The Bible is honestly one of my favorite books, or perhaps collection of books. The Bible contains the stories of our Judeo-Christian faith, from its Hebrew beginning to the early years of the Christian era. I find the Bible to be fascinating, inspiring, instructive, and nurturing. Sadly, however, “Over the past century, an older way of reading the Bible has ceased to be persuasive for millions of people, and thus one of the most imperative needs in our time is a way of reading the Bible anew” (Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg).
It is within this context that New Testament scholar, Marcus Borg, now deceased, wrote his book that I quoted above. Borg, and other scholars, are helping us to read the Bible with a “new set of lenses.” Basically, instead of reading the Bible through the “eyes” of seeing the Bible as inerrant and infallible, as holy writings that need to be taken literally, this growing group of scholars recommend reading the Bible through the “eyes” of historical context and metaphor. The good news here is, the “truths” of the Bible are still meaningful and personally relevant, but without the need to get hung up on the literalism of the texts. For example, the Genesis creation narrative, and the idea that all of creation occurred within six, twenty-four-hour, days is a very tough thing for us moderns to swallow…yet holding to the idea that there was a Creative Mind behind our magnificent and mysterious universe and planet (by “seeing” the creation narrative as a metaphor), now perhaps that is something our modern minds can affirm, celebrate, and find personal meaning within.
The point I am trying to make is this: the Bible is filled with wisdom and guidance for our modern age and everyday lives, if we will only read it and take it seriously. I invite you to do so. And when you are reading the texts and stories of the Bible, I encourage you to ask yourself three questions: 1. What is the Bible saying in its historical context? 2. How is the story of the Bible speaking to my personal faith journey today? 3. How is that story of the Bible also my story, and where do I fit into the story, or truths, today?
My friends, the Bible is a gift to us. I wish happy Bible reading to you all!