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Resource Day Theme: Living Bible, Living Faith. Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Question How do you “update” an ancient Scripture to meet the needs o f contemporary faith communities?. “And I believe that in 1978 God changed

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slide1

Resource Day Theme:

Living Bible, Living Faith

Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

slide2

Question

How do you “update” an ancient Scripture to meet the needs

of contemporary

faith communities?

slide5

“And I believe

that

in 1978

God

changed

his mind

about

black people”

slide6

Biblical Contrasts 1

Living in the midst

of other communities

(small group work)

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 and Deuteronomy 20:10-14

Esther 2:15-20 and Daniel 1:8-14

slide7

Biblical Contrasts 2

Creating community

Deuteronomy 23:3-6 and Ezra 9:1-4, 10:1-5

Ruth 1:1-10, 4:13-17

slide8

Biblical Contrasts 3

Male and female

relationships

Genesis 3:13-19

Song of Songs 4:9-16

slide9

Topic Jesus on Divorce

Question Is divorce permissible?

Gospel of Mark: No

Gospel of Matthew: Yes, if the wife is guilty of sexual immorality

Gospel of Luke: No, but separation is acceptable

Question Is remarriage permissible?

Gospel of Mark: No, remarriage is adultery

Gospel of Matthew: No, remarriage is adultery

Gospel of Luke: No, remarriage is adultery

slide11

Questions on Interpretive Principles

  • What have you learned about
  • how the Bible was written?
  • What are your thoughts now about
  • how the Bible should be
  • interpreted today?
slide12

Applying Interpretive Principles

Retribution Theology

as found in the

Deuteronomistic History (Dtr H)

The Blessings and Curses Formula

If you are faithful, you will be blessed;

if you are not faithful, you will be cursed

slide13

Retribution Theology

Judges

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. The hand of Midianprevailed over Israel; and because of

Midian the Israelites provided for themselves hiding-places in the mountains, caves, and

strongholds.

6:1-2

slide14

Retribution Theology

Judges

For whenever the Israelites put in seed, the Midianitesand the Amalekites and the people

of the east would come up

against them. . . .

Thus Israel was greatly impoverished because of Midian; and the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help.

6:3, 6

slide16

Retribution Theology

Natural Disaster

“It happened

because . . .”

slide18

Biblical Responses

Part 1

Job 42:7-9

‘Now therefore take seven bulls

and seven rams,

and go to my servant Job,

and offer up for yourselves

a burnt-offering;

and my servant Job

shall pray for you,

for I will accept his prayer

not to deal with you according to your folly;

for you have not spoken of me what is right,

as my servant Job has done.’

Job 42:8

slide19

Biblical Responses

Part 1

John 9:1-5

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

John 9:3

slide22

Biblical Responses

Part 2

Psalm LamentsNearly 1/3 of the 150 Psalms are laments

ExamplePsalm 42

Invocation

Lament

Expression of Confidence or Trust

Petition or Supplication

Expression of Praise or Vow to Praise

But, remember, there is Psalm 88 . . .

slide23

Praying a Psalm of Lament

Write a Psalm of Lament for M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias

(small group work)

slide24

Remember that there are Communal Laments

  • Example Psalm 44
  • Address to God
  • Lament
  • Remembering God’s Past Actions
  • Questioning of God
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Petition
  • Expressions of Praise
    • (only 3 of the Community Lament Psalms
    • include an expression of Praise at the end)
slide25

Biblical ResponsesPart 3

Ecclesiastes 1:2-4

Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,

vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

What do people gain from all the toil

at which they toil under the sun?

A generation goes, and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.

slide26

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Then I considered all that

my hands had done

and the toil I had spent

in doing it,

and again,

all was vanity

and a chasing after wind,

and there was nothing

to be gained

under the sun.

slide27

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born,

and a time to die;

a time to plant,

and a time to

pluck up

what is planted . . .

slide28

Ecclesiastes Updated

TTT: Somewhere Maybe 37, 555

TTSBMR: JR Rozko 1940

“Turn TurnTurn”

(The Byrds 1965)

“This Too Shall Be Made Right”

(Derek Webb, The Ringing Bell, 2007)

applying interpretive principles revisited jesus and inclusive biblical interpretation
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Jesus and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

Jesus considers the impact of an interpretation on the marginalized

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God*)—then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on.And you do many things like this.’

Mark 7:9-13

slide32

Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Jesus and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

Jesus’ new interpretation is grounded in the biblical tradition Example Matthew 23:23-28

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.

‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness..

applying interpretive principles revisited jesus and inclusive biblical interpretation1
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Jesus and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

I hate, I despise your festivals,   and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,   I will not accept them;and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals   I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs;   I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters,   and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:21-24

The Biblical Tradition

applying interpretive principles revisited jesus and inclusive biblical interpretation2
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Jesus and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

Jesus identifies the absolute requirement of GodExample Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

applying interpretive principles revisited jesus and inclusive biblical interpretation3
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Jesus and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation

Jesus includes the excluded (against traditional practices)Sinners and tax collectors…………….Mark 2:16Samaritan woman…………………….John 4:7-26Poor, crippled, blind, lame…..Luke 14:16-24; contrasted with Leviticus 21:16-20Bent-over woman healed on the SabbathLuke 13:10-17

applying interpretive principles revisited paul and inclusive biblical interpretation
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Paul and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation
  • Paul considers the impact of an interpretation or practice on the marginalized
  • Paul identifies the absolute requirement of God
  • Paul includes the excluded and bases the inclusion on the biblical tradition
slide37
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited: Paul and Inclusive Biblical InterpretationGalatians 3:16-18

16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ. 17My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

slide38
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Paul and Inclusive Biblical Interpretation I Corinthians 11:20-22

20When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For when the time comes to eat, each of you goes ahead with your own supper, and one goes hungry and another becomes drunk. 22What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I commend you? In this matter I do not commend you!

slide39
Applying Interpretive Principles Revisited:Paul and Inclusive Biblical InterpretationRomans 13:8-10

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

slide40

Cheryl B. Anderson, Ancient Laws & Contemporary Controversies

(Oxford University Press, 2009)

Based on how Jesus and Paul interpreted Scripture, we learn that . . .

A law can be modified, amended, or rejected if it negatively impacts the marginalized and if the new approach is grounded in the biblical tradition, is consistent with the absolute requirement of God (the law of love), and works to include the excluded

slide41

Question How do you “update” an ancient Scripture to meet the needs of contemporary faith communities?

(small group work)

Question Can domestic violence be a rationale for divorce?

slide42

Living Faith: The Protestant Reformers

Contest the Received Faith Tradition

Martin Luther

(1483-1546)

John Calvin

(1509-1564)

John Wesley

(1703-1791)

slide43

Practice Roman Catholic indulgences (good works)

= payment for a sure way to heaven

Martin Luther

Luther’s response: We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. We do not do good works in order to become acceptable to God; rather, because God accepts us we do good works

Context: Plagues, massive death, and insecurity about one’s relationship to God. Luther conveys a message of God’s love when that message was sorely needed

slide44

Practice From the Lutheran tradition,

good works and salvation are no longer connected,

resulting in anxiety

John Calvin

Calvin’s response: The Calvinist saint is saved by faith undergirded and strengthened by works that attest divine presence and grace. He may not say that he is saved by these works, yet regular good works are clear signs of present divine favor and assure him that he is on the path to glory. Religious confidence is thus “formed” by the fruits of self-discipline as well as by the promises of God; in actual practice, good works are presumptive

evidence that one is among the elect

Context: Since God’s people needed to remain assured of God’s love,

a different context prompted a different theology

slide45

PracticeCalvinists accept predestination--

God’s election of some, not all

John Wesley

Wesley’s response: Salvation is

available to all, providing an

Important sense of worth to

middle and lower classes

Context: The Industrial Revolution was beginning and there were growing disparities between the rich and the poor

slide46

Summary--

Communicating God’s love

Each of the major Protestant reformers provided new insights about God

to their faith community, and those insights met the community’s spiritual

needs. In other words, each of the reformers was aware of the everyday

realities of Christian believers and their corresponding experiences and doubts.

Clearly, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley did not write their theologies in a vacuum,

unaware of the cultural conditions around them. To the contrary, through

them and their awareness, God’s voice arose in a new way that was suited to

each particular context. In other words, the awareness that the reformers

had of their contexts as well as the corresponding plight of believers allowed

God’s tailored communication to emerge, just as God is using those who

articulate contextual theologies today

slide47

Living Faith: Biblical Authority

Statement 1

The Bible is literally the Word of GodScripture consists of the writings that were inspired by God, if not actually dictated by God to the biblical writersThe community of faith is to submit to biblical authorityBiblical interpretation is divine, expressing the will of God,

not of human beings

slide48

Living Faith: Biblical Authority

Statement 2

-- Creating Scripture is a human activity

that takes place within communities

of faith.-- Inspiration applies not only

“to the origin of the text but to its

transmission and interpretation among us.” -- The Bible is “inherently the live Word of God,” which recognizes that it is divine

communication that has been “refracted” through many different

authors who spoke from their own circumstances. -- Biblical authority is exercised in community rather than over it, and the community of faith’s participation is called for rather than its submission. -- Biblical interpretation is contextual and necessarily influenced by the human beings who do it

slide49

Living Faith: Biblical Authority

Authority as dominance vs. Authority as partnership

  • Human input in Scripture is
  • recognized
  • Emphasis on contextual
  • aspects
  • Interdependence/mutuality
  • Participation
  • Human input in Scripture is
  • denied
  • Emphasis on eternal/
  • unchanging aspects
  • Hierarchical
  • Submission
slide50

Living Bible and Living Faith

Romans 8 updated

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor rulers,

nor things present, nor things to come

nor height, nor depth,

nor male nor female,

nor gay nor straight,

nor being HIV positive, nor being HIV negative,

nor being high class, or having no class at all,

nor powers, nor anything else in all creation,will be able to separate us from the love of God

in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (updated by Cheryl B. Anderson