How to read an original Religion text
Most of our original texts are from the Bible so we stress the need to interpret scriptures in the historical critical method as opposed to the literal -fundamentalist method.
Description of the literal fundamentalist method:
- Read exactly as written and applied to life today in the same way.
- Believes each word is the revealed word of God so there can be no errors
- Examples: position of women, creation of the world in seven days
- Advocates usually belong to the non scholarly group and function as pastors of fundamentalists churches
Historical critical method:
- Examines words in their context, looking at historical situations, the speaker, the audience, the reason for the story.
- Examines the literary devices, such as parables, metaphors, images, apocalyptic literature
- Accepts the cultural diversity of human writers and therefore can contain contradictions and errors
- Advocates belong to the scholarly group who teach in universities, write for scholarly journals and hold a Ph.D.