God or the Bible

I recently purchased The Jewish Study Bible.

The first thing I read in it was Psalm 119 and I found it really interesting to have the Jewish views on these words.

The thing that struck me was this comment:-

‘What is most remarkable is that a close relationship to Torah replaces a close relationship with God, and that in general, “torah” as a manifestation of the deity supplants God. For example, the “torah” rather than God is the source of life (vv. 50,93). In Ps. 18.29 and its parallel in 2 Sam.22.29, God is the psalmist’s “light” (“ner”), but in v.105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light for my path.” God’s “deliverance” is not understood as coming from divine intervention to save the psalmist, but from God’s words (v.123): “My eyes pine away from Your deliverance, for Your righteous words” (author’s translation). ”

Is there a problem with putting the bible, the words, the laws in the place of God? If the words come from God, if the laws show the heart of God then surely there is no problems with putting your trust in the words (Ps119:42).

But then, I remember how easy it is for words to be distorted, for meanings to change. There is an episode of Jonathan Creek where a man receives a note and immediately kills himself but no one can work out why as the note seems to contain positive news. Turns out a small black fly landed on the note and made the man think there was a comma so instead of reading ‘no one will have to wait’, he read ‘no, one will have to wait.’

And while the words may change, The Word does not (John 1).

I think it is really important to trust in the character of God, in the person of Jesus rather than on the interpretation of words. While the words may lead to God, they are not God.

If an interpretation of the words leads to injustice and hate then I don’t believe that the Word has been followed.


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