Monday, September 12, 2016

Fooling with Scripture podcast, Ep 6 -- But why bother?

Here's the sixth episode of Fooling with Scripture. In this one, I'm starting a conversation, which I hope can continue, about the idea of "the authority of scripture." One way to get at this is through the question, "Why bother?" Why bother with scripture to begin with?

Next week I'm going to dig a bit deeper into the concept of authority, with a story from Jesus' life, but this week I wanted to take a look at the text that's generally brought into the conversation when Christians ask why scripture is important: 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

There's plenty out there about the disputed authorship of some of the letters attributed to Paul, if that's the kind of thing that floats your boat. Here's a brief (if dry) summary, which gets at the main point I was trying to make: this would not have been viewed as forgery or dishonesty in its original context, but rather as an honoring of a founding figure. Note the underlying assumption of the ancient world that "old is better" -- wiser, more honored -- which stands in contrast to the general U.S.American assumption that newer and more original is better. 

I slightly misquoted Arundhati Roy's speech "Confronting Empire" from the World Social Forum in January 2003: "Another world is not only possible, she's on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe." It's a beautiful quote, and gets at both the tentativeness and the hopefulness (rather than the power and authority, at least in a traditional sense) that I hear in the word "inspired," or "breathed into." Here's the full speech if you're interested.

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Have a question, a comment, an idea, or a scripture you'd like "fooled with"? Send me an email! I'd love to hear from you. 

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