reflection in the physical realm. Since human life and human consciousness are intrinsically one with the life of the planet, as the old consciousness dissolves, there are bound to be synchronistic geographic and climatic natural upheavals in many parts of the planet, some of which we are already witnessing now.
  • It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
  • In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments—corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.
  • The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.
    • Richard Watson Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) p. 36.
  • The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God.
  • The Bible abounds in plain truth, expressed in plain language; in this it surpasses all other books.
    • Samuel Whelpley, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 29.

The Hidden Wisdom In The Holy Bible, by Geoffrey Hodson (1963)Edit

(full text several formats)

  • In common, I believe, with the majority of fellow Christians, in my early years I accepted the Bible as the inspired word of God, a direct message from Deity to man. Later, however, a more critical approach to the Scriptures revealed incredibilities, impossibilities, and even obscenities, which both shocked and repelled me. Finding myself unable either to ignore these barriers to belief or to adopt a tolerant, uncritical acceptance of Holy Writ, two alternatives presented themselves to me. One was to discard entirely the orthodox concept of the Bible as an error-free and infallible source of spiritual wisdom and moral counsel, and the other to undertake a detailed study of the whole text. This latter course was chosen, and in this decision I was largely influenced by the discovery that many of the difficulties arising from a literal reading disappeared if much of the Bible was regarded as allegorical. (Author's Preface)
  • Thus studying the Bible, I have found that many of the difficulties and discrepancies which had hitherto proved so perplexing no longer exist. May those who are similarly perplexed and similarly seeking find in these Volumes solutions of their problems and the restoration of their faith. (Author's Preface)
  • Volume I
  • The decision taken by orthodox Christianity to concentrate upon the Bible as history rather than as a blend of history and allegory has, it is submitted, been responsible for disastrous results. When, furthermore, despite affronts to the intellect and a sense of propriety, it is insisted that the Bible is divinely inspired from beginning to end, then the adverse results become far-reaching indeed. Many moral evils may not unjustly be regarded as consequences of this choice. Indeed, such continued affronts cause some people to turn away from the Bible, from the religion founded upon it and, unfortunately, from the morality which Christianity inculcates.
  • When faced with the piling of the incredible upon the impossible in the Old Testament, and its portrayal of the Supreme Deity as an arrogant, ruthless and cruel despot, many people fall into atheism, agnosticism, cynicism and indulgence in vice. When, in addition, the Bible is found to contain accounts of frequent indulgence in illicit, and even incestuous, sexual relationships, the Christian Faith can come to be regarded as encouraging such practices, gross immorality being the unfortunate result.
  • The existence of the above evils, amongst many others, points to the urgent necessity for a greatly revised reading of the Bible. If, however, many of the anomalies in the Old Testament can be shown to be revelations, under the veil of symbology, of profound spiritual, metaphysical and psychological truths, then the importance of the study of the Scriptures from this point of view at once emerges.
  • Ignoring impossibilities and accounts of moral delinquencies, blind faith in the Bible, together with the fear of damnation and the hope of salvation after death, bring large numbers of people to religion. Nevertheless, truly thoughtful minds cannot fail to be repelled by scriptural affronts to reason and propriety. These considerations accentuate the great need for an interpretation of the Bible as a repository of profound wisdom symbolically portrayed. Such an interpretation would meet the objections inevitably aroused by a literal reading with all its consequences, so obviously harmful to mankind.
  • Certain portions of the text of the Bible, if taken literally, cannot possibly be regarded as in any way conducive to a high moral standard. In Genesis XII: 10- 20, for example, Abraham passes his wife off as his sister that Pharaoh may possess her. His motive in doing so was that his life might be spared and he be greatly rewarded. Isaac transgresses similarly and for the same reason, as stated in Genesis XXVI: 6-11. In this latter case the Lord God blessed Isaac and he becomes rich and prospers. Genesis XXVII: 1-45, recounts a most deplorable example of deliberate deceit by Jacob, who later becomes a favoured patriarch under the inspiration of the Lord.
  • Volume II
  • The Old Testament is a collection of thirty-nine books containing poetry and philosophy, ritual law and social legislation, history, symbolism and metaphysics. Its oldest passages are thought to have been written in the days of Moses (about 1200 B.C.), and its latest parts belong to 200 B.C. Though now translated into over 1,000 different dialects and languages its original was written in Hebrew, once again the language of a living people dwelling in the State of Israel. More than a hundred authors wrote it, including priests, prophets and social revolutionaries. Whilst the Bible tells the early history of the Jewish people, then still known as Israelites, it differs from all other historical records. First in importance are the Five Books of Moses, known as the Pentateuch (Gr. “five books”) or by the Hebrew term Torah (Heb. “law”).
  • The Torah describes the beginning of the world and the formative history of the Jewish people from Abraham—the first Jew and the creator of the monotheistic Hebrew religion—up to the death of Moses, and contains the Ten Commandments.
  • The Bible as a whole is not written systematically, however, but is a collection of books of history, historical metaphor, biography, law and poetry, all leading into one another without an apparent plan. The Books of the Prophets include both historical narrative and an anthology of Divine revelations. Those of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings tell the history of the Jewish people from Joshua’s conquest of the Holy Land to the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 B.C.
  • These Hebrew prophets were the conscience of the people; for in the face of powerful priests and raving multitudes they spoke up with one chief purpose in mind—to teach man “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6: 8). Isaiah writes with dignity and power, condemning social systems which forget the needs of the poor. Amos, a “herdman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit” (Amos, 7: 14), declared God’s judgment upon the nations and upon Israel, also foretelling Israel’s restoration. Jeremiah dedicated himself to God, but was despised and persecuted by the people. He called for peace when nations prepared for war, and demanded an inward religion of sincerity at a time when priests were enforcing their orthodox codes.
  • Volume III
  • The Hidden Wisdom and Why It is Concealed
  • The seeker for wisdom must... be prepared to delve deeply, to discover, and to interpret according to the classical keys, the numberless treasures of spiritual and occult wisdom and law which lie beneath the surface of all allegorical writings, littered with debris though that surface may appear to be.
  • ...the great Book of Genesis—a marvellous cup filled with the “wine” of the esoteric knowledge of the Sanctuaries of ancient days. Temples of the Ageless Wisdom exist to-day, even if less easily discoverable, and in them are to be found the selfsame teachings, laws, successions, Initiations and radiations of the light of Truth. World changes are not reflected in the Mysteries, which are repositories and conveyors of eternal and unchanging Ideas. A sack of corn containing a silver cup awaits every Benjamin who finds himself called by a Hierophant (Joseph) from the “famine-stricken” outer world to the “storehouse” from which an elder brother (a Master) Who has already attained will, in prodigal abundance, supply a gift of the golden grain of eternal verities.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 693.
  • His studie was but litel on the Bible.
  • A glory gilds the sacred page,
    Majestic like the sun,
    It gives a light to every age,
    It gives, but borrows none.
  • One day at least in every week,
    The sects of every kind
    Their doctrines here are sure to seek,
    And just as sure to find.
  • And that the Scriptures, though not everywhere
    Free from corruption, or entire, or clear,
    Are uncorrupt, sufficient, clear, entire
    In all things which our needful faith require.
  • Out from the heart of nature rolled
    The burdens of the Bible old.
  • The word unto the prophet spoken
    Was writ on tablets yet unbroken:
    The word by seers or sibyls told,
    In groves of oak or fanes of gold,
    Still floats upon the morning wind,
    Still whispers to the willing mind.
  • It was a common saying among the Puritans, "Brown bread and the Gospel is good fare."
  • Shallows where a lamb could wade and depths where an elephant would drown.
  • Bibles laid open, millions of surprises.
  • Starres are poore books, and oftentimes do misse;
    This book of starres lights to eternal blisse.
  • So we're all right, an' I, for one,
    Don't think our cause'll lose in vally
    By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun,
    An' gittin' Natur' for an ally.
  • The history of every individual man should be a Bible.
    • Novalis, Christianity or Europe, Carlyle's translation.
  • I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditations.
    • Psalms. CXIX. 99.
  • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
    • Psalms. CXIX. 105.
  • The sweet psalmist of Israel.
    • II Samuel, XXIII. 1.
  • Within that awful volume lies
    The mystery of mysteries!
    Happiest they of human race,
    To whom God has granted grace
    To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
    To lift the latch, and force the way:
    And better had they ne'er been born,
    Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.
  • But Thy good word informs my soul
    How I may climb to heaven.
  • How glad the heathens would have been,
    That worship idols, wood and stone,
    If they the book of God had seen.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)Edit

