Biblical interpretation that does not result in love of God and neighbor is incorrect and compels you to go back and interpret again.
Rohadi invites Karen Keen back for Part 2 of a small series on How to Read the Bible.
What do we do with the way we’ve been formed around the Bible and specifically any teachings we’ve come to realize are incongruent with the way of Jesus, or at worse, spiritually abusive? Do we just give it all up? I pose this question to Karen, as we centre the start of our conversation on how humility and community are key pieces to shape our approach and picture of what we read in the Bible. Some key quotes form this episode:
“One of the problems of [biblical] interpretation now is that we try to re-invent the wheel rathe than looking at ourselves as a piece in the history that has come before us and the history that is coming after us. We are intergenerational connected…and my interpretation will happen in this broader sense of community.
Remember, we have inside scripture itself interpretation of scripture. So how did they handle and navigate hermeneutics and interpretation? They didn’t throw out the old, they put it next to the new, so you can kind of see this evolution of thought and development. There wasn’t a throw away, but a respect for tradition for the community that has come before and now we build upon their shoulders.”
Christ as lens (resists proof texting); looking at salvation (Scripture) as a whole. What is the whole story trying to tell us?
It’s not the method as much as the disposition. How we go into interpretation is more important than the “right” interpretive method.
Karen R. Keen is a biblical scholar, author, and spiritual care provider. Through the Redwood Center for Spiritual Care and Education, she teaches classes on Scripture and facilitates groups on spiritual practices. Her books include Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibilities of Same-sex Relationships, and The Word of a Humble God. The Origins, Inspiration, and Interpretation of Scripture.