Jerry Johnston Interviews Peter J. Williams on Myths and the Bible24 September 2016
Capricious or gracious — is the God of the Bible only a myth akin to Zeus or Poseidon? Can we trust the claims of the Bible? I addressed my question to an expert on the Bible in its original languages, Dr. Peter J. Williams. Peter is the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge. His mission in directing Tyndale House is “raising up Bible scholars to serve the church”. Dr. Williams replied,
“I think when people say that the Bible is analogous as a sort of great myth about gods getting together with humans and so on, I think it’s really substantially different. That is, there is one God, and He has a consistent character, and He’s not out to get some fulfillment from engaging with humans. In fact, God is portrayed as not needing humans. That makes a big difference from any of the Greek gods who are not completed themselves; they have needs. That’s a big difference. I think also, the way God is very gracious and compassionate, and all of his engagement with humans is based on that. The way He chooses Abraham and starts favoring him is a very gracious engagement; because after, in the story of the Bible, God’s made everything perfect and humans have messed that up. Why should he engage any further? So, I think it’s a very different story from the sort of story we have within the Greek world, for instance.”
Why are men and women disinterested with the Bible? According Williams, “the reason people are not excited about the Bible is because they haven’t had it explained to them or they haven’t really engaged with it.” Our documentary will highlight scholars who have engaged deeply with the Bible. Our desire is for all ages to encounter the Bible in a fresh way through our upcoming documentary and multiple resources.