The Common Good

Taking the Bible Seriously, but not Always Literally

Throughout history, individuals and institutions have cited the Bible to support injustices, such as "holy war" against infidels, the subjection of women, racism and slavery, and the abuse of homosexuals. Misreading the Bible can have serious consequences.

Scholars in academic settings (Protestant and Catholic seminaries, universities, and divinity schools) have been employing and teaching the historical-critical method, which requires that one read the Bible not only from a devotional point of view, but also from a historical one by asking the text some important questions. This can be done by exploring the three worlds of biblical interpretation, which are:

  • the world behind the text (what was the historical context of any given biblical text?)
  • the world of the text (what metaphors are employed to convey a point, and what literary style is found in the text
Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)