Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reading the Bible with Scot McKnight (4-5)

In chapter 4 of McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scot highlights the primary importance of context when it comes to reading the Bible as story.

Some passages, for example, are considered important for then and not for now so it’s important to get the context. Scot points out the issue of charging interest and how it is conveniently overlooked. Most of us ignore the OT command found in Leviticus 25:35-38. That was then and this is now, Scot suggests, are seven words that “are the secret to reading the Bible.” Reading the Bible as story will help us discern between then and now. We have to go backward to go forward. Context. Acts 7 is a good example. Stephen recounts the story of Israel and how it opens onto the story of Jesus the Messiah.

Scot stresses the importance of reading the Bible as a whole. Seeking to master one writer or one part will end up distorting the whole and we need the whole. God reveals himself in language, and for Scot this was profoundly important to understand. Language has a context and God speaks through different contexts and different writers in a variety of ways that are all pertinent to the big story.

Playing off Wikipedia, Scot coins the term wiki-stories. What he means is that the Bible often presents a new version of an old story and that as readers it will help if we’re attuned to these multiple wiki-stories and how they find a place in the larger picture of what God is doing.

Turning to chapter 5, Scot proposes that the plot of the wiki-stories can be expressed in five themes:

Creating Eikons - Genesis 1-2

Cracked Eikons - Genesis 3-11

Covenant Community – Genesis 12 to Malachi

Christ the Perfect Eikon redeems – Matthew to Revelation 20

Consummation – Revalation 21-23

Scot elaborates on all these themes in interesting and provocative ways that tie them together into the whole story of the Bible.


harry coe maynard said...


Something I noticed, I leave the audio bible on while I'm working on the internet. Made me think I was listening but wasn't really. Went back to reading for 30 min to an hour a day, and made a big differnence.


Greg said...

Harry coe,
Good idea - reading should be preferable to listening.