Knowing God through religious texts - Christianity

This is perhaps the most important type of revelation for Christians.

Christians believe that the Bible is different from any other book because it is God’s word, or contains God’s words. Christians approach the Bible in different ways.

Christians believe the Bible is a collection of sacred texts

Interpretations include the following:

  • The Bible is written by people. It contains teachings about God but parts of it need to be interpreted to suit modern society.
  • The Bible is literally the word of God written down by people. Everything in the Bible is true, and should be taken word for word. Where there may appear to be contradictions in the Bible, this is because it hasn’t been understood properly.
  • The Bible is the word of God as revealed to people. It was written down by these people, and so their own personalities and perspectives were included. The Bible was copied over many centuries, so Christians should expect some mistakes.

Different views of the Bible cause problems for some believers. They may not understand what appear to be obvious contradictions, or teachings that don’t appear to uphold Christian values (eg slavery). Leviticus states that:

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However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. Leviticus 25:44-46