Ye and he said unto them...
This kind of statement annoys me like no other. It is one of those idiotic bumper-sticker statements that people use when they are defending something for which they have no good defense. It’s the last resort of the fundamentalists backed into a corner by trying to defend their own ridiculous beliefs.
First of all, to what does “it” refer? I think we’re supposed to believe that “it” is everything the Bible says. But, the only three contexts in which I ever hear people say this (or something similar) are homosexuality, women in office, and creationism. “It” is apparently whatever the person who says this statement wants “it” to be. If “it” were everything the Bible says (and if what the Bible said settles “it”), “it” would include polygamy, not wearing clothing made of a blend of fabrics, and raising our hands in worship. “It” would also include selling all we had and giving “it” to the poor. “It” would include women covering their heads. “It” would include slaves.
But, the Bible says a lot of things… often these things contradict each other. Often these things are embodied in a particular culture at a particular time.
How “I believe it” is a factor in this statement boggles my mind. Is this speaker supposed to be infallible? Is the fact that he/she believes “it” supposed to matter to me? Moreover, does that “settle” anything? Unless the speaker is God, I don’t think he/she has anything to do with settling anything.
Lastly, the Bible isn’t settled. The truth of the Bible isn’t static or fixed or predictable. The Bible is the living word. The Bible leaves room for Jesus to say, “you have heard it said… but I say to you…” The Bible is a thrust or journey towards a destination. The only thing that is settled (maybe?) is the final destination.
And more importantly, this statement demonstrates an incorrect view of the Bible. It does not show respect of the kind of book God has given us.
And for those of you who made all the way to the end of the post, here is a wonderful snack.