Scripture: A Guide for Readers

by Elias Blum

If we are going to bring ancient sacred texts into our ethical thinking and our political argument, we should at least try to read, study and understand those texts, to read them critically, and to shift out that which is good and enduring in them from those things that are wrong or not applicable. Those who look to Jesus as a teacher and exemplar would do well to consider his way of engaging with scripture. If you notice all the ‘you have heard that it is written, but I say unto you’ statements, you see that he was not a fundamentalist. He did not take it all literally or at face value. He recognised the value of scripture, but was willing to challenge it and even to disagree with it. He tried to read it through a lens of love and compassion, not rules and condemnation.