We All Read the Bible Through a Specific Lens

How to Read the bible series

Adam K
Reconstructing Christianity Together

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Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

I was taught to put myself aside in order for the bible to speak to me without my thoughts influencing what I read from the text. We were to put aside previous teachings, culture, church tradition, and life experiences so that these things wouldn’t get in the way.

The illustration used was of someone wearing glasses, but with different color markings on the lens. Green represented our personal experiences. Red represented our church teachings. Blue represented our church tradition. Yellow represented our culture. By the end, the lens was marked up by all the colors and we were told we needed to put these colors/influences aside before we came to the text.

The concern was that we were bringing our baggage to the text. Instead, we were to see who the author was, what they were trying to communicate who the audience was, and why they needed to hear this message.

The bible was written for us, but not to us” was the catch phrase.

Though I still agree with this approach of looking first at what the original text meant by the original author and original readers, I don’t quite understand how I leave my baggage at the door before reading the text.

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Adam K
Reconstructing Christianity Together

Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father of two. Missionary. Foodie. Mdiv. Searching for a space to share, learn and grow.