"It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out."
Proverbs 25:2 English Standard Version
For too long, I settled for looking at scripture and thinking I could never comprehend what it all really meant. I wanted to know, I wanted to read with passion for the word and prayed for understanding. I took pride in having read through the Bible three times from cover to cover, but felt like I was getting nothing more than a better grasp of names and places.
I tried out new versions of scripture, moving from the Old King James to the New King James to NIV and then the NASB, but didn't feel as if I had gained any more than just a more readable version. We've all been chastised to live a better life by preachers who say our English versions are nothing compared to the Hebrew and Greek and that scared me to think there were even more ways of going to Hell and finally figured I should start looking into that to make sure I was doing everything I was suppose to do.
I picked up a copy of the Tanauk, the Old Testament in its original Hebrew with a Jewish perspective on the literal translation; along with a literal translation of the New Testament from the Greek, but there on the pages I discovered something I would never have thought possible. I discovered a veil had been draped over my eyes by ever translation I had ever read before. I discovered words which were mistranslated to reach a certain conclusion far from the intent of God. I discovered something so frightening I could hardly believe what I was reading ... God is in control, God has a plan, God is absolute love and the Cross changed everything. I thought I was going to discover more heinous punishments for more subtle sins, but instead I discovered just how powerful the figure of Christ on the cross really was, and is, and is to come.
The Song of Songs tells of God the pursuer and his desire to be pursued. God doesn't just want us to follow the words and live the life, he wants us to find him in every thing. There is a reward in understanding what God is about and it doesn't have anything to do with following the 10 Commandments or going to church on Sunday - its about having a relationship with God. God is seductive and longs for us to reach out and discover him. It begins with becoming intimate with His word.
Are you ready to have your religious paradigm challenged? Try this on for size: Everywhere your Bible says "forever and ever" as in eternity, it actually says "eon to eon" as in a time span; everywhere your Bible says "Hell" its actually saying Gehenna - a valley near Jerusalem, Sheol - the grave, Hades - the grave, or Tartarus - a place of punishment for angels. Better yet, since I'm sure we all agree God is in control, and God has a plan, and God will win a dicisive victory at the end of this age, and since God obviously knit us together in our mother's womb, and since Ephesians says something about God knowing and planning our lives, as well as the cross since before the beginning of time, how can we reconcile a belief in free will? Especially when there is less basis for it in scripture than there is for Hell. At least the translators took the time to mistranslate stuff to fabricate Hell.
If you're not up for doing the leg work on it, don't worry, the writings to follow will give you all the proof you need that God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.