Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reading the Bible in Community

The Washington Post has a piece in the On Faith section, "Reading the Bible in Humility and Community" by Robert M. Norris. It made me think of collective rather than individual interpretations of the text shedding lights on difficult passages.

Some time ago, in a discussion of the parable of the king who gave a marriage feast in Matthew 22:1-14, I learned from a young South African Bishop that the silence of the guest who had no wedding garment upon being interrogated by the king, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" was taken to mean that one cannot be silent. The context for the problem of silence (as a justification for binding such a guest hand an foot and being cast into outer darkness) for the Bishop was the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In such a context silence cannot further the work of truth and reconciliation. I think of that reading often and I thank the Bishop for sharing it with the rest of us that day.

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