Inspired by a comment @catholickungfu made on twitter today, here’s an idea for getting at all the things the Bible means to you that you aren’t quite aware that it means. In a group setting, I imagine this could be used in an initial meeting as an in-class writing assignment of ~15min, followed by sharing, comparing, and imagining dialogues between everyone’s characters.
It might also be a fruitful exercise to do on your own, as a different way to explore your relationship with the Bible.
If you teach classes or lead Bible study, do feel free to use this exercise, with or without adaptation, as long as you cite this blog post as a source. And I’d love to hear how it works out!
In many ways, the Bible is as much a character as it is a sacred text. When we talk about the Bible, our understanding of that character colors everything we say, and how we hear everything anyone else says.
In this exercise, we will use some character building questions modeled on character creation in some TTRPG systems to try to flesh out what that character, “the Bible”, is actually like. Then, when we talk about the bible later in the course, we have a way to talk about how all of those different Bibles in our heads might influence the conversation.
There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions.
Since we are trying to surface impressions and associations that we have that color are reactions to the Bible, treat this more like a free association exercise then like a quiz. The limited time box is intended to help us do that.
If you aren’t sure what your answer to a particular question is, don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it: write an answer that feels right, even if you can’t connect it to any particular memory or experience.
1. What are the first three words you think of when you think about the Bible?
2. What are the first three feelings you associate with the Bible?
3. What is your first memory of the Bible?
4. What is your favorite memory of the Bible?
5. Describe a time when the Bible was used to make you feel bad
6. Describe a time when something in the Bible made you feel better
7. What do you like most about the Bible?
8. What do you like least about the Bible?
9. If the Bible were a person, what would that person be like? What kind of job would they have?
10. Now give that person a name.
11. Describe the relationship between that person and God
12. Describe the relationship between that person and the church
13. Describe the relationship between that person and you
14. If you could change one thing about that person, what would it be?