How to Read the Bible

N.T. Wright offers some reflection on how to view the Bible as you read it.

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8 thoughts on “How to Read the Bible

  1. It’s very good.
    I especially like what Dr. Wright said about heaven being among us, not way off in the sky somewhere so that we can run things down here the way we want.

    He criticized presenting the gospel as “God has a plan for your life” instead of “Pick up your cross daily.” In certain contexts, I think his criticism is valid. On the other hand, some present the gospel as “You gotta give up this, you gotta give up that, you can’t do that, you can’t do this.” That’s not sufficient either. We want people to know that when you give up your life, you gain another one that’s much, much better. For example, instead of “You can’t drink, smoke, or party” say “alcohol is a cheap imitation of the real thing, which is getting drunk on Jesus or smoking Jehovah-wanna” (Acts 2:13 & following).

  2. Thank you, Tim. I always enjoy hearing N.T. Wright speak. And he did a marvelous job with the Ephesians texts.

    __

    This one, however, is really more focused on how-to (literally) read the Bible…for better understanding:

    http://theoldadam.com/2011/03/04/bible-study/

    It’s in bits and pieces so you can take it in small doses, or tackle them all.

    It’s a pretty interesting take on it, methinks.

    Thanks.

  3. I especially like what Dr. Wright said about heaven being among us, not way off in the sky somewhere so that we can run things down here the way we want.

    That’s one of Wright’s favorite points to make. Just google “N.T. Wright heaven” and see.

    On the other hand, some present the gospel as “You gotta give up this, you gotta give up that, you can’t do that, you can’t do this.”

    Yes, but that is certainly not how Wright presents the gospel.

  4. Tim — I think you intended for this video — The Whole Sweep of Scripture — rather than Wright’s quick tour of Ephesians, which is what plays if you merely click on the image in your post. It appears that Google has coded the “sweep” talk so it can’t be played while embedded in another page, so a different video plays instead.

    In any case, both talks are quite good. If I were to summarize his first talk in LDS lingo, it would be that Zion is for us in the here and now. His second talk he says basically that we do the scriptures (and ourselves) a disservice if we focus on short sections in isolation rather capturing them in the broader context. An example (mine, not his) might be that don’t really get what Paul is saying about love (1 Corinthians 13) unless we look at his comments in the broader context of his discourse on spiritual gifts.

  5. I don’t think N.T. Wright is talking about finding the context for a proof text but instead experience of digesting a whole books inside the context of the entire Bible.

    When I converted a Chaplain suggested reading a book of the Bible every Lord’s day just to have God reorient you.

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