While browsing the biographic section at Barnes and Noble this evening I remembered a conversation I had several years ago. The person I was with told me he never read fiction. He only read biographies. Really? I’m not sure there is much of a difference. Biographies are usually biased by the author and really biased if they are autobiographies. It’s not that people write lies; it is the selection of events they wish to tell that can paint any picture one desires. Most heroes are created on paper.
Just last night I was reading II Corinthians 11 when I came across “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;…” Even my hero Paul was not immune from some biographic life enhancements. Don’t misunderstand me I am not saying he wasn’t telling the truth. I just think he was selective in his story telling. The Book of Acts doesn’t cover all these accounts.
The Gospels are the closest thing we have to having a biography of Jesus. But they are not designed to be a biography, thus leaving us with huge gaps of “I wonders.” It will be such a joy someday to hear the real Christmas story from Mary and Joseph’s point of view. There is so much to learn. We just cannot not be there for the telling.
Written by Roger Bothwell on December 5, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574