Vol.VI No.IX Pg.8
November 1969

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

One elderly brother in a rural community thought he had discovered a Bible truth never before understood. He managed to twist some verses about until he made them say that John the Baptist could talk when he was only eight days old.

He injected this novel interpretation (?) into every class period, used it in his talks at the Lords Table, labored his point at every court yard session. He jumped every preacher who came along, startling some into silence — which was proof- positive to him that they were powerless before his logic.

Until he approached a preacher who had heard of his peculiar wisdom and was prepared for it. The preacher said, Oh, there is nothing outstanding about a child talking when eight days of age. Consider Job! He cursed the day be was born. (Job 3: 1-f)

The preacher should have been ashamed of himself. He took away the old mans forte — left him unadorned — reduced him to an ordinary person like the rest of us. He could have spared his feelings by saying, Say, thats astonishing! Im sure a man of your talents has noticed that Job cursed the day he was born. Together they may have started a movement of some kind. Essential ingredients are a few startling, never — before twists to the Scriptures, or the novel use of a few words, partially defined. This gives the originators a sense of scholarship — for they alone have discovered these things, and all the ordinary brethren are slaves of orthodoxy, or time — serving preachers who parrot the former generation and are afraid to think for themselves.

We sorely need honest, free (in the sense of not being bound to human traditions) thinkers. Men with well— rounded knowledge of the Bible as a whole, who can approach passages objectively, seeking truth at whatever the cost. But such men usually have sense enough to know that arrogance is not scholarship; and that chances are very slim that one mans conclusion is more accurate than the combined weight of centuries of study.

I want to encourage independent individual Bible study, and believe desire for such is strong among conservatives today. We must make the spirit of humility equally strong.