Thursday, May 27, 2010
Reading the Word of God
Homily Outline for 1st day of Parish Triduum
What is the Bible?
Biblos – Library of Books – “The Bible is God’s self revelation to man in history inviting man to respond” or “The WORD OF GOD in the words of men”
Definition helps us to have 2 attitudes when reading the Bible:
1. It is God’s Word – it is truly God speaking to us and inviting us to respond – so we must read with the eyes of FAITH;
2. It is written in the words of men – God chooses human persons like you and me to write down his Word. These human authors live at a certain time, in a certain place, have a certain culture, speak a certain language. So it is equally important to try and discover and understand all these factors if we are to read, study and understand the Word of God.
Here are some important points:
1. Select a good bible (good and accurate translations, footnotes and good introductions)
2. Note Geographical, Historical and Cultural Background.
3. Know the Circumstances of Writing: Audience, Time, Place and Other Factors.
4. Interpret According to the Purpose of the Writer.
5. Recognise the Form of Literature.
6. Interpret According to the Grammar of the Passage.
7. Get at the Meaning of Single Words, but always study them in their setting.
8. Interpret a Passage in the Light of its Context.
9. Interpret any Passage in the Light of the Whole Bible Teaching & Analogy of Faith (Analogy of Faith/ Rule of Faith – what is necessary in terms of faith and morals for salvation)
10. Interpret it within the Church – the light of Tradition guided by Magisterium
How do we start?
1. Start by reading the gospel (esp the Gospel of Mark), because the whole Bible is focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Old Testament is preparation for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The New Testament is how the Christian community lives out the gospel.
2. Use the Sunday readings or daily mass readings – there are reflections which can be found in Shalom, Word Among us (Tamil/Mandarin – you have other resources including The Herald)
3. Join a Bible Study group or start one among your friends or in your BEC.
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