Write the Bible

Posted on by Brooke

Or supplement it, anyway.

In my niece’s middle-school, the kids first read some book or series of their choice; then, they get to write an extra chapter, either within a book, or between two books of a series, or as a prequel or sequel to a book.

I am thinking of adapting this to a discussion-board assignment. I would give them a notably thorny or confusing biblical text, and the students would get to write some additional material (just several lines of dialogue, exposition, whatever). They would then also be asked to explain what “goods” are offered by their own additions, and to comment on one another’s work: Does it alleviate some moral problem in the text?  Does it help explain some character’s behavior (including God’s) that is otherwise hard to understand in the text at hand? Does it cause two adjacent narrative elements to better cohere together, and if so, how?

In choosing a text, I would like it to be 1) narrative, and 2) somewhat off the beaten track while not so obscure as to feel irrelevant (not, say, Gen 3, yet not unexplained corpse of Deut 21 either). Aaron and the golden calf is a possibility; or the dismembered concubine; or David and Bathsheba; or an epilogue to Jonah; or Job 1–2.

What text would you consider for such an assignment, and why? What do you think of the possibilities for such an assignment?