Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keck on Reading the Bible as Scripture

 "It is not enough simply to learn 'what the Bible says.' It is not even enough to learn what the biblical authors intended to say in their own times, though this minimum is absolutely essential. Rather, Bible study in depth becomes possible only if we ask serious questions about what we read. Through these we probe the underlying meaning, and thus take the risk of discovering that there is a significant disagreement between the text and ourselves over the truth of the matter. The person who has never experienced this tension with the text ought to ask whether his real self has yet heard the real message of the Bible. . . . Going beyond simply learning about Acts to the point where one must actually reckon with Acts is an important element of reading the Bible as Scripture. In other words, Bible study can be vital if one not only asks what the Bible says, but whether this is true, true enough to believe, believe deeply enough to act on." (10). Keck adds that "Asking this question openly and trying hard to answer it honestly . . . means allowing people to say 'No' to what Acts says" (11).

- Leander Keck, Mandate to Witness: Studies in the Book of Acts (Judson Press, 1964).

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