Monday, March 19, 2012

Lewis’s experience in reading the OT

If the Old Testament is... more than human, we can of course set no limit to the weight or multiplicity of meanings which have been laid upon it. If any writer may say more than he knows (see “Second Meanings”) and mean more than he meant, then these writers will be especially likely to do so. And not by accident.

Ted-Kennedy-and-Portugese-Water-HoundCertainly it seems to me that from having had to reach what is really the Voice of God in the cursing Psalms through all the horrible distortions of the human medium, I have gained something I might not have gained from a flawless, ethical exposition. The shadows have indicated (at least to my heart) something more about the light. Nor would I (now) willingly spare from my Bible something in itself so anti-religious as the nihilism of Ecclesiastes. We get there a clear, cold picture of man’s life without God. That statement is itself part of God’s word. We need to have heard it. Even to have assimilated Ecclesiastes and no other book in the Bible would be to have advanced further towards truth than some men do. 
    But of course these conjectures as to why God does what He does are probably of no more value than my dog’s ideas of what I am up to when I sit and read. But though we can only guess the reasons, we can at least observe the consistency.

The Old Testament – more than human (Part 7)
C.S. Lewis, “Scripture,” Reflections on the Psalms (1958, this excerpt taken from The Essential C.S. Lewis Touchstone, 1998) 404.

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