Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the Spirit forms us as and within an interpretative community

This morning I commented on a blog written by a fellow Christian about ignoring what Past biblical scholars have written in the books of the Bible.

“My limited experience with commentaries is that after I have spent a good amount of time in a passage that the Holy Spirit has held me to, I may with curiosity look up what someone else has said about it. But I can’t remember a single instance where that left me satisfied or really added something profound to what I already understood from His personal instruction.” from the blog Caught Up To God

I wrote the following comment to this Christian brother-

"Maybe you are reading the wrong commentaries or books. I thought about your remarks and I thought it was kind of odd you rejecting commentaries on books of the Bible like the Psalms. Your videos explaining Psalm 119 are a commentary on Psalm 119. To me biblical commentaries are just Christians sharing their understanding of the Bible-I can learn something from you and I can learn for example from Thomas Manton the 17th century English Puritan who wrote a massive commentary on Psalm 119. I find it odd that you would find nothing worth considering in Thomas Manton’s Exposition of Psalm 119. From what I understand from your remarks is that you believe men who have spent a life time studying a portion of Scripture (example Calvin’s Commentaries on the Bible 22 Volumes) are not worth you reading or looking at. I personally have learned a lot from other Christians over the years. We meaning Christians can learn a lot from the Desert Fathers, the Church Fathers, from Medieval commentaries, Reformation commentaries, the 17th century English Puritans and biblical scholars up into the Modern Times-the Community of Faith-peace"

This morning I was reading from devotions a book titled, "Theology and the Mirror of Scripture: A Mere Evangelical Account" by Kevin J. Vanhoozer & Daniel J. Treier and came across these remarks that go along with the above thoughts-

"The Christian life is not one of solitary confinement but of life together, in community; similarly, interpreting Scripture is not the prerogative of lone exegetical rangers but of the gathered church, a creature of the word and hence an interpretative community. . . The church is a communion. Believers read Scripture and break bread together for the same reason: the gospel announces not a new route to heaven but a new root to a new humanity, in Christ through the Spirit. In light of this new communion, we demonstrate our love for God precisely by loving one another (1 Jn.4:20-21), so the Lord has ordained that we teach and learn from one another. . ."pg.111,112

When I read the above I remember reading something in another book titled, "Seized By Truth: Reading The Bible As Scripture" by Joel B. Green-

"4. The Spirit forms us as and within an interpretative community-the people of God continuous through history and across the globe. First, this disallows the notion of a "private" or individualized reading of the Bible and opens the path for participation by the whole people of God in the interpretative task and for the role of the whole people of God, over time, in the work of authorizing some interpretations over others.

This means, second, that we honor the history of biblical interpretation, the history of the effects of the church's engagement with its Scripture,and the work of interpretation taking place in areas of the globe other than our own. These represents arenas of the Spirit's work among our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers in the faith, whose interaction with the Bible is potentially formative of ours. For this reason, we can celebrate the publication of projects such as Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Reformation Commentary on Scripture and The Church's Bible, which index for contemporary readers the classical tradition of biblical interpretation. . . Whatever their shortcomings, these publishing efforts begin to allow access more fully to what the Spirit is saying to the church in its particular locations (cf. Rev. 2-3)" pg.98,99 Joel B. Green

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