Monday, February 11, 2008

The WikiBible!

Adams post made me think about how we read the Bible, how we "filter" the text.
About two months ago I heard Scott McKnight speak on this topic.  I don't remember the entire lecture but he was detailing how people study the Bible.  I recall two ways he cited people read the Bible.
1) The Hallmark Method:  Here we read the Bible for an encouraging word or clever phrase that will energize us for the day.  For example, we are feeling anxious so we read all the verses from our concordance that correspond with being anxious.  This isn't bad but it is problematic because it tends to subject the Bible to our repetitive state.  There is a good chance we might suffer from anxiety consistently and thus we devoid ourselves of rich material to read.
2) The "To Do" Method:  Here we read the Bible for instruction for how to live and act.  The Bible becomes a rule book that simply prescribes how to live. Of course the Bible does provide this for us but it is more than just a list of rules.  There is context, culture, characters that interplay with the practices and principles God sets out in the Bible.
McKnight suggested that we read the Bible in a Wiki method.  Like the popular website Wikipedia the Bible is a collection of information (that is a crude way to put it) that constantly changes each day because people can contribute to it. 
What McKnight means (what I think) is that the Bible takes a dynamic role in people's lives and forms them each day.  The "reader" participates in "re-writing" the text as they interpret it within their life.  The cool thing about Wikipedia is that it has to be legitimized in community.  Your interpretation must be confirmed and affirmed within the body of Wiki readers and gains validity as it is worked out in dialogue. 
None of that is my original ideas and maybe Scott has posted these thoughts on his blog.  Check it out, I can't think of the site but if you search "Jesus Creed Blog" it will come up! 

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