The Role of the Bible in Christian Faith and Practice - Case Study on Genesis 34.

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To read the Bible for Christians is to interpret the Bible in their own contexts because myriad significant passages in the Bible could be diversely understood considering different cultures, languages, and authors or readers behind the Text. Thus, many church leaders have tried to interpret the Scripture throughout the history of Christianity. Many different methods of interpretation of the Bible have been introduced to us in many different contexts throughout the history, which has taught us diverse applications of Scripture up to present. In this sense, I think that the most important role of the Bible in Christian faith and practice lies in the fact that the Bible provides various perspectives for different Christians in different contexts. In this paper, I will discern major methods of interpretation of the Bible, and then find how they can be related to Christian’s faith and practice.

During this semester, we spent a large amount of time having discussion on how to interpret Dinah’s story in Genesis 34. We read three dominant perspectives on this text: Fewell and Gunn’s “in front of the text” view, Sternberg’s primarily “within the text” view, and Bechtel’s basically “behind the text” view. I think that each of these quite different approaches helped Christians interpret the Scripture, the New Testament as well as the Old Testament, with more diverse angles and thus extend the range of the applicability to a particular context.

Fewell and Gunn’s scope allows Christians to embrace the contemporary value system that didn’t exist in the Ancient Near Eastern context or around the beginning of Christian Community. In today’s world, to apply the text to our context, we are required to deal with, for example, the religious conflicts, human rights of minority group, and ethical issues in scientific development that were not found in the Biblical context. In this respect, Fewell and Gunn look at the text with the methodology of modern feministic and...
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