Noted texts

While pastors and academics usually have many volumes of biblical commentary on their shelves, the average layperson gets his or her information from one or more of the study Bibles that have flooded the marketplace in the past two decades. These Bibles, typically targeted to a niche group—women, teens, African Americans, etc.—have begun to exercise a powerful influence on Christian communities. The placing of commentary on the same page as the scriptural text itself carries enormous ideological weight, requiring the reader to move between the text, which is authoritative, and the commentary, which is not, while holding these distinctions firmly in place.

 

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