While exploring the internet a few years back I found this wonderful skit that appeared as part of the HAMLET for Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary celebrations.
Click here for video
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! it raises for me some very important questions about emphasis, to be or not to be that is the question. The phrase can take on very different meanings if we change the words we emphasize. The particular emphasis can tell us a lot about the speaker and also ourselves in the way it makes us feel.
When we read the Bible we might find ourselves unconsciously placing emphasis on one word or passage over another giving it a meaning steeped in our own experience. It is a helpful exercise in our intentional faith development to reflect on these tones in our text and consider how the use of other expressions might allow for a different understanding of the text.
A prelude to the Parable of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-29
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
As you read this passage out loud what words you find you are naturally emphasizing?
How do these words convey a meaning from your experience?
there are times when I’m not certain if I am reading the Bible or the Bible is reading me!