For far too long, our readings of the Bible have been confined to specific boundaries, limiting our understanding and conversations about its profound teachings. However, there is a better approach—one that involves learning to ask better questions of the Scriptures. Today, we will explore the concept of an “Asking Better Questions” toolbox and the tools it contains to enhance our biblical hermeneutic.
Looking through a Different Lens
The journey begins with acknowledging our Western perspective. We must wear the metaphorical safety goggles that enable us to view the Bible from an Eastern standpoint. By recognizing the cultural and contextual differences between the original audience and ourselves, we can bridge the gap and grasp the true essence of the biblical message. This shift in perspective allows us to appreciate the original conversation and its profound relevance.
Evaluating and Organizing Our Toolboxes
Each one of us possesses a unique hermeneutical toolbox, shaped by our faith traditions, experiences, and backgrounds. In this process, we are encouraged to assess the tools we carry. Some tools may be worn-out, ineffective, or ill-suited to our current understanding. By evaluating and organizing our toolboxes, we can discern which tools to retain and which ones to discard. This introspective journey enables us to refine our approach and embrace a more informed biblical interpretation.
Embracing the Wisdom of Previous Generations
Just as an inherited toolbox carries the wisdom of previous generations, our hermeneutical toolboxes are shaped by the collective knowledge of our faith traditions. It is humbling and enlightening to learn from those who have walked this path before us. As we encounter seasoned practitioners, we might feel a sense of inadequacy. However, their presence serves as an opportunity for growth and learning, inspiring us to enhance our understanding and deepen our faith.
A Call to Rejuvenate and Reinvigorate
Our hermeneutical toolboxes can become weathered and burdensome. Like a toolbox in need of repair, we may find ourselves carrying heavy burdens and outdated perspectives. However, this process also presents an opportunity for rejuvenation and growth. By recognizing the need to reevaluate and reshape our tools, we can embark on a journey of discovery and transformation, allowing us to approach the Bible with fresh insights and renewed enthusiasm.
is a theologian, the president and director of discipleship for Impact Campus Ministries, and the creator and executive producer of The BEMA Podcast. He and his wife, Rebekah, live in Cincinnati with their two children. Find out more about Marty at martysolomon.com.
Explore the rest of the Asking Better Questions of the Bible series!
2. The Torah
5. The Prophets
6. The Gospels
7. The Letters