An approach to scripture, even when it’s confusing

What do you do when you read scripture you don’t understand? Break out the Greek and Hebrew dictionaries? Go read your favorite commentaries?

Or there is the more elusive contemplative approach: meditate on the scripture. Let your mind soak in it and let the holy spirit use it to say something to you.

Here, Alison wonderfully describes a way somewhere down the middle of this road:

When we say that this text is “Holy Scripture,” we don’t mean to say that it is venerable, with a patina of glorious tradition, or something like that. We mean that we don’t question it so as to break it, but rather we allow it to get lose enough to us to produce a break in us.

If we can hear the parts of the text which make no sense, rather than only those parts which we use to justify ourselves and strengthen our self-image, then perhaps from within that same sense of strangeness we will hear the Other whose image we are called to recover.

-James Alison, Raising Abel, p.17