This session is from the BibleProject Classroom class Introduction to the Hebrew Bible taught by Dr. Tim Mackie. The entire class is available for free on the BibleProject app at https://classroom-beta.bibleproject.com/introduction-to-the-hebrew-bible.
How can we read the Old Testament and understand the meaning its ancient authors intended?
These two simple ideas are at the core of the process.
1. The Old Testament is an ancient text.
2. A text is intentional literary communication.
We interpret every text we read through the lens of our mental storehouse, or the «encyclopedia» of words, ideas, images, and stories stowed in our memories. But the biblical authors have their own encyclopedias from which they produce texts. So if we want to understand the authors’ intended meaning, we will adapt our “encyclopedia of reception” by learning about the authors’ “encyclopedia of production.” Dive into this class session with Dr. Tim Mackie and start developing tools for encountering the Old Testament on its own terms.