Contextualizing Shakespeare and the 3 Little Pigs

Contextualizing Shakespeare and the 3 Little Pigs December 19, 2013

This video is a perfect example of contextualization.

Contextualization involves interpretation, communication, and application. This video is all about communication (with plenty of interpretive elements thrown in).


Imagine how much effort it took for this comedian to learn Shakespearean English. He really had to internalize the expressions and their meanings. Cognitively, if not affectedly, he had to cross historical cultures.

Contextualization is more than finding a few conceptual “bridges” or illustrations. It’s about entering into a new kind of cultural world. Although this video would be bad contextualization for a modern audience, it perfectly suits an older context. I can guess a lot of people would criticize a teacher who retold the three pigs story in this way. When it comes to contextualizing theology, how different are we?


How often do we criticize other ideas, cultures and attempted contextualizations simply because we don’t understand the biblical story from another perspective than the one to which we are accustomed?


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