Reading the Bible with Empathy

Reading the Bible with Empathy – A Methodology

This method is about seeking to enter into the biblical text imaginatively. It seeks to see various experiences and contexts from the character’s point of view, opening up more variety to the interpretations, but also a liberatory framework because these texts were – in most instances – written by the poor for the poor.

There are 5 ways to use this method:

  • **Reading Off-Center:** look for the power dynamics in the text. Who has the weakest position. Read from that perspective.
  • **Looking for the Tapestry:** look for the places where there is intertexture. Places where there is a weaving of other images, texts, references that are embedded in the text in a way that signals information to the insiders but would be missed by the outsiders.
  • **Understanding the Remix:** retelling, subverting, challenging sanctioned interpretations of the text.
  • **Practicing Reenactment:** literally act the text out. How does that change the interpretation?
  • **Meeting for Reading** (reading lectio divina in community): read together in community with a diversity of perspectives and experiences.