Thursday, July 27, 2017

How To Use Sherlock Holmes Methods To Study The Bible

Many people have been impressed and mystified at the powers of the modern Sherlock Holmes Colin Cloud who is a contestant on America's Got Talent. What if I told you that you could use these same powers to study the Bible? I have used these methods myself in Bible studies and they have never failed me.

So, first, we need a problem a mystery in the Bible to solve. Something that Google can't help us with. The mystery we will solve today is in John 8:6 where Jesus bends down and writes in the sand. While the Bible doesn't say what Jesus wrote I believe it's possible for us to use Sherlock Holmes methods to figure out what Jesus wrote in the sand.

So, first, we need some background some information as Sherlock Holmes once said you can't make bricks without clay we need data. So, what data do we need? In this Scripture, the Pharisees and the scribes bring a woman has been caught in the act of adultery before Jesus and the Pharisees and Scribes tell Jesus that in the Old Testament, Moses commanded this woman be stoned and they ask Jesus if they too should stone her.  So, we need to know what the Old Testament says about adultery after all that is their accusation. Specifically, we need to look at what the punishment for adultery was in the Bible.

"If a man commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, both man and the woman who have committed adultery shall surely be put to death" Leviticus 20:10 ESV.

Well, it does look like the punishment for adultery is stoning in the Old Testament. So, what do we need to know next to solve the mystery of what Jesus wrote in the sand? Well, let's look at who's asking the question and making the accusation. We have the Pharisees and the Scribes. A Scribe was someone who wrote down the laws while the Pharisees very basically for this study were people who interpreted the laws. So, if you had a question on which sacrifice to make or if something was a sin you would ask the Pharisees.

So, let's take a look here. The Pharisees and Scribes bring to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery asking to stone her according to Old Testament law. Instead of verbally answering, instead, Jesus bends down and writes in the sand. The Pharisees and Scribes continue to pester Jesus about this woman and Jesus says "let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" and then He continues writing. After hearing that all the Pharisees and Scribes left beginning with the older ones. That's strange I think. Why did the older ones leave first? The older ones must have known something that it took the younger one's longer to figure out. Also, it was after seeing what Jesus wrote and after what He said that the older ones started leaving so, what He said must have had some connection to what He wrote on the ground.

When solving a Bible mystery as Sherlock Holmes would we have to get our data which we did on what the Old Testament says about adultery then the next step is to look for anything odd or out of the ordinary? What strikes me as odd is the fact that the older Pharisees and Scribes left before the younger ones did.

So, let's use Sherlock Holmes methods with the information we have to deduce what Jesus wrote in the sand. Remember to form no theories use only the facts at hand or you will twist facts to suit theories instead of twisting theories to suit facts. Remember also that once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains however improbable must be the truth.

Let's put this together. we have the Pharisees and Scribes saying a woman caught in the act of adultery. That's also a key thing to remember is that this woman was caught in the act of committing this sin. This wasn't something she confessed or someone gossiped about she was caught in the act of actually doing it. Adultery, as we know, is cheating on your spouse most people do this by sleeping with someone other than their spouse. There are other ways to commit adultery but that's the most common one and that is probably the one this woman was caught in the act of doing. So, basically, the Pharisees and Scribes are saying we caught this woman sleeping with a man who is not her husband the Old Testament says we should stone her. We looked at the Old Testament and we saw the law that says the penalty for adultery is stoning. One thing though to also remember is that Leviticus said that both the man and the woman caught in adultery should be stoned. We only have the woman here in this case.

So, isn't there a question you're asking right now? Leviticus says both the man and woman should be stoned and the Pharisees and Scribes bringing only the woman saying she was caught in the physical act of adultery and asking if she should be stoned.

There's a question you should be asking right now and I don't think I need to be Colin Cloud to know what question you're asking is.

Where is the man?

Is that not the question you're asking? It's the question Jesus is asking when writing in the dirt. That's what He wrote.

He wouldn't write down the entire Old Testament law there would be no point to that. He wanted to address their question very specifically. Also, remember the fact that the older ones left before the younger ones. The older Pharisees and Scribes would have known and memorized more Scripture than the younger ones did so when the question came up it would take the younger ones longer to figure out what Jesus was talking about where as the older Pharisees and Scribes who knew and memorized the Scriptures well would know instantly and that's why the older ones left first.

So, that solves the mystery of what Jesus wrote in the sand and that is how you solve a Bible mystery like Sherlock Holmes. You know his methods so use them yourself the next time you study the Bible.