This is the existential fallacy of organized religion, George, that is, the belief that people can know god by reading words or studying books about our maker.
Just as a nerd might be deluded into thinking he can understand and know women by reading books, religious people believe it is possible to relate to and with our maker by scrutinizing religious documents and dogma.
If books are ever any help at all, it is as sign posts which point us toward a destination. To think that they have meaning in and of themselves is to mistake the word “Pittsburgh” on a billboard for the experience of riding up the Monongahela Funicular, looking down at the confluence of the three rivers and trying to take in the great city for oneself.
The Bible doesn’t mention this (duh) but I suspect that Jesus tried to avoid this problem by not writing any books himself, knowing that doing so would only add to the level of religiosity in the world.
But decades later, he wasn’t there to discourage anyone else from doing so and, as they say, the rest is history. So now we have billions of people who don’t know that calling out the word “Jesus” can’t possibly do any good because “Jesus” wouldn’t have answered to that name, nor do they believe-much less know-what it’s like to have two way talks with his dad, as Jesus reportedly claimed was possible and wanted his followers to have.
Sure do, Elmer.
My parents raised me with this mindset.
And lest you be tempted to think that belief died when they did, there have been comments in this forum claiming that SDA’s have the potential to understand Jesus better than the writers of the gospel did, if they will only take a few decades to digest EGW’s writings.
You know, kinda like how one can get to know all about real life by staring at Dali’s surreal paintings?!?!