The November installment of the Forefront blog fell to me, and I chose to write about an excellent book I read over the summer: Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption Through Scripture. Here I begin to discuss the ways that a musical understanding of Scripture can unlock a deeper interaction with its truths:
Roberts and Wilson even say as much in the first chapter, aptly titled “A Musical Reading of Scripture.” They carefully construct a proper framework for readers to engage with the remainder of the book, . In particular, they discuss the influence that metaphors exercise upon us—often in ways which are invisible to our conscious thought. In their own words: “If a controlling metaphor is chosen well, it has the capacity to illuminate new worlds of meaning and help us see all sorts of connections we might otherwise have missed.” (23) From there, the advantages of the metaphor of music are explored. Three key pairings of musical elements are noted for their ability to unlock a deeper understanding of Scripture: tension and resolution, melody and harmony, and rhythm and meter. The tense discordant notes and subsequent resolutions as the biblical song unfolds; the primary scriptural melodies such as sin, redemption, slavery, freedom, sacrifice and grace, complemented by unique harmonizations from the Pentateuch, the Prophets, the Gospels or the Epistles; the underlying metronome of the scriptural timeline, punctuated by various distinct rhythms of Passover, prophecies or miracles: each of these offer us a way of experiencing Scripture as a powerful and complex piece of divine music.
The entire piece can be found here.