Scripture and Its Interpretation

A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible


20. The Bible and Spirituality

Reviewing the Chapter

  1. According to this chapter, what are two common but misguided sentiments about the relationship between spirituality and intellectual inquiry, and what relationship between the two does the chapter propose?
  2. How does this chapter understand the concept of spiritual growth?
  3. What does it mean to approach the Bible in a spirit of trust?
  4. In what sense does the context of the Bible reader matter when considering the topic of spiritual growth?
  5. What kinds of attitudes and practices are needed for spiritual growth through Bible reading?
  6. Why is reading Scripture both privately and in the company of others beneficial for spiritual growth?
  7. Identify and describe some concrete ways of growing spiritually with Scripture.

Engaging a Central Issue

Respond to the following claim Patricia Fosarelli and Michael Gorman make in this chapter (p. 346): “To read Scripture rightly, we must practice the virtues (such as compassion, hospitality, and forgiveness) to which Scripture calls us. Otherwise we will likely find the God and the call of God attested in Scripture to be so counterintuitive that we may want to reject them or (worse yet) to re-form them in our own image.”

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  1. Do you sense any tension between academic and spiritual approaches to Bible reading? In what ways has this chapter helped to identify and address that tension?
  2. What does it mean for you to read the Bible with a “hermeneutic of trust”? Does trust allow for questioning? doubt? confusion?
  3. Engage a text of Scripture using one of the ways of reading for spiritual growth discussed in this chapter that you have not previously used. How would you describe, and possibly commend, the experience to others?