Truth, Belief and the Bible
Order, pattern, method, harmony, and purpose - these are the qualities on which we, humankind, have come to base our existence. We strive to find meaning in all that we do, say, read, write, and live. A story is not just a story; it is a lesson. A thought is not merely a thought, but a revelation. Hardship is not simply misfortune, but an act of God.
Truth is considered the result of a divine arrangement - one that is complex and intricate, and finally revealed to us through a glorious realization. We believe there is a logic behind everything. The key is unlocking or discovering the pattern that masks this logic. All truths must have a pattern. The Bible, as a body of literature, exists because human beings need to know certain spiritual truths to which we cannot attain by ourselves. Thus, these truths must come to us from without - that is, through objective, special revelation from God. God speaks to us, saying “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.”1 This passage, the first of the Ten Commandments, can only be understood if one interprets the words of Scripture according to God's original design for language. That is, according to the ordinary, plain, literal sense of each word. To understand the Bible, we must take it at its word. By doing so, we assume that, because God sovereignly chose to use human language as a medium of revelational communication, He would generally use, and expect us to use it in its literal, normal, and plain sense.
But what is the pattern behind literal meaning? What...
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...uld be more common than complete darkness or a total eclipse, which would occur less often.
One could argue that the order of the ten commandments and the order of the ten plagues on Egypt were necessary in relation to their ability to persuade the people of that time. There was reasoning and logic behind their arrangement and they were written to persuade the people to believe. Today, this pattern is less obvious, as we have, over the course of time, gained in knowledge, as well as modified our values. The order, if ever it did exist, is no longer relevant or necessary to interpreting the commandments and plagues.
 Exodus 20:1-17, Revised Standard Version
 Exodus 7: 14-24. Revised Standard Edition
 Exodus 10:21-19, Revised Standard Edition
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