I thought I’d take a short break from the trawl through the influences on my faith to look at how I think and feel about an important element of Christianity – the Bible.
I suppose in lots of ways I have mixed feelings about the Bible. I find it hard to read on my own– very few sections flow as a narrative and I don’t find much of what it says particularly ‘useful’ or relevant to my life. When reading lots of passages, I find it too easy to be put off by the ‘face value’ meaning of the passages.
I know enough about biblical studies/theology to know that the face value reading of a text, while sometimes helpful, is often only a small layer of the richness in a passage. I know there are interesting and illuminating contexts and cultural (and scriptural) references. The problem I have is that, I’m no theologian or biblical scholar and so know very little about the linguistic, historical and cultural context to what I’m reading. The result is I’m left unfulfilled by Scripture when I read it.
The main time the Bible comes alive to me is through preaching. To hear someone reflect on a passage and tease out meanings I’d not seen brings it to life for me. But I think, as preaching seems to be a running theme in my reflections, I should come back to it another time.