Monday, October 15, 2007

Have Faith in God

Downtown Wellington, Lambton Quay, there's this old guy handing out pamphlets. There were two pamphlets, one folded inside the other. The outside one was labeled "Have Faith in God" and the inside one was labeled "Specially for you!".

While Una was shopping, I read through every bit of it and every quote. I have been reading lots of biblical scholarship lately, preparing for my fictional bible during National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) next month.

"Have Faith in God" was just various quotes from the New Testament while "Specially for you!" was one quote plus description.

It described that it had a message for me, and said, "First of all, let me emphasize that this message is absolutely true, because it is God who said it."

It then quoted John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The ridiculousness of the description sentence bowled me over. "... because it is God who said it."

Don't get me wrong, while I'm an atheist, I feel that the King James Version of John 3:16 is one of the most beautiful sentences in the English language. It's a lovely sentiment and there's a reason it's one of the most recognized passages from the bible.

However, to say that God said it means two things:
1) God speaks in the third person, which is unacceptable, since anyone who speaks of themselves in the third person is completely annoying
2) The guy who actually wrote it isn't getting any credit at all. Surely, God would want to give credit where credit is due.

Throughout the Old Testament, God speaks in first person all the time, "for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God" for example. So why would He switch all of a sudden? I think the most likely thing is that the pamphlet was wrong. Comments?

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