Robert Wall on Devotion to Scripture

I’m reading through Robert W. Wall, “Introduction to Epistolary Literature,” NIB, ed. Leander E. Keck (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2002), 10:369-91. Came across this quotable section:

When reading a biblical writing as Scripture, the interpreter must determine meaning in terms of the church’s intent to enrich our faith in God and to nurture our understanding of God’s gospel. In this sense, the canon and creed of God’s people give shape and structure to the world “in front of” Scripture. Faithful readers do not lie prostrate under Scripture in mindless devotion, nor do they stand above Scripture in intellectual arrogance; rather, they bow “in front of ” Scripture in order to grasp what may be seen of God’s mystery and what may be heard of God’s Word. In a world centered by faith in the mercies of God, Scripture is trusted and treasured; its principal readers, members of the faith community, undertake interpretation as a sacred activity performed in obedience to the faith. These core convictions, imbued by experiences of Scripture’s empowering effects upon life and faith, forge the faithful interpreter’s approach to the meaning of the NT letters for life and faith (384).

A tad Barthian perhaps, but well put.


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