Ancient History, Church, History, Reading

How Do You Read the Book of Esther?

On Tuesday mornings, there is a ladies’ Bible study that meets in the teen center – right next to my office. Most Tuesdays, I don’t get into my office until later in the day, but this week I was there because I had a hospital visit that got pushed up. I had a chance to listen to the ladies reading part of the book of Esther, and they started to act out the text with different ladies playing different characters. They did voices, some of which made them laugh.

Whether they knew it or not, the ladies were reading the text exactly as it was intended to be read – playing out with characters and interaction. As I was pouring my coffee, it made think about the idea of literal readings of the Scriptures and the video from N.T. Wright that I posted earlier this week.

How do you read a book like Esther that was intentionally written to be a dramatic presentation? Some people read this kind of book as history, and others dismiss them as fanciful concoctions.

Remembering that we need to read the Scriptures as they were intended and not as we intend them, we must carefully consider Esther’s content and intent.

So, for all your Bible students out there, use the comments below or an article on your own blog to argue for whatever view you hold to.

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