I see the reports of the heavy rains and flooding in the North East. One headline is "Almost Biblical". Let me start by saying these folks are in my heart and prayers. I have good, solid, Christian on-line friends up that way.
But, this is how my mind works. I see this. And it jogs my memory of a little documentary type show I watched the other evening. It started by saying that every major civilization in the world has some gigantic flood account. (Breaking in here with a correction: they were saying that civilizations scattered throughout the entire world have a major flood story. Thank you, PLittle, for keeping me honest. ;o) They may very in detail, scope and lots of things, but they all have one.
Now, hang on. Don't want to loose no one. So my mind jumps to "That in itself should pretty well prove the flood occurred, if you accept some things from the Bible as true." Bear with me. Say the flood happened exactly like the Bible says. Whole world covered. Mankind starts again from Noah's offspring. Mankind gets cocky and builds the tower of Babel. God confuses their language. So they start to drift apart and go to other regions to live and contact with other groups or clusters slows considerably. Each little clan, so to speak, has their own language. Develops their own customs. Passes down their own stories in their words, by their people, colored by their life experiences. In a centuries old gossip game (you know, whisper a sentence in one ear, pass it down through twenty people and at the end you get something that often doesn't have one word of the original) each story takes on its own character and life, reflective of the people. Now, take by faith that Seth's descendents who stayed in the region and closer to God in general, kept the story line truer to form. Take by faith that the account Moses recorded in Genesis was inspired by God and he was the Editor in Chief. There you have it. Not hard to believe at all. Simple to understand the different traditions passed down.
Now, my mind jumps to the Gospels. Four narratives by four men about our Lord Jesus. Some folks just can't get passed the fact one story is in one gospel and not another......that two gospels tell what appears to be the same story with a different light, or spin. Well, let's go to a football game.
Makes no difference who's playing, but for the sake of argument we'll say it's the 49'ers and the Saints. Let's put Matthew in the press box. Give Mark a bench seat with the team. Stick Luke in the general admission. And John hitches a ride in the blimp overhead. All four men see the same game. But you can bet they are gonna have some very different stories to tell of it when they all gather back at the club the next day. One view is up close and gritty. One view is aided by much stats and instant replays. One is ..... well average. See some, miss some. And poor John....all he sees are ants.
Now add to this that these men were all different. Each writing to a different audience and for a different purpose in each epistle.
Matthew (A jewish tax collector): Shows us Jesus as King, the messiah who fulfills the promise of God in the Old Testament. - written for the Jews
Mark: Shows Jesus as the Servant who does God's will and records more miracles than any other for he wrote it for the Romans, who valued deeds far above words.
Luke (A gentile and a physician): Showed us Jesus as the Perfect Man, God incarnate. Traces his genealogy back to Adam. Shows Jesus often in prayer. Written for the Greeks, the intellectual thinkers of the times.
John: Shows Jesus as the Son of God as his diety is revealed in every chapter, that all might believe.
And each guided by God. They are all valid accounts. All honest in their reporting. But each with a different flavor or emphasis, accordingly.
And thank God! Thank God we have a multidimensional picture of Him!
Comprised by 66 books, written by 40 authors over 1600 years. Penned in 3 languages and upon 3 continents. Yet there is continuity of direction and purpose.