In a society full of varying people, opinions, and cultures, it is rare that there will be no disagreement over beliefs and experiences. A common topic of these disagreements happens to be the Bible itself. Many individuals argue as to whether or not the Bible is true. In Placher’s article, he says that the Bible is true, if focusing on its expression. The Bible’s genres, attitude towards history, and cultural contexts all establish that what the Bible means is true, and that we can trust it to guide us in our lives and faith. The claims made by Placher in his article are very understandable and I agree with his logic and arguments completely.
Placher’s first argument made towards this question is that differing genres of work create different ways of establishing truth. Similar to how we read literary works of varying genres (for example, a biography versus a fairy tale), we must take each book of the Bible into account according to its own genre, in order to correctly interpret the Bible and its message. Due to each specific genre having its own rules of interpretation and understanding, if we want to completely understand the writing’s context and meaning, we must separate the books and pay attention to them individually. I especially agree with Placher’s viewpoint at this time in his argument because, if we were to read the entire bible the exact same way without pausing to consider the different aspects affecting context, believers would not have as deep of an understanding or relationship to the text.
The next point that Placher makes is the existence of varying attitudes towards history of the biblical authors. For example, in History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides’ introduction shows an opinionated view of himself, as he admits to only reporting what he felt were the most important parts to another’s speech. This day in time, Thucydides’ method of reporting would most definitely not be allowed. Should other historians have completed their record-keeping duties in the same manner, the information we currently have available would be incredibly biased and might leave out important details. Also in relation to this argument, Placher mentions that the biblical authors wrote as the product of their culture. Because it has been so long since one has adopted the same views as those our predecessors, it can be quite difficult to understand their specific perspective.
The final argument that Placher establishes in his article is that differing cultural conventions among people can significantly contribute to confusion surrounding the Bible. The varying social conditions, time periods, and their resulting meanings are unlike any in our current society, making it more difficult for readers and believers to identify with and recognize certain situations. Not only is this true for the Bible, but also most historical works of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. I also agree with this part of Placher’s claim, as it can be very challenging to understand a perspective or situation different from your own, but that is what is required in order to understand the Bible to its fullest extent.
All in all, Placher makes a very convincing argument as to why the Bible is, in fact, true. The combination of its genres, attitude of its authors towards history, as well as its varying cultural contexts all help us, as readers and believers, to understand the Bible and follow it as a guide to life and faith. By making the effort to let ourselves and our lives be fully immersed by the text and the Bible’s world, we can alter our lives for the better. We simply must just be willing to work hard for it.