The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Digesting Scripture

It's one thing to know what it says, another to grasp the meaning

Statisticians tell us that 92 percent of Americans own at least one Bible. Never mind the numbers for a moment. Focus instead on the verb, to own. It seems that ever since the Bible became available for individual purchase, human beings have fallen into the trap of believing that God's word could somehow be owned like a personal possession. We take it apart and dissect it so commandingly. We wield it to defend our personal beliefs so commonly.

Before we know it, this mouthpiece of God starts to function like our private mouthpiece. This servant of Christ begins to look like our loyal servant.

A healthy understanding of Scripture will always be fed by that daily vitamin containing two essential minerals for the Christian life — modesty and humility. Who are we to presume we know the precise meaning of a given passage? It's one thing to know what it says. We may have the basic story line down. It's quite another to know fully what it means.

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February issue


Embracing diversity