The Mystical Bible

I got an email from a friend. He was trying to post something like it as a comment on my leukemia blog, but computer problems prevented it. I’m glad. His "comment" captures the imagination, stirs the heart, and thrills the spirit. I got his permission to print it here.

So, from Jeremiah Briggs:

The dragonfly story brought tears to my eyes (linked from my leukemia blog).

I wish, oh, how I wish people could see the scriptures in the light of a loving Creator who is trying deserately to redeem His creation from the darkness of self-ruin. The God of heaven and earth desires relationship over rules. How many there are, who see the Bible as a self-help book and not a wonderful book about a mystical realm with an all-powerful and wise King and his quest to redeem his subjects from the tyranny of a usurper!

It’s full of art, music, and poetry and with mythological creatures that are more real than we are. It is like Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide; it’s very dangerous in the hands of the wrong people.

The people who wrote it didn’t take a Christian writer’s seminar. They simply had an encounter with the One who loves them. The outcome of their writing is a picture painted in the heart of the reader that is unique to that person. It is like reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and then seeing the movie. Somehow the screen version lacks the ability to match the image that the writer has created in each one of us.

Perhaps thats why I’ve never tried to illustrate Tom Bombadil; I don’t think I can for one, and two, I don’t want to disturb the image in the hearts of others.

Though I’ve attempted numerous times to do illustrations from the Biblical narrative, my art is never from a literal perspective, which I find distastful because most attempts I’ve personally viewed are a very weak cup of coffee at best and at worst… well, I’ll avoid being disreapectful to those who have labored so hard to capture the unimaginable.

Michael the archangel defeats the devil
Michael the archangel throws down the devil
by Jeremiah Briggs, used with permission

It’s like they are trying to catch the wind. I make only a feeble attempt to interpret the image which is within me. For as the author said, "We must have eyes to see and ears to hear." Our hearts and spirits say "amen" to the message and perceive the image it renders.

I’ve tried many times to do an image based on the scripture, "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the LORD … " I think, after reading your post and the dragonfly post, I may have the composition I’m wanting, but as usual it, like others in the past, will reflect the Hidden Realm where what we see and what is really there are two entirely different things.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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2 Responses to The Mystical Bible

  1. Shammah says:

    Isn’t there something about what Jeremiah said here that just rings true and soothes the spirit? It’s my favorite thing he’s ever written.

  2. Bob Duggan says:

    Poetry and truth! story and myth! wonder and mystery! Amen!

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