What is Mirror Reading?
When reading the Bible, one is presumably only reading half of a conversation. Mirror Reading is a method that attempts to reconstruct the other half of the conversation. It relies on the assumption that most of what is said by the biblical writer is reflective of a problem or situation confronting the original reader(s). The biblical text is always reacting against something.The question is, what is it reacting against?
For example, if you hear me say “stop touching the red umbrella,” you can presume that something or someone is touching the red umbrella. Mirror-reading would try to identify what/who was touching the red umbrella and why. In other words, mirror reading is an attempt to move from the known (the text) to the unknown (the situation behind the text), in order to better understand what is known (the text).
It's important to remember that mirror-reading is not just recognizing that Scripture is responding to events that you read about in history books. It is the ability to recreate the specific situations that the Biblical authors were responding to that you don't read about in history books. I've had great success in doing this, and you can see my work regarding Biblical books/sources here.
Mirror-reading is not a term or technique unique to me. It's recognized and used by many scholars. However, it is a somewhat controversial approach to Scripture, and most use it cautiously, if at all. I've addressed some objections here. Some limit mirror reading to the New Testament epistles, others avoid it all together. However, everyone tends to mirror-read to some extent at the broadest levels.
In my opinion, mirror-reading has not been used to it's fullest potential. I believe and have shown that mirror-reading can be used to reconstruct the original situations in greater detail than ever before. The key is to develop a strong methodology that shows the evidence for mirror-reading conclusions and limits and/or admits when it's speculating. You can learn more about my methodology listed below.
The Mira Scriptura Mirror-Reading Methodology
You can learn about my methodology here.
About The Site
The purpose of this site is to promote mirror-reading and to eventually mirror-read the entire Bible. I will try to mirror-read the earliest books/sources first and then progress to the latest, alternating between the Old and New Testaments. There are financial constraints on my time, so if you'd like to help me mirror-read more often, please support my work financially.
What does “Mira Scriptura” Mean?
“Mira Scriptura” is a play on the Reformation phrase of “Sola Scriptura”. Although we do derive our English word “mirror” from “mira”, the Latin word itself means “wonderful, strange, remarkable, amazing, surprising, extraordinary” – an apt description of the Bible.