Esther J. Hamori is an Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary. She has written a very nice piece on the diversity of voices in scripture. An honest reader of the Bible will find arguments for all kinds of positions on all kinds of topics. This diversity of voices is exactly what you would want in a book teaching you how to think, not what to think. The Bible is not very good at teaching human beings how to all think the same thing, but it is very good at evoking conversations that can put our disagreements together for the common good, that is, if we are willing to stop using it as a conversation stopper.

“Some readers will find the acknowledgement of a multiplicity of voices in the Bible objectionable. But these are texts written by human beings with human viewpoints. Attributing perfection to them is idolatry, and God-as-ventriloquist is bad theology. So given that the writers were human, wouldn’t we expect a better reflection of reality to come from the collection of a spectrum of voices than from any one person purporting to speak for everyone? ” -Ester Hamori

Hamori points out that Genesis begins with two contradictory versions of creation. From the very beginning we lose any honest hope of one correct viewpoint. Her point in a nutshell? “Religious diversity is an inherent part of the biblical tradition.” If God wanted zombie followers it would have been good to make the Bible consistent, but if God wanted a community of great minds, the Bible should be exactly what it is, a wild frenzied stockpile of varied, irreconcilable parables that trigger rich conversation in a community of meaning.

To read article, click here.