The Bible Is a Parable: A Middle Ground Between Science and Religion
toward the proposition that his opinion was the superior way to order one‘s life, against a
background of a view of values that they professed to have in common.
Toward the end of a debate that was going nowhere, the Bible‘s God scolds the
friends for misinterpreting what He had been trying to bring to t heir attention over ages
of effort to simplify the subject enough to fit into Man‘s limited range of understanding,
and to reclarify what Man‘s well- intentioned tinkering had done to confuse the issue. Job,
He stated, had gotten it closer than all the othe rs, but even he had not understood that he
couldn‘t please God within only his own strength and understanding, and that a ritual
show of piety or forbearance was insufficient to acquire what he appeared to have fallen
short of gaining in other ways.
Of course that‘s only my understanding of this complicated piece, but it seems to me
that the moral of the story might be that Man cannot do the will of God within only his
own strength, standing as he would be in his ignorance of the -forces | that might be
arrayed against him. Pride in his own perceived perfection of loyalty to his Deity seemed
to be where he had fallen short.
I‘m not sure where in history this story entered into the canon of the Old Testament,
but it would seem that it might be centuries before God was to offer the perfect example
of fealty to His will in Jesus of Nazareth. Here He seems to be saying that it takes more
than the strength and intellect of Man to perfect the spirit of man. It takes a -spark of the
divine | to close the loop, so to speak. Jesus, the apostles witnessed, seemed to have had
that spirit. The Gnostics were interested in Jesus. Was it because they felt that they had
seen this difference also, and had assigned him to an elevated place in their -Gnosis | ?
Their Aeons, -Divine Ones, | it would seem to have been understood by them, had
this spark. But among the -Followers of the Way | it was stated that their Jesus was the
single exception. The Gnostics said that there were many within the world at large, totally
unaware of this gift and had to be sought out and relieved of their unconscious condition
through the test of knowledge acquisition. So they became the seekers after knowledge to
determine who was who.
Was the Book of Job within the currency of information during that time? If so, this
alone should have disabused them of that notion. If any mere man could have had that
-spark | it ought to have been Job, with his obviously vast knowledge of things of the
world and those of the spirit. But even at the end of his diorama his knowledge, he seems
to have discovered, informed him that he hadn‘t quite measured up, and could never hope
to on his own, if I have understood this parable correctly. There was no way that he,
within himself, could grasp the understanding of what God was all about, and how
everything had come about.
In the parable of Abraham and his -sacrifice, | a chapter in this book, God seems to
be asking, does Abraham love God above all else to the extent that he would be able to
give up everything to retain it, as Job‘s story seems to be saying that the -test | was at
least partly about. Would he be able to stand firm beyond any understanding of why it
might be required of him? Could he give up the son that he had thought impossible, and
the promise of his seed turning into a nation, even into a vast numberless throng of
people, in essence give up the -whole world | rather than God‘s favor? Could he do this
even beyond any attempt to understand why, as Job had finally had to admit was his
problem? Only when Abraham seemed ready to irrevocably commit to this proposition,
was he told that it would not be necessary, that it would not even be desirable.