How Christians interpret the Bible matters. It matters a great deal. With the Bible in hand, Christians have justified punishment, retribution, prejudice, slavery, and the pursuit of “Christ’s will” at the end of a gun barrel or sword point. Some Christians use the Bible to reject the scientific pursuit of knowledge. Some interpreters claim they are not interpreting at all but are simply presenting the definitive, unadulterated words of God.
In truth, we all interpret. In fact, it is our responsibility to interpret. It is our responsibility as Christians to participate in communities of interpretation—congregations, schools, study groups—in order to read, listen, speak, reflect, and decide what we think God is doing in the world and what is the work God is calling us to do.
At Phillips Theological Seminary, we educate students to be responsible interpreters of the Bible. We insist that students examine their beliefs, biases, and assumptions about the Bible and God. We teach them to broaden and deepen the community of interpreters with whom they read the Bible. We expect our students, most of whom are influencers or leaders in faith communities, to be responsible interpreters—responsible to God, responsible to the Gospel, responsible to the people they serve, and responsible to standards of good scholarship.
We encourage our students to interpret the Bible in service of working with God to mend this broken world. God has a mission in the world. At PTS, we understand the Gospel to include working with God to increase justice and righteousness, forgiveness and compassion, kindness and love, care and hospitality, reconciliation and peace.
Interested? Please be in touch.
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
PTS Video: President's Inauguration Speech
November 10th, 2009, Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend was inaugurated as president of Phillips Theological Seminary. We invite you to watch a video of his inauguration speech or read the speech text.
Speech by Gary Peluso-Verdend during his inauguration as president of Phillips Theological Seminary.