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Perhaps a journal entry about reading the Bible might seem a bit odd for a student in a freshman English

class. However, in lieu of reading the introduction to Ways of Reading, to me, it makes perfect sense. Several year ago, I learned how to read the Bible a new way, a way which I think Bortholomae and Potrosky would approve of. They see reading as a social interaction. I do as well. When reading a piece, the readers are supposed to be engaged and having a conversation with the writer of the work--which, in this case--is an entire book full of many different works written by God. Perhaps someone who does not recognize a higher power might lose interest at this point, but, stick with me if thats you. I think many more people would enjoy reading the Bible, and some who dont know God might come to know Him, if they knew that they could-meaning, were allowed to--read the Bible the way that is described in the introduction of Ways of Reading. My mom read the Bible to me as soon as I was out of the womb Im sure. Or at least, pretty close to that time. All growing up, I had the Bible read to me until I was able to read it myself. And read it I did. I think the revolutionary moment for me came when I went to be an intern at a Christian ministry. I had always just kind of read the thing because I was supposed to. I didnt realize it was actually more than just rules. There were stories, songs, poems, and more. I was told that I could actually interact with this book. That was news to me. I assumed it was the teacher and I was the student and, to use Freires analogy, I was being lled up like a trash receptacle with ideas that I had to unquestioningly believe. Not so anymore. Let me go on record of saying that I do believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that there is such a thing as truth. However, just as much as there is such a thing as wrestling through a text, there is such a thing as wrestling through a concept or truth presented in the Bible. I understand some things after wrestling, but others, well, Im still wrestling with. Since I believe that the Bible is His Word, God then, through His people, wrote it. So, truly, the Writer, is saying something to me when the Bible says, for example, to Judge not, that you be not judged. (Matthew 7:1). Reading this verse leaves its mark on me to be sure. I would tend to annotate this passage with an ouch in the margins. Meditation and prayer become my way of talking back to the Writer, if you will. With the grain, Id pray something like Lord, help me not to judge. I actually do it a lot. Forgive me and help me to get it together! Against the grain, Id pray something like Who does this apply to, God? Arent there some people that deserve judgement and others who dont because they dont know any better? Those are some legitimate questions that I have asked before. Prayer is just talking to God so, Im not afraid to tell Him that I dont get something or that I dont like something. I think that is why I identied so much with this way of reading as explained in the introduction. Im having a conversation with Someone who really has something to say and its okay--encouraged, even--to ask questions, marinate on the words, argue with it, revel at it, etc.

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