A Quote from Reading The Bible From the Margins


Reading the Bile from the Margins Today's lunch (and probably commute home reading), on biblical interpretation. A quote follows....

All too often we approach the biblical text assuming that it contains only one meaning, specifically the meaning that existed in the mind of God and was revealed to the original person who verbalized this revelation to those who first heard or read the message. The task of the present-day reader of the Bible is to apply linguistic and historical tools to the text in order to arrive at the original meaning, which is submerged in centuries of commentaries and church doctrines. By applying this methodology, the reader believes he or she will be able to ascertain the original universal meaning that remains applicable to all peoples in all times. In the reader's own mind, his or her interpretation, now elevated to truth, is objectively realized, devoid of any social or cultural influences. But no biblical interpretation is ever developed in a social or cultural vacuum. Most interpretations are autobiographical, where we ascertain the meaning of the text through the telling of our own stories, projecting onto the Bible how we define and interpret the biblical story in light of our own life experiences.