“The Bible by its very nature invites us to wrestle, doubt, imagine, and debate.”
– Rachel Held Evans
Perhaps you have heard people refer to the Bible as, “divinely inspired.”
In her new book, Inspired, Rachel Held Evans explains the origins of the word as it is used by the Bible itself to describe holy writings. 2 Timothy 3:16 translates into English as, “All Scripture is inspired by God.” The Greek word theopneustos more literally means “God-breathed,” since theo means “god” and pneo means “to breathe out” or “to blow.”
To Evans, the word evokes images of “a collaborative process, a holy give-and-take, a partnership” between Creator and people (imbued themselves with creative spirit). She is energized by the understanding of inspiration as divine breath and an “eternal rhythm of inhale and exhale, gather and release.” She is convinced that God is still breathing!
For Evans, the Bible is both inspired and inspiring. That’s why I’m looking forward to reading her book, and the scripture stories she highlights, with those of you who are interested in exploring well-informed and fresh perspectives on God’s word. We’ll meet three times this fall (on Thursdays, October 11, October 25, and November 8) to focus on the first three chapters of the book.
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again is easily ordered and available in paperback, e-reader, and audio formats. If you need help in obtaining a copy, you may contact the church office for assistance. You would benefit from reading chapter one before our first session.
Here is one more intriguing image that might inspire you to take part in the study: according to Evans, “The ancient rabbis likened Scripture to a palace, alive and bustling, full of grand halls, banquet rooms, secret passages, and locked doors….Every page of the Bible serves as an invitation–to wonder, to wrestle, to surrender to the adventure.”
Let’s dive in together!