Monday, January 05, 2009

TCITB: intro

So, as promised, we're starting another book, if I can find my glasses...

Disclaimer: As always, detached questions and comments, purely unresearched personal opinion here. As always, my hope is that if you find this interesting you'll read the book and look at the comments in context. Starting a group to read and talk about it would probably be even better.

The Child in the Bible
Marcia J. Bunge - general editor
Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co
Grand Rapids, MI, 2008
(422 pages + resources)

The authors in this book ask more-profound-than-usual, wonderful questions. One of the more striking elements here is that the authors recognize the fact that so many children in the scriptures lived through turbulent times and among very different attitudes about training and discipline.

The authors were given specific questions and themes to explore recognizing that there are limitations to what we can observe and understand about children and childhood, especially looking into the past and into different cultures. We don't really know what the child experiences and how he/she perceives that experience even today.

Their findings:

1) They find a wide range of terms for "child," "children," and "childhood" in the scriptures. Those terms are also used metaphorically and rhetorically. (TCHITB p, xxii)

2) "[B]iblical views of and attitudes towards children are more complex and multifaceted than readers might assume." (TCHITB p, xxiii)

3) "Adults have obligations to their own and to other children."(TCHITB p, xxiv)

4) "Teaching, training, and disciplining children are sophisticated and multi-layered tasks." (TCHITB p, xxiv) I've not read this part yet. Don't freak out on me.

5) "Children are complex characters, play various roles in families and communities, and bear responsibilities to others." (TCHITB p, xxv)

6) "Children and childhood are integrally connected to other central Biblical themes."(TCHITB p, xxvi)

The intro is much longer than this, informative, and well-written. For our purposes, this gives you an overview.

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