Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Bible as Conversation

This will be an experimental posting - the laptop is in Australia being attended to by the nice people at Acer, and I am floundering around on a tablet which, till now, has been used for purposes other than typing missives.  Anyway, until I'm safely back in the Windows "ecosystem" things might be a tad more "no frills".

A thoughtful piece on reading the Bible as a conversation across the generations appears on James McGrath's blog, but sourced from
Genesis isn’t twentieth century science. Leviticus is primitive, brutal and middle eastern. The Old Testament histories are not scholarly documentaries, but religious and tribal understandings of God and events. Proverbs comes from a mongrel wisdom tradition throughout the middle east. Song of Solomon is erotic poetry, and not much else. The prophets spoke to their own times, and not to our own. The scholars who help me understand these books as they are, are not enemies of truth, but friends. Call it criticism, paint it as hostile, but I want to know what the texts in front of me are saying!
The Old Testament and New Testament Canon are the selection of those parts of our spiritual literary heritage that make up the Great Conversation about the Judeo-Christian God. The Bible itself is a human book, created and complied by human choices. There may be other writings that contribute to the conversation, but those who know and experience the God of Jesus Christ hear the conversation most plainly in these writings. Canon is that human choice of what to listen to. Inspiration- the next section- is the validation and expounding of that choice.
Worth reading in it's entirety.

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