It is important to think about how we think. That is what metacognition is all about. What are the presuppositions that we bring to the table that influence our understanding of the Bible? John Locke believed infants were born tabula rasa (blank slate) but that is certainly not the case when we enter into any kind of communication or attempt to understand another person.
We come with a context. We often think that context is what is in the text or communication itself but we, the reader, speaker, etc also come with our own context. Reading and understanding a text is the intersection of two sets of contexts. While the words on the page may not change the one reading the text can come to the text with an infinite number of possible presuppositions (personal context) that influence how one reads the text and subsequently what they believe the text actually means (interpretation).
I want to take a few posts to unpack the intersection of our own personal context and the scriptures we are reading to help us understand what it is we think we understand. The better we get to know our own thought processes, the more we can come to understand the meaning of the text itself. In the process we come to know ourselves as Socrates once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living” or as was inscribed at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi “know thyself.” If you want to know the text you need to know yourself because all that you come to understand is a process of sifting and filtering information through your own personal context.
I am looking forward to the conversation. I hope you are as well.