Tag Archives: bible

58: What I Get From the Bible is What it Means

In this episode John and Gregg discuss two questions.  First, a podcast John has been listening to raised the issue of how much study and learning one needs in order to know God? Second, John questions whether memorizing scripture holds the potential problem that one may not have the right interpretation of those verses (and so risks misapplying them)? The jumping off place for this second question was Episode #54 about Biblical Illiteracy.

Gregg responds that memorizing is not necessarily understanding (or applying) correctly.  Further, the smaller the section memorized, the greater the chance of misapplying it (because understanding comes, in part, through context) and missing better understandings of a given text.

John is struck by the very notion of the “best understanding” of a biblical passage, which seems rare in churches, instead of aiming for the right understanding.  Also, while Gregg cautions against “going it alone,” for John this idea seems to count against the notion that Christians are supposed to meditate on Scripture so that the Holy Spirit can inform them about its meaning.
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3: Ways We Read the Bible

In this podcast John and I discuss how the Bible can be read from a devotional perspective and from an academic perspective, and that both have advantages and disadvantages.  This led into a discussion of how he and I should reconcile the fact that we have taken a dimmer view of Kyle Idleman’s Not a Fan than other readers.

How can so many people have found the book transformative yet we found it problematic on many levels?

My view was that, while our experiences are valuable and informative, we need to examine how we interpret those experiences and the conclusions that we draw from them.  Further, where this transformation is based on biblical understandings we need to gauge the validity of these understandings against the biblical text.