Out of Ur posted a list of the “10 commandments” of reading the Bible from Skye Jethani today – interesting stuff:
I. You shall not make for yourself an idol out of Scripture.
II. You shall honor the Scriptures as sufficient
III. You shall remember the metanarrative and keep it wholly
IV. You shall honor the Church as the recipient and the guardian of the Scriptures.
V. You shall not neglect the context.
VI. You shall not ask questions the text does not want to answer.
VII. You shall embrace both the form and content of Scripture as inspired by God.
VIII. You shall study Scripture for wisdom and not merely knowledge, and never for pride.
IX. You shall exegete your culture and not merely the Scriptures.
X. You shall remember that the simplest interpretation is usually, but not always, correct.
I have a hunch that most people’s working hermeneutic (method of interpretation) for reading and understanding the Bible is solidified between the ages of 5-10. I do not know if this is a good thing. Particularly given the important work that has been done on stages of faith, I think the church needs to be active in helping, teaching, and equipping people to understand the depth and breadth of the Scriptures.
There are some good resources out there, including How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth (Fee and Stuart) and The Blue Parakeet (McKnight). There are also increasing numbers of commentaries that are being written to wider audiences (including the “For Everyone” series with Tom Wright and John Goldingay).
As someone who loves to read (and learn through reading), book learning is great (as is blog learning), but it is not enough. I would be interested in hearing how different communities are actually engaging in the process of helping people think and rethink the way in which the Scriptures are read and understood.
I might post some more ideas on this tomorrow, but would love to hear if you have any thoughts.