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Child-centered, or childist, interpretation is one of the newest academic approaches to critically reading the Bible. With cues from feminist criticism and other methods, scholars begin by looking for passages that touch on children or contain child characters. Then, rather than focusing upon typical main characters, scholars draw the reader’s foremost attention to the child, reading the actions and words of other characters, narrator, even the author in relation to the child. Sometimes we use this approach to learn more about children historically, and peoples’ views of them. We may also use this approach along with literary methods to understand how young figures function within a story. Many use this method, drawing on our empathy for children, to challenge readers to reassess our moral and ethical relationships with children today. The following examples focus on Mark 9:33–37, “The Child in the Midst.”


This is the manuscript accepted for publication.
It was originally published at Point of View Publishing. The original publisher URL no longer resolves.

Murphy, A. J. (2018). “Focusing on the Child Next to Jesus in Mark 9:33–37.” Point of View Publishing.