I’m a Christian minister. A big part of my life’s work is to explore the library my tradition called “the Bible,” and to help others explore it as well.
Exploring scripture, diving deep into it, takes a lot of work. There’s the intellectual discussion: what is the historic context of the passage, what is it’s literary context, what bias did the author(s) have, what translations issues are there, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Then there are the personal bits. Questions like “what experiences in my life are influencing my understanding of this scripture,” or, “as a white middle-class cis-male Canadian, how might my lenses be changing what I’m reading?”
Then there’s the whole prayer part of it. “Hey, God? What do you want me to hear in this, today?”
For me, it’s never an easy task – though, even when it’s a slog (see any genealogy passage), I do tend to enjoy it.
I’ve experienced situations where someone has said to me, “the Bible says it, I believe it.” This strikes me as naive. Facile. Kind of simple.
It’s also a great peremptory statement. Conversation gets pretty much shut down.