LCN Article


The Weight of the Bible

May / June 2019
Commentary

Marc Arseneault

What is the difference between most of modern “Christianity” and the teachings of the Bible? The answer may be very surprising, but a short analogy comparing the Bible to a real conundrum concerning weights and measurements may help us understand.

“In a vault in suburban Paris sits a little lump of metal that is the official kilo, the sanctioned yardstick from which numerous other measurements are derived. The problem is, it’s getting heavier” (“A weighty problem: The official kilo is getting heavier,” Globe & Mail). This article addresses how the scientific community has gone about correcting the issue. The analogy comparing this problem to mainstream Christian doctrines today is an interesting exercise.

The challenge is that, from the moment it was fabricated in 1879, the kilogram “lump” accumulated contaminants, which increased its mass above that of the actual required standard kilogram. Since this is the standard to which all other items of mass are compared, the lump cannot exceed one kilogram to the microgram (one-millionth of a gram) if it is to provide an accurate measure.

What if the Bible—a standard for Christian living and doctrine—has suffered similar “changes”?

The Apostle John completed the final book of the Bible at the end of the first century. Although to many today this standard has become a “heavy burden,” the very same apostle who completed the assembly of the New Testament tells us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Jesus the Christ, in His own words, gives us this wonderful truth: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29–30).

Scientists developed a 30-hour procedure to restore the kilogram to its original mass while making sure that no part of the original was removed. Similarly, God, who inspired the words written in the Bible, sternly warns, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32).

Yet, so many today think that the Bible does not need all of its parts—offering claims such as “The law is done away,” or “The Old Testament is not necessary.” Jesus Himself, however, admonishes, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17–19).

The Bible cannot be “increased” or “decreased” and still be an accurate representation of God’s teachings—it’s a complete book!

Consider that scientists will spend 30 hours carefully cleaning the kilogram to maintain the standard. Does our Bible, a major key to our relationship with God, command such a considerable commitment from us? Are we willing to spend that same amount of energy to preserve and maintain the whole “weight” or “mass” of the Bible?