Reading the Bible with Rembrandt: Graphic Exegesis in Christian Education Open Access

Sonstegard-Spray, Maren (Spring 2019)

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Graphic exegesis, the visual interpretation of Scripture in pictorial form, is an effective and underutilized tool in Christian education in the local church context and there are several reasons for its inclusion. Graphic exegesis emphasizes the visual nature of Scripture and the need for the use of the imagination in reading the Bible. It recognizes the valuable contribution of artists as serious and skillful interpreters of Scripture, and art as an important contributor in reception history. It engages the visual aspect of learning, which is often ignored in religious education.  Finally, graphic exegesis expands the interpretive world of a text, revealing the multiple meanings of Scripture. The use of graphic exegesis in Christian education is a means of providing a “visual vocabulary” for discussing various interpretations of a text, aiding in revealing more than textual study can do alone, so that interpretation might be more than explanation; it becomes a source of nurture and formation. This essay will espouse graphic exegesis as biblical interpretation, and will describe the preparation, pedagogy, and assessment of an adult Christian education offering in a local church setting utilizing graphic exegesis as an aid to interpretation. 

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