Sunday, July 3, 2011

Exgesis and the can of worms

The canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke &...Image via Wikipedia
I can always remember some of the initial words of my lecturer when I was studying exegesis. 'When reading the Bible let the plain thing be the main thing'. In other words, when you read the Bible the most obvious of how you understand the text is most probably what it means.

Things get blurrier with the addition of a number of thing, the most import is context. Context means understanding when something is written, who wrote it, who the audience was, when it was written and why. All of these factors can give important understanding to Biblical literature. What is rarely acknowledged from the minister on a Sunday morning is that is rare that scholars agree on any of all these contextual points for biblical literature.

The more you move away from the 'plain thing is the main thing', and the deeper you look into the contextual who why when and where, everything gets shakier.

I can understand why people stop, they only want to dig so far into scripture. It is a hole which can only get deeper and deeper. There is a comfortableness with faith that doesn't need rocking.  If it is rocked though a recalibration of everything is often needed.
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