Understanding Scripture: Reviewing Santa Biblia: The Bible through Hispanic Eyes





Understanding Scripture: Reviewing Santa Biblia: The Bible through Hispanic Eyes

In overview, Gonzalez’s book is an illustration of a publication that highlights the connection between understanding and ethnic perspective. Over the years, most of the traditional literature has undergone rigorous construction in order to ensure that every person, irrespective of his or her language, understands a particular text. However, the correlation between the previously mentioned aspects is strong in Gonzalez’ book. Indeed, by viewing the text from a Hispanic perspective, the author introduces a new measure of knowledge that both Latinos and the church can utilize in terms of interpreting the Bible. Based on this viewpoint, the audience gains new understanding regarding the biblical text as a whole. Simply put, Gonzalez ensures that the affected reader comprehends the biblical text in terms of their perspective as well as context. As such, the book’s central thesis involves the different ways through which a person can comprehend and construe the Bible given his or her cultural setting and background. However, in order to facilitate this thesis accordingly, Gonzalez uses five cultural paradigms, which form the basis for each chapter. The first chapter, marginality, introduces the experiences of marginalization that most Hispanics experience, especially in the United States. For the author, the facet of marginality is significant for reading the text, the church’s history, as well as the daily obligation imposed upon the congregation, which involves reaching out to the marginalized as part of the Gospel’s mandate (Gonzalez 46). The second chapter introduces the value of poverty, which calls for the distribution of resources in order to gratify the community’s needs. Thirdly, the chapter on mestizaje and mulatez introduces cultural blending by relating the ethnic blend of the Hispanics with Jesus’ mixed racial background. For Gonzalez, the notion of mestizaje comprises an important facet of biblical reality regardless of efforts to suppress it (Gonzalez 89). The fourth chapter, Exiles and Aliens, views Hispanics as people who relate to the exiles and aliens of the Bible. Lastly, the chapter on Solidarity supports the thesis looks at the notion of the extended family, which is common among Hispanics and the manner in which it should relate to Christians, who should begin viewing the spiritual community in this term.

Consequently, in order to establish the validity of his argument, Gonzalez ensures that rationality and objectivity are reflected throughout the book. In this respect, his utilization of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral is considerably evident in the claims he institutes throughout the five main chapters of the publication. The chapter, Poverty, is a fair illustration of the use of this respective measure by Gonzalez. In this section, the author uses the facet of poverty as a crucial factor in relating the scripture to the real-life experiences that Hispanics and the people go through on a daily basis. Foremost, in order to support this claim, Gonzalez draws his information directly from the text. In terms of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, the author simply attains his support from Scripture. Based on the measure, the aspect of Scripture is perceived as the sufficient and spiritually inspired declaration of God (Thorsen 33). This declaration constitutes the 66 books, which constitute the complete biblical text. Therefore, in relation to the use of scripture, Gonzalez uses the book of Deuteronomy in relation to the claim in the chapter. To be more specific, the verse (Deuteronomy 15:4-5) which asserts that, “there will, however; be no need among you…if only you will obey the Lord your God”  is utilized to refer to the fair allocation of resources and the significance of sharing, which is a concept that is different among the Hispanic and the American (Gonzalez 75). Aside from the use of scripture, the author also reflects the Wesleyan Quadrilateral by utilizing another imperative constituent: tradition. With the biblical text as foundation, the church establishes traditions, which are practiced among the congregation (Thorsen 40). For Gonzalez, the respective verse calls upon the tradition of partnership and resource sharing, in order to solve the needs of those within the community. Reason, as an element of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, is established at the point Gonzalez uses both values to ascertain the importance of sharing as a means to alleviate poverty. Lastly, with the three values of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral in place, the facet of experience is evident where the author equates the sharing concept as an important precursor to illustrating the love of God.

In conclusion, Gonzalez’s book challenges my personal understanding especially based on the way I perceive critical and identifiable factors such as poverty. Indeed, it is evident that the Bible relates to the global society due to the issues it points out via its verses and canonical books. The perspective exuded by Gonzalez illustrates the considerable manner to which the church and the world ignores the significant role that the biblical text in the lives of every individual. As such, the text has challenged me to view the Bible as a contemporary and enduring guide to the life I live. Before the impact of this book, I used to view the Bible as a text that does not necessarily require human understanding. Since it is inspired by God, then it is actually understandable to be unable comprehend the scripture, irrespective of how impactful it may be. Nonetheless, at this mark, I am able to see the biblical text in my own eyes and my experiences. In addition, the perspective introduced by Gonzalez can also be quite helpful especially in shaping how Christians read the Bible. Accordingly, by comprehending the Bible based on the environment they occupy, their daily experiences and their background as well, Christians can understand the Bible more effectively by allowing the texts to speak to them in a manner that they can relate. Moreover, the technique introduced by Gonzalez can shape my personal journey in discipleship by using my personal experiences as a way to spread the Gospel in good and true faith. However, the only disagreement I have with the book is due to its ignorance of the spiritual element. Indeed, the Bible has been defined as God’s inspiration. Hence, perspective alone cannot be used to comprehend the teachings and knowledge evident within each chapter.



















Works Cited

Gonzalez, Justo L. Santa Biblia: The Bible through Hispanic Eyes. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996. Print.

Thorsen, Donald A. D. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition, Reason & Experience As a Model of Evangelical Theology. Lexington: Emeth, 2005. Print.

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