Soviet piety

One occasionally comes across statements that attempt to say, in one way or another, that properly speaking we do not interpret the Bible — rather, the Bible interprets us.

Surely this is a deeply pious sentiment, one I am in no position to critique even if I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. What I would like to point out, however, is how easily this trope of pious discourse can be plugged into the format of one of my favorite jokes: “In Soviet Russia, Bible interprets YOU!!!”

2 thoughts on “Soviet piety

  1. there are a variety of ways to understand statements such as these, including ways immensely hostile to ‘the deeply pious’ (which is how I understand it). As for a relevant example of what statements like this could mean, I would simply put forward the works of William Stringfellow.

  2. I’m currently editing an older collection of Yoder’s essays on Scripture for a second edition. Apparently a publisher suggested the title “How to be Read by the Bible.” Yoder rejected this title because, according to Yoder, “the idea that what God is interested in ‘is reading me,’ is itself part of the problem.” He felt that it wrongly suggested that what’s important in reading the Bible is “my own being illuminated or ‘read’ or seen through.”

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