THOUGHTS FROM THE CENTER AISLE

Comments and Meditations from the Rev. Robert Bergner, Priest-in-Charge

Welcome to Thoughts from the Center Aisle.


What follows are mainly my reflections on lectionary scripture, but also other theological and spiritual musings.  Sometimes there will be a full sermon, sometimes just notes and sketches.


Please feel free to comment in a constructive, civil way.  I will be happy to learn what you have to say.

 

        Here are three things to keep in mind when reading, thinking about and discussing scripture:


  1. The Bible is a multivocal compilation of documents written over the course of more than a thousand years.  Its authors (with several authors sometimes team writing—willingly or not—the same document) say different things in different places—even within their own writings.  And that's okay!

  2. As with any text (or anything), each reader reads and interprets biblical text from the perspective of her or his own personal experience, education and preferences (which inevitably change over time).  Like snowflakes, no two readers are alike and no two interpretations are the same.

  3. The Bible was written in three ancient languages—Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.  None of these languages have been used in their ancient form for hundreds, even thousands, of years.  Those ancient languages are then translated in myriad variations into hundreds of languages that are spoken today.  Given the impressive linguistic complexities of translating defunct languages and the transformation of life and culture that has taken place over several thousand years, it is nearly impossible that the sense we take from, say, a modern English translation of a biblical text is precisely what its original author or authors intended.  Translation is interpretation.


        Cheers,

        Bob

 

March 29, 2020

Year A, Fourth Sunday in Lent

As I did last week, I want to honor our Lenten topic: Seeing beyond difference:  Jesus’ Kingship of Kinship. As it has the past two weeks, the gospel reading dovetails nicely with our topic—this week, interfaith relations.

The gospel is the...

March 26, 2020

Dear Grace and St Peter’s,

I hope you are all keeping well and staying calm despite the first identified case of the new coronavirus in Hamden. Please continue to follow recommended public health precautions so our whole community—parish, civic, state, national and worl...

March 20, 2020

Dear Grace and St Peter’s,

I hope you are all doing well and settling into these unusual times and their attendant restrictions without too, too much discomfort.  I just scrolled through on my computer an entire Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast of Il Trovatore in about t...

March 17, 2020

Year A, Third Sunday in Lent

On Sunday, March 15, with our normal worship life upended by restrictions on gathering and close contact in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I spoke briefly on two topics to a small congregation that assembled, widely spaced, in the church...

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