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7. Pentecostal Bible Reading: Toward a Model of Reading for the Formation of the Affections

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Chapter Summary

This chapter hopes to take a few modest steps towards articulating how reading the Bible affects readers in their entire person. It attempts to outline an approach to doing an affective reading in the New Testament. The reader-response theory of Wolfgang Iser offers an avenue for performing an affective reading of a biblical text that avoids the weaknesses of Barthes' approach while affirming that the reading experience can be affective as well as cognitive. By means of a selective sequential reading, the chapter shows how John has structured the Gospel in order to inculcate the Christian affections of love and fear in the actual reader. It demonstrates that reading the Bible is not just a cognitive experience, but an affective one as well. As a test case, it offers a reading of Jesus' death in the Fourth Gospel. Pentecostal Bible reading is a bridge to the non-charismatic family in Christ.

Keywords: affective reading; Bible reading; Fourth Gospel; Jesus' death; New Testament; Pentecost; reader-response theory; Roland Barthes; Wolfgang Iser's model



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