Paul writes – Andrew Perriman offers some useful thoughts and diagrams to help explain how:
“How… we get from scripture as ancient religious text, which is at one level at least unquestionably what it is, to scripture as Word of God for the church today, which at one level at least is unquestionably what it needs to be? Arguably it is the most serious dilemma currently facing biblical interpretation.
The dilemma consists in the fact that there are two broad trajectories that interpretation can take, given the starting point of scripture as an ancient text. The first is the route of theological interpretation, which is the route that has mostly been trodden throughout the history of the church. The second is the route of historical interpretation, which was discovered only quite recently through the application of the historical-critical methods…”
This goes someway toward the larger question “how is scripture the Word of God; an invitation to life in all its fullness for the wider world and local contexts within which churched and de-churched find themselves? This is especially the case when church, scripture and ‘God’ are seen as completely irrelevant to all but those few people who are exploring the deep questions of meaning and their humanity. No disrespect to Andrew, and acknowledging that the intent of his post wasn’t to reflect this issue, I think the bigger challenge, than how scripture is the Word of God for the church today, is how is the narrative of Scripture contextualized “good news” for the ‘world’ beyond the church…?
Perhaps it is the scripture/church relationship that is the biggest obstacle to willingness to offer genuine space for the religious/spiritual perspective on the big challenges and opportunities that face us as humanity – whether internationally, nationally, or locally…?
Why should I even be interested in Scripture, biblical interpretation?
You can read Andrew’s full post here. The diagram included in this post is Andrew’s and illustrates his preferred approach.