Thursday, 30 July 2015
Canon & Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism,
James A. Sanders, Wipf and Stock, 2000, page 66-67
Another area of work that Sanders identifis is that of multiple readings.
Every passage of Scripture of any substance can be read in at least two different ways, depending on whether it is read by the constitutive mode or the prophetic.
He then goes on to illustrate this using John 14:7, "No one comes the the Father but by Me."
By the constitutive mode this passage can be read as quite exclusivist: our Christ is the only path to G-d. In fact, reading the Bible exclusively in the constitutive mode can issue in a totally denominational, if not tribal, reading of the whole Bible.
After comparing the ills of doing this against political Zionism, he returns to the other option: prophetic critique.
An Amos, a Jeremiah, or a Jesus could take this seemingly exclusivist verse and read it so as to challenge those who would cite it to support their own position. Such a reading would show that those who make such claims have misunderstood considerably the meaning of Christ, even of John, and certainly the Christ that emerges from the canon as a whole ... The Christ path to G-d that emerges canonically celebrates the freedom of the G-d of grace to express that grace in ways quite shocking to exclusivists who claim to have the only right way to read these texts - theirs!