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Showing posts from August 29, 2004

Reading Matthew inside a Jeepney

Biblical interpretation has privileged the centers of power, within, behind, and in front of the text. Biblical Studies, in the Philippines, have been a stronghold of colonial scholarship for over a century, especially among Protestant Churches. Denominations refuse to go autonomous and continue to depend on "mother" institutions in the United States. Church buildings and institutions are named after "benevolent" foreign church leaders and missionaries. Seminaries continue to have more foreign teachers (who are paid in dollars by foreign boards) than Filipinos (who are paid in pesos and usually way below the living wage). Libraries are filled with books authored by European and American scholars, and continue to receive donations of old ones from the First World. Traditional historical critical methods remain the key reading paradigm. Establishing what texts meant is the first step toward discerning what they mean today. Reading programs that do not…