How to read the Bible in the 21st century

How to read the Bible in the 21st century
Frank O'Dea, December 2010.




Frank O'Dea was a parish priest in Perth. His principal ministry now is working with a team of lay people putting on Life in the Eucharist programs. He assists in
neighbouring parishes on Sundays and ministers at St Francis chapel in the Eastland shopping centre (Ringwood, Victoria) on weekdays.


This paper give some history of how the Bible has been understood over the centuries. The rise of science and the Enlightenment made some people think that the only truth is what science and reason can prove. This has led to much abuse of the Bible. We need to recover the truth that is also found in parable, poetry and metaphor. We must understand the literary form used by each author. We need prayer to get a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

This paper was presented at the ISCAST Intensive, ‘Who says? The use and misuse of the Bible in an age of science and technology’, held in Melbourne in October 2010.

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