This post goes out to all of you who live with someone who rambles on about their work day each night. Perhaps it’s your spouse chatting about the office, or a roommate complaining about a co-worker. My kitchen rambler is my husband Dane and his topic of choice: teaching teenagers how to read the Bible well. He is a not a teacher of Bible stories, or morals, but one who equips kids to fully engage with the Bible in ways that have probably never learned before. He encourages them to ask question and to seek answers from within the wider Christian community. Over the years I’ve learned how easily what he teaches teenagers applies to adults as well. Therefore, I compiled a few key points I have heard on repeat over the years and asked my husband, Dane Splinter, to elaborate while I madly typed.
The Bible is a Library
The Bible is not a single book; it is a collection of books or a library. In it we find a wide variety of literature written by different people living in different places over a long period of time. Learning to read the Bible well involves an awareness of this diversity, as well as an appreciation of how it all fits together. We don’t read the newspaper like we read our email, and we don’t read novels like we read a baseball box score. Thus we should not read the Bible the way we read a regular book.
Teenagers are a lot like the rest of us. They avoid what they do not like, and do not like what they do not understand. Equipping students to read the Bible as a library of different books helps them understand and thus appreciate the text more.
When we are reading the Bible as a library, we must learn the context for each of the genres. The Bible was written by real people in real places in real time. Exploring the context of a given book of the Bible is essential. The words recorded in Scripture are time-sensitive. The whole point of God revealing himself in history (as recorded in the Bible) is that God was disclosing himself in real time. Too often, we treat Scripture as if it fell off God’s desk in heaven, floating down to us from above. When we speak of the entire Bible as “eternal truth” we devalue the world that God created and the word that he is revealing to us even now.
To read the rest come on over to Momentum