Approaching The Study of the Bible

How do we approach the reading of the Bible? Any book, actually, but especially the Bible?

I try not to bring my prejudices and biases to my reading of the Bible; rather, I try to let the Bible speak to my prejudices and biases. At least, that is my goal.

A philosopher called Jacques Derrida thought that we cannot divorce any writing or reading from our prejudices. (Side note: I’ve been forever grateful that I ignored one of my English professor’s invitation to become an English major. They seemingly all became disciples of Derrida, which I am not.)

The early Christians read the Hebrew scriptures carefully and thoroughly. But they were not particularly interested in Jewish history or religion. They searched diligently for any mention of Jesus. Jewish scholars to this day are aghast at the interpretations that arose. But it satisfied the soul of the early Christians at the time.

But I wonder…do I search the Bible for sentences that reinforce my biases and prejudices? Am I searching for what Jesus is saying to me now, in my current situation? Am I searching for universal truth?

I just read through the Proverbs. I found many ideas that spoke clearly to me at this time in my life. I’ve read them before. But now there is perhaps deeper understanding.

I try to pause, open my heart and mind, and then read the thoughts there before me. Maybe that day something will open my eyes just a bit more and give me just a bit more of God’s Wisdom.

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