Very few of us give deep consideration to the nature of scripture and how it should be read and understood. We grow up (or come to it during a conversion process) primarily with the idea that these are sacred texts that are inspired in a different way than any other writings, that God has gotten involved in their production to a special degree so that there is a high degree of reliability in what they they say. We have favorite ones, or others that we like because they sing to our hearts more than the rest. We enter into a religion and culture that already has a long history of interpretive readings of many scriptural passages and stories, and unless something really jars or fails to sit well with us, we hardly ever dive into interpretations that other traditions favor, and even less often do we look into the original languages in which the scriptures were written to see if the English (or whatever language we speak and read) misses certain things present to those native to that language. In short, while we may not be lazy in following the urging of leaders and teachers to read our scriptures, we are generally pretty lazy when it comes to thinking about scripture in general, and certain (sometimes troubling) passages in particular.
In this episode, the first of several we hope to record and release in a series, we examine to some degree scripture as a whole, but then do deep dives into certain verses and passages that are often misread and misunderstood (or under-understood: they are far richer than we imagined!). With Mark Crego and Margaret Toscano as guides, along with Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon, the discussions here focus on several scriptures familiar to Latter-day Saints (and some to other Christians, as well), and examine them from many different angles, each of them leading to richer, deeper understandings of the passages themselves, but also the ideas underlying them. The panel was surprised to discover how all of the ones they had chosen to talk about in this first episode ultimately converged into a wonderful theme: understanding better the nature of the love of God.
Hear for yourself how they get to that topic every time, even as they are discussing scriptures that don’t on the surface or at least in LDS interpretive schemas usually center on the love of God. The scriptures talked about directly in this discussion are:
- John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
- D&C 82:10, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”
- Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father, which is in heaven is perfect.”
- Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
- Plus tie-ins to many other scriptural passages.
Please listen and then in the section below make comments and/or suggest passages for Mormon Matters to discuss in future episodes in this series!