Saturday, December 08, 2007

How Not To Read the Bible, Part 2
Kugel, an emeritus professor of Hebrew literature at Harvard and, mark this, an Orthodox Jew, aims to prove that you can read the Bible rationally without losing God. He sets himself the monumental task of guiding readers all the way through the Jewish scriptures (the Old Testament, more or less, if you’re a Christian) and reclaiming the Bible from both the literalists and the skeptics.

Get this? If you disagree with him you aren't reading the Bible rationally. That will be explained later.

So, how to read the Bible? Kugel proposes two different ways. First, he shows us the Bible as it was read by the “ancient interpreters,” writers who lived in the period a couple of hundred years before and after the birth of Jesus, even as the Bible itself was being codified. Their way of reading the Bible — their assumption of its inerrancy, their belief that scripture teaches moral lessons, and their faith in divine authorship — is the way many of us still read it today.

Guess what? That's how Jesus read the Bible. And He is risen from the dead. The Son of God who is risen from the dead gets to determine our views of the nature of Scripture. We need to start there.

A lot of what is coming is based on presuppositions and assumptions. My presupposition is that I view the Bible the way Jesus did. Presuppositions will color how you view things.

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