Random Colin: the Bible Isn’t a bible
Random Colin has a post up called, “The Bible isn’t a bible…” It’s in part about what the Bible is not (an instruction manual) and also what the Bible is. By all means have a look.
Something I find myself saying to my students, repeatedly and in different ways, is that we have to begin biblical studies by discovering what the Bible is (as opposed to whatever we might already think the Bible is). This discovery does not happen all at once, but rather happens over time, and only by one means: reading, reading, reading. The discoveries are piecemeal, but add up: the prophets prove not to spend all their time predicting the future; the Psalms are not so bland and nicey-nice as our lectionaries suggest; Job is neither silent nor uncomplaining; the Law doesn’t include much law; the Canaanites of Jericho don’t trust in their faboo wall. The more one actually reads the Bible, the more one says, “What gives?” And as surely as the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, “What gives?” is the beginning of knowledge.
I’d gotten the heads-up on Colin from Bryan at Hevel and John at Ancient Hebrew Poetry. I’ve been reading him for a while now, and have now also and belatedly added him to my blogroll. While you are over there reading about what the Bible is and is not, browse some other posts for a bit.
[Later: I see Colin has moved to WordPress. Here is the link to The Bible isn’t a bible…, and to his Home Page.]