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 18-19.
  • I do not know how far I ought to sit here and suffer a gentleman at the bar to bring forward parts of the Bible in this way. It is for you, gentlemen of the jury, to say whether you wish to hear them read.
    • Lord Kenyon, Williams' Case (1797), 26 How. St. Tr. 683.
  • If the purity of the Bible is to be maintained, it must be by the King, who is the head both of our civil and religious establishments. It is not only his right, but it is his duty, to preserve the purity of the scriptures.
    • Lord Hermand, Manners and others v. The King's Printers (1826), 2 St. Tr. (N. S.) 225.
  • Kissing the Book.
    Morris: My lords, I except against this Brooke.
    Court: Sir, he is sworn, and you speak too late.
    Morris: My lord, I appeal to him whether he be sworn or no.
    Brooke: Sir, I am not to answer you, but the Court. My lord, I did not kiss the book.
    Court: Sir, that is no matter, it's but a ceremony.
    • Morris' Case (1649), 4 How. St. Tr. 1255.


MisattributedEdit

  • It is impossible to rightfully govern the world without God and the Bible.
    • Wrongly attributed to George Washington; while he is known to have made some official statements of public piety, this was not one of them; it is sometimes wrongly cited as having been in various official statements, but the earliest attribution of the remark yet located is one which cites no sources in Upper Room Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 3 (23 October 1920).

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  •   Encyclopedic article on Bible at Wikipedia
  •   Works related to Bible at Wikisource
  •   Media related to Bible at Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionary definition of Bible at Wiktionary

Old Testament
GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomyJoshuaJudgesRuth1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEstherJobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of SolomonIsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDanielHoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabakkukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachi
Apocrypha
EsdrasTobitJudithAdditions to EstherWisdom of SolomonSusannaBaruchAdditions to DanielPrayer of Manassheh1 Maccabees2 Maccabees
New Testament
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