History Slam Episode 113: Studying and Interpreting the Bible

By Sean Graham

In the world of history, so much of the work we do is based on interpretation. Whenever we walk into a museum, read a book, and visit a historic monument, we are consuming, at least a little, somebody else’s interpretation of what happened. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, but rather something that should always be kept in mind when studying the past.

The same is true of religion. Various individuals have read the same religious texts and come to incredibly different interpretations. All one has to do is look at the Crusades as an example of how this can negatively influence a society. But at the same time, interpretation has led to positive developments for some religious organizations. Just like with any other historical study, therefore, it is essential to understand the context in which the texts were written and how that can shape our interpretation.

In this episode of the History Slam, I talk with Rev. Canon Rob Park from St. George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown, Ontario. With Passover and Easter over the weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to talk about the way in which Priests are taught the Bible, the way in which personal experience shapes interpretation, and the differences between the gospels.

Sean Graham is an editor with Activehistory.ca and the host/producer of the History Slam.

 

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