Table of Contents
The paper focuses on answering the questions about why Bibles are as many as the readers who read it, three stages of appreciating the Bible, and describing the Frederick analogy of the window in relation to the Bible.
Bible and window analogy
Bible can be given the analogy of the window because through them a sense of view is realized. Frederick Buechner provides an analogy of the window and the Bible. He states that “when we look through a window, we don’t worship the window.” The statement means that Christians do not worship the Bible, but they focus the mission of getting a glimpse of the divinity that is on the other side. It is an indication that there is the humanity and Spirituality (divinity). Just as we see what happens on the other side when we look through the window, is the same way we see the matters of Spirituality when we read the Bible. Without the Bible we are ignorant of the matters of divinity in the way we cannot see outside without the aid of the window. So the Bible and the window aid the seeing of the other side.
The Bible may leave some questions unanswered and as well have disconnection at some points just as the window may have hairline cracks, smudges, and swatted flies on it. And in this way, our observation or understanding is obstructed. We cannot throw away the window because of some obstruction on it. It is the same way we cannot abandon the Bible due to lack of some connections or the existence of some unanswered questions such as the origin of God. It is a time to make a distinction between the Bible and whatever is beyond its scope. In this way of thought, the Bible will continue to serve its purpose of inspiring and guidance just as the window helps us to view through. The Bible may have some flaws, but it helps in revealing some mystery for generations that humanity would not have discovered without the Bible.
Meaning of as many Bibles as the readers of it
The phrase, “” means that every person who reads a Bible interprets it in relation to their understanding. People make different deductions out of the Bible, and the Bible as well shapes individuals differently because people come up there are as many Bibles as there are readers of it with various interpretation slant. The various interpretations result from the prejudices, assumptions, experiences, and presuppositions that we bear on the scripture. Another pat that leads to different interpretations is the interpretation process of the Biblical scripture. The interpretation of the scripture is thus a life time journey with the scripture. According to Marcus Borg, there are three distinctive stages that people pass through as they establish and appreciation for the understanding of the biblical texts. People at different stages have different understanding thus making the many Bibles out of the interpretations out of the existing Bible versions.
Three stages of appreciating the Bible
As already stated above there are three stages of appreciating the Bible. This comes with the life journey of the scripture. Borg refers to the first stage as pre-critical naiveté. In this stage, people consume the biblical text as it is given without giving it any perception of thought. Generally, this is stage is for children. The children take the Bible stories as they are and think they are true and they happen even if they are parables. However, as people grow, they enter another stage called critical thinking. At this stage, people unpack their understanding of the world and loss out whatever they detect as untrue. Most people remain at this stage. However, there is a third stage called post-critical naiveté at which people develop the capability of knowing the truth regarding the biblical stories. This recognition here is beyond the historical factual of the stories.
Therefore, it is clear that Christians walk in the journey of the understanding of the scriptures in three stages. And in these stages, they grow and develop to spiritual maturity. As people are given the opportunity to think critically concerning the Bible and are knowledgeable with vast information on culture, politics, and historical intrigues that drove the content, storylines, and the canon theologies, then the scripture will become comparable to a stuffy rulebook and a lens the realization of focus into a spiritual journey.
To sum up, the Bible needs a deeper understanding. And it is through the revelation of the different perspective of views that a Christian will have a good view and understanding of the Bible. Therefore, the discussion of answering the question that relating to the Bible based on the understanding of others forms a foundation for the Christian journey.
- Boom, S. (2001). Reading the Bible again for the first time: Taking the Bible seriously but not literally.