Disagreements over the meaning of Scripture and how it should shape congregational action can be great sources of conflict in congregational life. Yet as contentious as these disagreements can be, appeals to method have been unable to resolve them. This article proposes that a fruitful way of navigating these arguments within our congregations is not by trying to establish a single way of reading Scripture or of determining what Scripture “means,” but by becoming people able to peacefully hold an irreducible diversity of interpretive options. This article focuses on one virtue in particular—the virtue of patience—and suggests that it is a virtue that enables us to hold diverse and often irreconcilable readings of Scripture without fracturing or dividing over that diversity of interpretation and the disagreements that result from them. In doing so, this article demonstrates that the virtue of patience is a hermeneutical virtue and reflects on how ministers can cultivate hermeneutical patience in their congregations.
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"Reading the Bible Together: The Virtue of Patience as a Resource for Navigating Interpretive Disagreements in Congregations,"
Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry: Vol. 5:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/discernment/vol5/iss1/2