1. Who in your congregation takes a leadership role in interpreting the Bible? How do they acquire that role? What happens if anyone challenges their interpretation? Who has been most influential in the development of your personal understanding of the Bible?
2. Bruce Hiebert writes that the one who “controls the interpretation is the one who is then in a position to guide the behaviour of the others,” and also that “interpretation will emerge from the interpreters and not from the Bible in and of itself.” Do you agree? How can we minimize our biases and preferences? Does God ever speak to us outside of our social context?
3. Using an economic example, Hiebert suggests that the Bible is very complex and speaks in many directions at once. Do you find his economic example convincing? Can you think of perspectives that are not challenged in the Bible? Do you agree with Hiebert that we dare not allow ourselves a simple and unchallenging approach to the Bible?
4. What happens when we read the Bible the way Hiebert suggests, with “both awe and frustration,” never being certain that we have the correct interpretation? Do you agree with him that this approach will not make us happy? What would happen if the Bible was not unsettling? Do you find his ideas helpful?