Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

The Bible, Quran, and other sacred texts are among the top most sold books in the world. Billions of copies are in existence, because for centuries, scripture has been and continues to be interpreted, revised, translated, and printed by many publishers.

The Bible is my choice of scripture probably because it is the book of books I grew up with and am familiar with.

I also was introduced to Christian Science as taught by Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century, from which I gleaned the teaching, or tenant, that the Bible is a “sufficient guide to eternal life.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy)

In thinking about this, it’s realized that the word “sufficient” doesn’t mean “the only” guide to eternal life. Basically, The Bible isn’t the only guide to eternal life.

Therefore, if the Bible starts feeling authoritarian or controlling or too demanding, those feelings can be released with the reminder of its sufficiency, not absolutism.

Moreover, the tenant Eddy expressed clarified that it is the “inspired Word of the Bible” that is taken as a sufficient guide. This steers the mind away from taking the literal words in the Bible as a guide, and steers the mind to see and contemplate the spiritual interpretation of scriptures.

The inspired, or true, declarations can be detected, just as they can in any circumstance life brings.

When skepticism or negativism creep into thought, it may be because we are giving too much power to the wrong thing.

In 2017, research and resource company, Barna Group, videoed an interview of Jason Malec, managing director of Mission U.S. at American Bible Society. Malec mentioned studies that found in the last six years, going on seven, the percentage of people skeptical about the Bible and holding neutral or negative perceptions of the Bible, increased from 10% to 21%.

A physical book with literal words doesn’t have any more power than we give them. We can give books and words the power to elate us, or depress us, but instead go to the inspiration or intent behind the words and reconcile with the power of life, truth, and love, God.

And if we want people to hold a positive perception of The Bible, we can stop telling them it is the absolute truth and let it’s inspired Word speak for itself.

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