I am reading Mark Noll’s book “The New Shape of World Christianity” and I was struck with the following question. “What is the biblical norm by which the rest of the Bible is read?”. Noll’s point is that historically and presently around the globe Christians are choosing different sections of scripture as “normative in such a way as to enlighten the rest”.

It seems to me that this is an accurate assessment. While we are encouraged to read all of scripture where should one start? Gospels, Pauline letters, Acts? Where you start or what you emphasize will no doubt shape your interpretation and Christian practice.

The recent focus on a post-modern read of Jesus in the Gospels while reacting to an emphasis in modern Pauline biblical studies is a case in point. Perhaps this is inevitable and what is needed is a skill set that is able to identify foundational biblical bias.
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