When I was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary, I studied under the late, great Dr. Bernhard Word Anderson, author of Understanding the Old Testament, who made the vivid history, people, stories, and metaphors of Scripture come alive for me in ways that transformed my life and made me want to further study and explore the power of story and metaphor. For the last twenty years I have worked as a writer of plays, films, and television scripts. I have also taught creative writing in public schools, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons.

To me, Jesus was the ideal storyteller. He told stories that jarred his listeners out of their complacent acceptance of their contemporary social order and religious practices. His parables reach us, even today. They shock us, lead up on surprise journeys, and fundamentally change our points of reference.

I believe that to simply view the Bible as a list of historic or scientific facts is to miss the metaphor. Jesus, Paul, the gospel writers, St. John, the prophets, the Psalmist, and Moses all used metaphor as a primary tool of teaching. Only through participating in the interpretation of scripture can we even begin to sound the depths of its spiritual wisdom and meaning for our lives.

Jim McGrath