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3.4 Religious scriptures

Let us briefly discuss the consequences of the above account for how religious scriptures may be produced and read. The influence of God must have been received and filtered according to the spiritual and religious capabilities of the persons involved in the reception. When prophets produce religious scriptures inspired by God, they present a moral vision which reflects their own internal spiritual loves at the time. Historically religions did not begin by understanding the above facts about love and how our spiritual loves govern the way God appears to us. Rather, the written historical scriptures have an external moral character whenever the religious temper is external, with correspondingly more emphasis on ritual purity than on spiritual honesty.

The purpose of such divinely-inspired scriptures is to lead us toward life and love that are closer to God. This leading is typically from external toward more internal understandings and loves. The earliest scriptures present an external moral character that is less developed than that produced by later spiritual repentance and regeneration. Such early scriptures should still be understood as embodying the Word of God, but in a more hidden or obscure manner that is necessarily limited by the loves of the original recipients and writers. This implies that successive scriptures will be different in character. Later productions will embody God’s love and wisdom more accurately than the previous writings.


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