THE BIBLE AS COMMUNICATION
Many Christians approach the Bible with a fundamentalist lens, which makes for wooden, inductile readings of the text. Without a standard hermeneutic, people’s interpretations can take on innumerable directions, to the extent to which Christians are plagued by doubt and division. Therefore, the Bible and its message should be understood through the interpretive framework of communication.
In its basic form, communication is the transmission of a message from one person to another to elicit feedback. The message originates in the mind, is encoded, sent, received, decoded--and acted upon. As responsible beings—able to respond—God communicates to humans through his Word, in language familiar to his original audience.
However, the Bible is not encoded in a single language, voice, or worldview. Nor is the mind of God easily communicable in finite form. Its texts are an amalgam of voices woven together over time, shaped by the evolving "noise" of history, culture, and ideas. That said, the scriptures contain content that at times appears incoherent and contradictory, which are the cause for much confusion inside the Church and ridicule from without.
Therefore, to resolve these issues, the decoding of God’s message must be preceded by an understanding of its encoding: that God communicated within the confines of language and worldview. This requires the starting assumption that communication is a bridge of shared meaning, what is common—to both parties. And as people struggled to conceptualize reality through primitive concepts, God spoke within the bounds of these ideas, which changed over time.