Friday, January 23, 2009


I recently picked up a book about the Bible. This is supposed to be a guide for understanding the scriptures. At first glance, I was pretty impressed. It looked to be a handy reference guide. However, when I opened the little book to the table of contents, I closed it and haven't opened it since.
Chapter 2 and 3 are titled, "Cast of Characters (A to J)", and "Cast of Chracters (K to Z)". What's wrong with that you ask? What's wrong is that it has just hit on a sore spot with me. The Bible tells a wonderful story, from cover to cover, of God's love for us. It is full of action, life, romance, suspense, humor, and much more. It is the true story of how an Almighty God chose to love His humble creation. It is a real epic story of how the Creator interacted with His people and shows us how to become one of them.
My problem is that the people who are mentioned and written about in the Holy Bible are not "characters". They are real people who really lived. To call them Bible "characters" reduces them to the level of Darth Vader or Hamlet.
The events really happened. The people really lived. The Bible is not a novel. It is the Word of God. Does it have entertainment value? Yes, it most certainly does. However, unlike "characters" in movies and novels, entertainment is not its primary focus.
Please join me in refraining from using the word "character" to refer to the people who are accounted for in the scriptures. You will add more credibility not only to them, but also to your witness for Him.

No comments: