In our Thursday night Bible study, we're about to start a new series of open-ended discussions, that draw on scripture passages/stories but lead us into conversation about relevant topics and things we'd like to explore. For each, there's going to be a post here with some read-aheads/resources. These will remain up as good resources, too, to point back to as reference in general for these topics.
The first one we're tackling, the subject of this post, is how do we read the Bible?
Here's a great < 10min video - Theologian Will Willimon on Biblical interpretation, who says: "the task of interpreting the Bible is unavoidable. That dear soul who says, 'I just read the Bible and let it speak,' that dear soul is self-delusional. Any act [or context of reading] are in themselves acts of interpretation." This is a great introduction:
Hermeneutic Self-Inventory – “hermeneutics” means biblical interpretation. This 19-question inventory takes you through thinking about what might shape or influence how you interpret the Bible, like in my example above regarding the parable of the prodigal son. Because, whether you think so or not, factors do influence how you read the bible.
A bookmark to print and keep in your Bible – the Lutheran Lens on scripture & Willimon’s 5 tools of interpretation.
In his book The Great Spiritual Migration (which we studied as a congregation a couple years ago), a theological migration toward a loving God found in scripture, we must address how we regard and interpret scripture. McLaren presents this as a spectrum, from literal to literary on one axis and integral to innocent on the other, that you might find yourself and others in one of these boxes:
Quotes to consider:
Recommended Further Reading:
For the Bible tells me so, by Peter Enns.
Manna and Mercy, Daniel Erlander.
Telling the truth: the Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, Frederick Buechner.