Hard Questions About the Bible

Archive for March, 2016

Bible Heroes Were Not Always ‘Holy’

People usually think of the Bible heroes as holy people.  But almost all the people in the Bible, including the so-called heroes, were anything but ‘holy’, as most people think of the word.

Many, like King David, committed great sins.  God chose Jacob, a cheating liar, to be the foundation of his chosen people.  Others, like Moses and Abraham, were weak in their faith.  Almost all the kings of Israel and Judah sinned greatly in the eyes of God, so much that God had his people conquered by foreign nations and carried away in exile.  God chose Jonah, but he ran away, so God caused a big fish to swallow him.  The apostle Peter was so afraid when Jesus was arrested, that he lied about knowing him three times.

Actually, most people think of holy as meaning  ‘good, pure, perfect, moral, straight-laced, having no vices, revered, saintly’ with a halo over their head, etc.  But the word holy, as used in the Bible, actually means ‘set apart’.  So in this sense, the Bible heroes were chosen and set apart for God’s use, even though they were far from perfect and often resisted him.

The people in the Bible were actually ordinary people whom God chose, often without their initial willingness and cooperation, to do his work.  Christians today are also imperfect ordinary people, but they can still do God’s work.