On Symbolism

Some think to end the discussion about scripture saying it is symbolic and that we can’t know what it ultimately means.

Lewis wrote that you cannot know that a text is symbolic unless you have independent access to the thing and can compare it with the representation–especially if we are talking about a transcendent, objective reality to which the story is solely referring.

Much of scripture is difficult but can be taken for face value. The idea of hidden meaning in the text is easy to make, the original, which, again, we do not have not access to, being “corrupt.”

Perhaps some “skimmers” arm themselves with these arguments, but a serious look is necessary to reckon with the text. Accounting for the New Testament or Old Testament milieus should be part of the effort in understanding the background of the chosen fines. But I question the initial choice of say NT Wright’s historical scholarship before reading as a “child.” That’s how I grew up. I let the lines tell me instead of putting scholarship over top. First start with the simple things, the meaning of what the writer or character means to the most simple of readers, the child.

Layer on the accouterments later, but remember the first impressions.

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