WERB – Rob Bell: What is the Bible?

I plan to begin posting occasional week-end re-blogs (WERBS) of the best blog posts I read about Jesus or baggage issues, or those that make a big impact on me.

My first WERB is from Rob Bell called What is the Bible? After introducing his Bible series, Rob Bell writes:

Someone wrote something down.

Obvious, but true. And an important starting point.

The Bible did not drop out of the sky, it was written by people.

Again, obvious, but it helps ground us in how to begin thinking about what the Bible is. Many of the stories in the Bible began as oral traditions, handed down from generation to generation until someone collected them, edited them, and actually wrote them down, sometimes hundreds of years later. That’s years and years of people sitting around fires and walking along hot dusty roads and gathering together to hear and discuss and debate and wrestle with these stories.

The people who wrote these books had lots of material to choose from. There were lots of stories floating around, lots of accounts being handed down, lots of material to include. Or not include.

At 1650 words the post is longer than average, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

~Tim Chastain

Rob Bell: What is the Bible?

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12 Responses to WERB – Rob Bell: What is the Bible?

  1. Jane says:

    Love the new WERB concept 🙂


  2. lotharson says:

    Rob Bell tries to single out the Bible as the unique revelation of God while accepting many results of critical scholarship.
    I am not sure it works very well, though.


  3. michaeleeast says:

    Rob Bell is pretty close to spot on about the Bible.
    All I would add is that when we encounter a questionable passage we should ask the question Why did the author of this passage write what he wrote?


  4. amelia says:

    Rob Bell is a unversalist and very selective in what he accepts as biblical truth – handle him with care.


    • Amelia, I agree that we should weight carefully what anyone says about biblical truth.

      I have not found any source that Rob Bell admits to being a universalist. However, I agree that he seems to be a ‘hopeful universalist’ and I don’t see an issue with that. I don’t think God overrides our free will, but it might be possible that everyone will ultimately accept eternal life from the Father.

      Do you find this position of ‘hopeful universalist’ problematic?


  5. Mere Dreamer says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m always so thankful to find that there are many out there who have stepped back enough to observe and disagree with the blank-eyed, unthinking acceptance of Every. Single. Word. –as a direct, unedited quote from God, sharper than most blunt instruments, and profitable for slamming people over the head. This additional perspective will help me process the problems I’ve encountered in reforming my understanding the Bible.


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