Theologian and Jewish Studies expert Krista Dalton wonders whether everyone should be given equal access to the Bible:
All one has to do is visit the popular “Bible Students Say…” Twitter account to see countless more examples where it often appears the student just didn’t really understand how to read the English text, let alone derive the cultural and/or literary meaning.
Now perhaps I’m overly critical because of my years pursuing an Education degree, working in high school history classes where students could barely read the textbook, let alone write me a brief paragraph of reflection. But college illiteracy is stunning educators everywhere, and I think it is time for religious and religion educators to address the situation.
We must seriously ask, “How do we approach biblical and/or other religious textual education in an ever growing world where practical illiteracy is on the rise?” Can I truly expect students to appreciate a text’s literary elements, cultural context, and narrative purpose? What are we to do when students with poor reading skills read the text and derive obviously incorrect interpretations? Or for pastors, when it is a person in your own church community? As I encountered on more than one occasion in my graduate assistant office, some students will protest, “it is just my way of reading the Bible!”