OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
“I submit that we have the same endeavor but different views on how to accomplish the task. I also want to read “the words of the Bible and…understand how to live the new creation now in late modern America”. But I don’t believe it is possible to use the Bible to “understand how to live the new creation now in late modern America” without understanding what the Bible meant in the context of its original writing or without attempting to understand the worldview of the writers or of Christ.”
I don’t think it is necessary to understand the worldview of the authors or of Jesus to embody the word of God in the present. That is not to say that studying the ancient context is worthless; I just don’t think that studying the ancient context is necessary for living in the way of Jesus today. There are plenty of people, I imagine, who are very committed to the way of Jesus and know very little about the historical context in which Jesus lived or the worldviews of those around him.
“When you read a quote from Plato that has been translated to English, do you forbid yourself to draw any conclusions on his paradigm because you don’t speak his language? Or do you accept the translation and read his writings with an eye toward understanding both what he is trying to say and his paradigm from which he said it? Or do you you even care what his philosophical paradigm is?”
You are using paradigm synonymously with mindset and worldview. I’m not sure I agree.
Let me just say this: I don’t think that it is necessary to get at Jesus’ mindset or worldview. I think that it is necessary to meditate and pray over his words and actions as they are portrayed in the Gospels.
Another way to think about the difference between you and me:
Where is meaning? There are three general theories:
1) Meaning is located in the authors intentions.
2) Meaning is located in the text itself.
3) Meaning is located in the interaction between the reader (in a context) and the words of the text
In my view, you are situated somewhere around camps 1 and 2. You are trying to understand the Bible by getting at Paul’s original intentions or by getting at the meaning that is in the Bible itself.
I am clearly situated in camp 3. I think that the meaning of the Bible emerges through its daily use—one reads it, discusses it with friends, and tries to relate the text to their everyday lives.