Beliefnet
The Jazz Theologian

FrogWhat is the Bible?  All too often we treat it like a science project:  Study it…develop propositions about it…defend it.

Now I'm all for serious Bible study.  We can only benefit from understanding the original languages and context.  However, we can't stop at this.

Approaching the Bible as a science project…dissecting it verse-by-verse, word-for-word…has great benefit, though we need to be very careful. If we are not, then we will be like the high school student who disects a frog and sees all of the inner parts but in the process the frog looses its' life.  What if that is what we are doing to the living word?

That's why I ask…

What if we experienced the word of God as a song that sets us free to compose, a melody that has room for our voice to join in with the ancients?

Hermeneutics–the art and science of Biblical interpretation.

We need this approach to scripture but it needs to be balanced with a "jazzaneutic."

That is…

  • …the art of knowing the scriptures by living them and experiencing them in community.
  • …the willingness to let the Bible interpret us no vice versa.
  • …seeing meaning not only in what is said but what is being done by the Biblical authors.

Some "jazzaneutic" guidlines:  When reading the scriptures ask…

  • What isthe author saying?  (this will take care of the study part)
  • What is the author doing? (this will open our eyes to the off beats–syncopation)
  • Can I do that with and for others? (this will lead to improvisation and call & response. 

Did anyone take a shot at writing their own 23rd Psalm? 

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