Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Bible As Art

Marshall McLuhan coined the famous phrase "The medium is the message." He wrote:

Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication.

He tried to make the case that what is said isn't as important as how it is said. 

I've never agreed with McLuhan. For me, the message is still the paramount thing in communication. But how something is said is vital as well. That's why my Greek students are exposed to what I call "rhetorical analysis" as one of the 10 basic steps in exegesis

Think of the Bible as a painting on a canvas or a drawing on a sketching pad. 


Then think of God as an artist who picks up his brush or pencil and begins to paint or draw. 


"Art," says Thomas Hoving, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, "happens when anyone in the world takes any kind of material and fashions it into a deliberate statement." I see this process throughout the New Testament, don't you? To mention just one of my studies: Literary Artist in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Thus the question "How is this text written?" is never irrelevant. Just as the Holy Spirit used words when he inscripturated the New Testament, so too he used rhetorical devices to help communicate his message. 

Dos the Bible thrill you when you read it? Does it lift your soul and not only your mind? Does it make you smile, like perhaps a drawing of Barney Fife does? 


Does it make you want to come back to the Bible again and again for the good of your soul? 

It can. 😉