What then makes the difference between reading and interpreting the Bible? In Luke 24, the difference is Jesus. One can read the New Testament for many reasons, but for Christians concerned about the nature of God and what sort of life God would ask us to live, we read the New Testament not just as words on a page, but as Christian Scripture. Indeed, some have said that to read the Bible as 'Scripture' is already to offer an interpretive framework, and a theological one at that. It is to say that God is involved in the interpretive task. To read the New Testament as Christian Scripture is to see Jesus in the light of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures in the light of Jesus. It is to bring Bible reading into the heart of what it means to be spiritual and vice versa.
For us it is enough to note that the simple attempt to read the Emmaus story in Luke 24 led us straight to theological questions as it introduced us to the task of reading the Bible in its theological context. Without these questions, we might well return from the seven-mile walk to Emmaus every bit as confused and disheartened as we began it, only now we would be worn out into the bargain. With the disciples, we are drawn in, eyes opened, to seeing that all the Scriptures (v. 7) point to Jesus, and that our growth as Christians depends on both our experience of Jesus and our experience of Scripture, not just one or the other. Far from being worn out by the walk, we would only wish that the seven miles had been longer, and that we might have got to overhear more of what Jesus said on the journey, as we began to grasp what it meant to read the Bible in its theological context.
Richard Briggs, Reading the Bible Wisely, pp. 22-23.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)