Four Characters Shaping Your Understanding Of The Bible
Whether entirely cognizant of it or not, you'll always find yourself embedded in an unfolding narrative. Even many of the older stories are still reflected upon long after the fact. What has been said, continues to shape what is being said.
Moreover. in interpreting the Biblical narrative, four different voices are coloring your understanding of things. I'm convinced that each of these groupings of characters must be carefully reconsidered. Despite what you imagine, no one ever truly reads in isolation.
Who are the people that are shaping the story?
1. You First of all, there's you. Your personal insights and experiences are always brought into the reading of the text. It is impossible not to bring something of who you are into the interpretive process. For better or worse, your hopes, fears, and ambitions shape your worldview.
2. Your Community There are also influences that come from people that you associate with. Their identity and value systems often determine what you comprehend. Whether you're aware of it or not, your faith community gives you eyes to see the world. Your readings often reflect the ethos and sensibilities of your closest friends and family.
3. The Ancient Author Peering into the memories and accounts of past, there is also an ancient author who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, scribbled on parchment. Who were they and what were their concerns? How did they envision the world? What were they trying to accomplish as they composed this awe-inspiring text. Their personality and passions were harnessed by God to speak into the deepest human concerns.
4. God Finally, there's the most vital voice in this unfolding narrative—God. What is He saying and what does He desire to accomplish? What is it about this written text that enables His purposes to be known? God is a God of revelation. He is willing to let His inexplicable glory be refracted through imperfect human vessels. God speaks to us through these accounts if we actually have ears to listen.
Whether you know it or not, your understanding of a life-changing narrative comes from realms beyond your own imagination and experiences. As you approach the Bible, different characters are impacting you. Who are you paying the most attention to?