Bob Tamasy: Knowing The Bible Vs. Knowing The God Of The Bible

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Recently I read a commentary about a prominent, nationally known individual who, according to a very close friend, “knows the Bible.” An interesting observation about anyone, especially for someone in the public eye.

However, I’ve encountered people over the years who also claimed to know the Bible, yet there was little if any evidence of the presence and power of God in their lives. It’s not my job to judge, of course, but I think a better question is, “Does this person know the God of the Bible?”

Let me offer an analogy: Years ago, I was an avid reader of horror novels. One of my favorite authors was Stephen King. I had read a number of his books, including The Stand, Carrie, The Shining, and The Dark Tower series, which was recently made into a theatrical film. I knew these books very well – in fact, I had twice read the voluminous epic, The Stand, spanning more than 1,000 pages in both its first and second versions.

During my days as a newspaper editor in suburban Houston, Texas, I had an opportunity to meet and interview Mr. King when he was speaking in our area. I leaped at the chance. So, I had read some of his books, met him face to face, and interviewed him for an article in our newspaper. But even after the personal interview, I didn’t really know Stephen King, not as an author and especially not as a person. I gained certain impressions about him, but didn’t know him. He was just one of many famous people with whom I crossed paths during my career.

The same applied for me concerning the Bible and God for many years. As a senior in high school, for whatever reason I set out to read the Bible cover to cover. And that’s what I did, “religiously” reading five chapters a night, starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. It took about nine months, but I reached my goal.

At the end of that time I “knew” the Bible. I’d read it in its entirety, and had garnered quite a bit of information from it. However, I didn’t know the God of the Bible. I’d grown familiar with the book, but had no personal relationship with its Author.

That changed years later through a series of circumstances. Looking back, I still marvel at the difference it makes knowing the God who inspired the Bible, discovering it’s not a random collection of ancient writings. Instead, I’ve learned it’s the Word of God that clearly and profoundly reveals the heart and character of the One who through His Spirit inspired and directed the human writers who penned its 66 Old and New Testament books.

As 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

I’ve read about teachers in theological seminaries, as well as professors of religious studies in large universities, who have diligently read the Bible and claim to “know” it. Yet their conclusions about it demonstrate a pronounced skepticism about its veracity, validity and value.

They would cast doubt on 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which asserts, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Over the past 40 years or so, I’ve had the privilege of learning about God, Jesus Christ, the Scriptures and their truth from many of the leading Bible teachers and preachers in the U.S.A. and the world, as well as devoted “lay people.” But more than that, I’ve had the joy and humble privilege of getting to know – more and more each day – the God of the Bible.

I’ve concluded the Bible is far more than just a compendium of spiritual knowledge and information. It’s the revealed, eternal, unchanging truth of the living God. Through it, and many experiences in my journey with Him through the years, I’ve also come to know Him. And I’m still striving to know Him even better.

The apostle Paul wrote, as presented in the Amplified Translation of the Bible, “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him – that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding [the wonder of His Person] more strongly and more clearly…” (Philippians 3:10).

This has become my personal mission statement, desiring that as a writer, editor, mentor, husband, father, grandfather and friend, I’ll be used as an instrument for helping others in their own quest to do the same.

Next time you hear someone comment about another person “knowing the Bible,” I hope they mean that individual also knows the God of the Bible. There’s a difference – a profound one.

----

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Mitch McClure To Speak On "Thankful For His Help" On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, 'Thankful For His Help'  in the  10:30 a.m.  service on  Sunday . This sermon is part of a sermon series titled 'Thankful Again.' This series focuses attention to the goodness that God has demonstrated to each of us and encourages us to discover new and ... (click for more)

Interfaith Service Of Gratitude Held Last Sunday

Pilgrim Congregational Church, United Church of Christ hosted an Interfaith Service of Gratitude last Sunday.  "Nineteen plus faith groups gathered to worship in gratitude for all that the Divine has provided. Baha’I, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim and others all coming together in thanksgiving," officials said. “God created each of us as unique individuals who need community ... (click for more)

City Council Votes On 1st Reading To Lower Rain Retention Requirement In South Chickamauga Creek Basin

The City Council on Tuesday voted to lower the requirement for rainwater retention in the South Chickamauga Creek basin. The move from holding the first 1.6 inches to one inch had been requested by the Home Builders Association and the Berke administration. Sandy Kurtz, longtime leader of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said the resolution was "not yet ready ... (click for more)

Former Pilot Regional Account Specialist Says Former President Mark Hazelwood Approved Of Fraud

When well-known attorney Rusty Hardin on Tuesday asked a former Pilot regional account specialist if she believed that former president Mark Hazelwood knew of a plan to cheat trucking firms he didn't get the answer he expected. Holly Radford told a jury in Chattanooga, "I know he had knowledge of the rebate schemes that were going on. "I had conversations with him about it ... (click for more)

Thankful For Tennessee

While Christmas reigns supreme as a holiday marking the birth of our Lord, I have always felt a special connection with Thanksgiving. These days Christmas unfortunately includes ubiquitous commercialism which can distract us from the true meaning of the day. Thanksgiving stands apart from all that. This day gives us an opportunity to reflect and take stock of our many blessings.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanksgiving Eve

I don’t know who was the first to do the Famous Pregnant Turkey prank but I’ll bet you a handful of giblets there will be a lot of copycats who try it today. The trick is finding a Cornish hen that is small enough to stuff inside the larger turkey. Then you skillfully pack the bird with some of that sausage-sage dressing and put your Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. When all ... (click for more)