I had a lovely conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness recently. As she turned to leave she paused and looked back to express the very thought that was on my mind. “I enjoyed this. We listened to each other.”
She couldn’t understand how I could write an essay “Satan Wrote the Bible” and yet I claimed not to believe in Satan.
“Do you believe there is a Satan?” I asked.
“Then the essay is for you. It is written for those who believe in personifications of Good and Evil and who think the personification of Good, God, caused the writing of the Bible. I read Job with great care many times trying to understand what was being said. I really don’t think I was trying to find what I found.”
“You found that Satan wrote the Bible?”
“I found that Satan comes across as being smarter than God and that led me to the notion that Satan wrote the Bible.”
“But you don’t believe there is a Satan?”
“But you believe Satan wrote the Bible?”
“I believe the Bible was written by young men who thought the world was flat.” [I have been corrected: “humans have known the to be earth a sphere since 240 BC.” see comments for more.]
At this she turned to a page in the Bible and read, “Isaiah 40:22 There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” She referred to another passage about space indicating that we are but a small part of the universe. Then she asked, “Young men?”
“Just a flip comment based on life expectancy 2,500 years ago,” I replied.
In this exchange I implied that I read Job objectively. I certainly tried but it is likely that if I had believed God wrote the Bible, I would have come to a different conclusion. I do think I was a leg up on someone reading the Bible to substantiate his or her belief. It is incredibly difficult to read anything objectively but well worth the effort to try.