This Christmas, Read the Bible as Literature ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This Christmas, Read the Bible as Literature

--Not Pulp Fiction or a Cheap Philosophy Text

Sometimes we fall into the habit of reading the Bible only to observe interesting models of behavior or extract abstract principles, and this would be an especially bad mistake to make at Christmas. Martin Luther:

I am persuaded that without knowledge of literature, pure theology cannot at all endure, just as heretofore, when letters [literature studies] have declined and lain prostrate, theology, too, has wretchedly fallen and lain prostrate; nay, I see that there has never been a great revelation of the Word of God unless he has first prepared by the rise and prosperity of language and letters, as though they were John the Baptists... Certainly it is my desire that there shall be as many poets and rhetoricians as possible, because I see that by these studies, as by no other means, people are wonderfully fitted for the grasping of sacred truth and for handling it skillfully and happily.

This Christmas, are you handling the story of Jesus "skillfully and happily?" The Bible is more than mere "literature," but never less. A story is a story is a story. Just something to remember this week as you read the Gospel narratives. Enjoy the wonderful, true myth of Jesus. Let what happened wash over you, and soak in the slow, happy implications of what it all means.

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Ryan Imel said...

Good thoughts. I actually just wrote something related, at today. I'd love your thoughts on the matter.

Luther has some brilliant thoughts. It's sad, actually, to think of what Lutherans have done to his name today.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife