Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's all context

I once took a class that explored Bible interpretation through the lens of context. What is it we're really reading? A legal document? Poetry? What was the cultural context for the time certain passages were written? Was the country at war? Was the writer in pain? Were they actual letters? Were they cobbled together from a variety of sources: softened or blended to fit the listeners ears at that time?

How do we read those same passages today?

Our instructor emphasized that we read through the lens of our traditions, giving the following example:

woman without her man is nothing

Who's insulted by that? It depends on your context. It also depends on your punctuation:
  • Woman, without her man, is nothing.
  • Woman, without her, man is nothing.

No comments: